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Article

31 Oct 2021

Author:
Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Honduras: Judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the labour exploitation of Miskito divers by the fishing industry

INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

CASE OF THE MISKITO DIVERS (LEMOTH MORRIS ET AL.) V. HONDURAS

JUDGMENT OF AUGUST 31, 2021

In the Case of the Miskito divers (Lemoth Morris et al.) v. Honduras...

The case submitted to the Court. On May 24, 2019,...submitted to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court case No. 12.738 “Opario Lemoth Morris et al. (Miskito divers)” against the Republic of Honduras (hereinafter “the State” or “Honduras”). According to the Commission, the case relates to the State’s alleged international responsibility for the violation of several rights to the detriment of 42 Miskito divers and their next of kin. The Commission concluded that the State is responsible for the violation of the right to personal integrity of 34 Miskito divers (infra para. 28) who suffered accidents as a result of deep dives that caused them decompression sickness. It also considered that the State violated the right to life of 12 divers who died shortly after those accidents. The Commission further concluded that these violations “were the result of the State’s omissions and indifference to the problem of labor exploitation by fishing companies and the performance of diving activities in dangerous conditions.” In addition, the Commission considered that the right to life of seven Miskito divers was violated after the boat in which they were traveling exploded, as well as that of a 16-year-old boy who disappeared while working on a fishing boat. The Commission likewise concluded that the State is responsible for the violation of the principle of equality and non-discrimination, given the multiple factors of vulnerability of the divers. Finally, the Commission found that the State did not have administrative, judicial and other mechanisms in place to respond adequately and effectively to the violations indicated in the Merits Report. The Commission also established a violation of the right to personal integrity of the next of kin of the alleged victims. The names of the alleged victims in the instant case can be found in Annex 1 of this judgment...

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