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30 Aug 2019

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Honduras: UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights concludes visit highlighting the lack of transparency and participation of affected communities in decisions regarding business activity

“Honduras Government and businesses must ensure protection of rights of people affected by development projects, say UN experts”, 29th August 2019

…The Government of Honduras must act now to address the root causes of social conflict and profound distrust in the ability of State institutions to promote a fair and inclusive economy, a team of UN human rights experts has concluded after a 10-day visit. All people affected by development projects must have their rights fully respected and protected by the Government and businesses to avoid conflict, said the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. “The majority of conflicts related to large-scale investments results from the systematic lack of transparency and meaningful participation of affected communities in any decisions regarding business activity,” said one of the Working Group members, Anita Ramasastry...“The right of affected individuals and communities to participate meaningfully in decision making from an early stage is a basic requirement for creating an enabling environment for responsible business conduct. State and companies should realise that listening to all voices helps identify, mitigate and address grievances before they escalate into conflict…It is urgent for the Honduran Congress to develop a law on free, prior and informed consent and consultation for indigenous peoples and other communities in line with international standards”…