World news story

British expert highlights important relationship between businesses and human rights in Honduras

A special forum took place in Tegucigalpa on 12 and 13 February aimed at understanding human rights and improving the business climate by addressing the root causes of social conflicts.

Business and Human Rights in Honduras

Business and Human Rights in Honduras

The forum ‘Risk management associated to Human Rights and Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights’ was a joint initiative by Advocacy for Business and Human Rights (ABHR), Watchman and the British Embassy.

Keynote speakers included: Lucía Valenzuela, Founder and Director of ABHR and Chris Goodwin Director of Watchman.

Lucia Valenzuela is a legal adviser on human rights for business and an expert on business and human rights; she has conducted human rights impact assessment with a special focus on security and community engagement for prosperity.

Dr Chris Goodwin is a risk manager specialising in the nexus of security and human rights. He has conducted evaluations of security forces in long running confrontation over land rights and access.

Discussions focused on the importance between corporations and indigenous communities, the role of the government in conflict resolution and challenges that might arise in social conflict. At the end of the forum, both experts delivered workshops in which participants had the opportunity to work on a case study to evaluate and had the opportunity to role-play to find a solution to a conflict between a community and a large-scale investment project.

At the Honduran Council for Private Sector (COHEP) Dr Goodwin shared his comments on the challenges and implications of corporate community engagement after representatives from Dinant Corporation (light manufacture) shared their progress in business and human rights. Attendees were also able to discuss business climate and sustainability.

The British Ambassador to Honduras, Tom Carter, said

The United Kingdom is committed to the promotion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UK recognises that dialogue is the key to protecting and guaranteeing human rights, demonstrated through international law; with the support of business and other key actors involved in fostering prosperity.

Published 14 February 2019