News and events
ICPS in Honduras
Speaking at the event to mark the International day for Victims of Torture were (left to right) James Haines, ICPS Associate and key note speaker, Juan Almendarez, President of CPTRT, Antonio Maldonado, Human Rights Adviser to the UN in Honduras, Odalis Nájera, Acting President of CONAPREV and Martha Savillón, Vice-Minister of Justice and Human Rights
In June 2012 ICPS Associate Jim Haines made a one month study visit to Honduras at the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and with the approval of the relevant Honduras government ministries. The purpose of the visit was to carry out a review of the Honduras prison system and to make recommendations for change. The invitation from UNDP came as a result of a number of tragic incidents, particularly a fire in Comayagua in February 2012 in which more than 360 prisoners died. The Honduras Congress has also recently approved a new Prison Law which is awaiting presidential ratification.
During the visit Jim visited ten of the country’s prison centres, which between them house more than 65 percent of the prison population. He also interviewed representatives from a wide range of government and civil society agencies involved in the prison and judicial systems.
The visit coincided with the International Day for the Victims of Torture on 26th June which this year also marked the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention Against Torture. The UN Development Programme, together with the Honduras National Preventive Mechanism, CONAPREV, jointly organised an event to mark the day, at which Jim Haines was the keynote speaker. The event was also used to launch a Honduras re-print of the ICPS Handbook, La administración penitenciaria en el contexto de los derechos humanos (A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management).
The visit formed part of a wider UNDP Project in Honduras funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), which also funded the re-print of 1000 copies of the Handbook.