Top 10 Facts About Human Rights in Honduras
Since the 2009 military coup that ousted President Manuel Zeyala from the Honduran government, gang-related crimes, scarce living conditions and attacks against indigenous peoples, journalists and human rights defenders have remained rampant throughout the country. According to the 2012 “Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights,” there is a direct, causal link between the enjoyment of human rights — such right to work, to an adequate standard of living, adequate housing and to education — and the eradication of poverty. With these principles in mind, here are the top 10 facts about human rights in Honduras.

Top 10 Facts About Human Rights in Honduras

  1. Honduras is a country that has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Attacks against women, journalists, indigenous peoples, activists and human rights defenders are incredibly prevalent; additionally, there is a serious lack of accountability for police and public safety officials. Throughout the country, police fail to investigate 80 percent of homicide cases and of those that were looked into, 96 percent did not result in the prosecution or conviction of a perpetrator.
  2. Honduras has the highest femicide rate in the world and a woman is murdered every sixteen hours, according to the Honduras Center for Human Rights. Although there are laws in place to protect women from rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of violence, abuse is under-reported and rarely investigated.
  3. When authorities do convict perpetrators, they often suffer from scarce living conditions within prison and detention centers. Designed for a total capacity of 10,600 people, the twenty-seven prison and detention center system held 18,950 prisoners as of 2017 — a 10 percent increase in the prisoner population since 2016. As a result, inmates face several scarce conditions such as insufficient access to food and water due to overcrowding. Equally, violence imparts of inmates and prison officials adds to the scarcity of prison life.
  4. Although there is no conclusive data on how much of Honduras’ violence is gang-related, the Association for a More Just Society estimated that there are between 12,000 and 40,000 active gang members in Honduras, where gang-related crime is concomitant with murder, robbery and drug trafficking.
  5. In addition to high crime and murder rates, Honduras also has one of the leading poverty rates in the world with more than 66 percent living in extreme poverty. In fact, one out of five Hondurans lives on less than $2 per day in many rural areas.
  6. To help amend and eradicate such abuses as those listed above, the U.S. and other countries increased the amount of aid directed to Honduras. For example, 4 percent of $25.83 million of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) went to “Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance,” in Honduras in 2011; while in 2018, 50 percent of the $90.24 million budget went to the same category – an increase of nearly $42 million in aid from the U.S. in a span of just seven years.
  7. Among many socio-economic plans set to improve human rights conditions in the country is the “Honduras 2020” plan. The Investment Entrepreneurship Facilitation and Transformation Unit implemented this comprehensive plan that aims to reconstruct the economy by focusing specifically on tourism, textile and apparel, light manufacturing, outsourcing services, housing and agribusiness. In fact, it aims to create 600,000 more jobs by 2020.
  8. In addition to the Honduras 2020 plan, programs such as the “Project for Education Quality, Good Governance and Institutional Strengthening,” the “Nutritional and Social Protection Project” and the “Project to Modernize the Water and Sanitation Sector” are all working to secure equal and safe access to education, safe water and food security among other necessities.
  9. In 2005, the U.S. committed $20 million to the “Nutritional and Social Protection Project in Honduras,” a plan that succeeded in reducing malnutrition of children under 2 years of age in the program from 32 to 26 percent. In 2007, it gave an additional $30 million to aid the “Project to Modernize the Water and Sanitation Sector,” which helped 650,000 people gain access to clean water by providing Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) services and training almost 17,000 people in hygiene and sanitation practices.
  10. Implemented in 2008, the “Project for Education Quality, Good Governance and Institutional Strengthening” saw an increase in preschool enrollment as well as an increase in 6th grade completion by 2013.

From Poverty to Recovery

While relief efforts are in the works, these top 10 facts about human rights in Honduras show that many Hondurans are still facing extreme poverty, high crime and murder rates, harsh living conditions and other issues that are tantamount to human rights abuses.

Honduran leaders have begun to recognize poverty as a leading factor in the recovery of their nation and continue to prioritize it on both economic and social scales. In the wake of all this progress and a year out from their 2020 goal, Honduras is making steady progress towards creating safe and stable living conditions to precede economic and social progress.

– Morgan Everman
Photo: Flickr

Factors affecting Guatemala’s Life Expectancy
Guatemala, a small country located in Central America, is striving to decrease its deaths among the population and to improve its quality of life.

This is being done by focusing on health care, safety and disease prevention since these are the main causes affecting Guatemala’s life expectancy in the country.

In the text below, 10 facts about life expectancy in Guatemala are presented, and the special attention is given to problems that affect women and children in the country.

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Guatemala

  1. According to the latest WHO data published in 2018, life expectancy in Guatemala is 70.4 years for male and 76.0 for female. The total life expectancy is 73.2. This places Guatelama in 94th place in World Life Expectancy ranking.
  2. According to the UNICEF data, four out of 10 children under the age of 5 suffer from poor nutrition. This issue is even worse for the indigenous population since eight out of 10 children, or double more than the average, suffer from the same problem. Health-wise problems at an early age can affect growth, both cognitively and physically.
  3. The Guatemalan government has stepped in by providing more health coverage through the Extension of Coverage Program. The program teaches Guatemalan citizens about nutrition as well as preventative measures. As a result, the percentage of children under the age of 2, who had previously been undernourished, dropped by 13 percent, starting at 73 percent and ending at 60 percent.
  4. The serious problem in the country is the rate at which babies are dying. According to the World Bank, in the early 2000s, only one out of five pregnant women received proper care. This resulted in low birth weights and respiratory infections. The Extension of Coverage Program has strengthened 40 subsidiary level facilities in order to ensure safer births. The program has made it possible for mothers to get care during their pregnancy and while in labor. As a result, the death rate of pregnant women in Guatemala has fallen by almost 2 percent. In June 2006, the rate was 3.2 percent compared to 1.24 percent recorded in December 2012.
  5. Violence in Guatemala is another serious issue that affects life expectancy indirectly. Peace Women reported that 22 percent of women’s deaths are connected with organized or gang-related activities, 24 percent are related to domestic violence, and 23 percent are attributed to blackmail. Most of the sexual and physical abuse of women goes unnoticed.
  6. The Presidential Commission against Femicide established in 2009, has a goal to address the factors that are causing women to lose their lives. They have put new laws into effect that allow police to enter a home without a warrant if they fear that a woman is in danger.
  7. Another law, that was passed in 2007, has now made it a criminal offense to injure or kill a woman. The sentences run from 25 up to 50 years for homicides, and five to 12 years for physical violence or sexual assault. Guatemala’s female deaths have plummeted from 720 to 651.
  8. Gang-related crimes affect Guatemalan children as well. Girls are sexually assaulted and boys are recruited. According to UNICEF, there are about 46 children, most of them adolescents, murdered each month. While most of the deaths are caused by guns, the others are related to sexual assault, kidnapping and missing person reports, among others.
  9. The reason that gang violence is one of the causes affecting Guatemala’s women and children is that Guatemalan gangs operate on their own terms. In the Global Post, Rodriguez talks about how Guatemalan gangs are similar to L.A. gangs when they first started out. Rodriguez recalls, “In the early days of gangs in L.A., raping a woman was a good way to develop your reputation. I knew a guy who raped dozens of women.”
  10. Guatemalan authorities have arrested leaders associated with various gangs, but it does not seem to stop them. Most of the leaders just continue their operations from inside the jail, making it difficult for them to put an end to this vicious cycle.

The 10 factors about life expectancy in Guatemala for women and children can be solved through consistent use of better health care methods and stricter safety regulations.

With the help of more developed nations and various nongovernmental organization, the development in the country can be easily achieved.

Photo: Flickr