Exchange of Good Municipal Practices in Urban Contexts Affected by Violence and Stronger Mechanisms for Access to Justice in Displacement Contexts
Exchange of Good Municipal Practices in Urban Contexts Affected by Violence and Stronger Mechanisms for Access to Justice in Displacement Contexts
Exchanging experiences and good practices for capacity-building and national coordination in response to forced displacement

Challenges

In 2019, Honduras finalized a study on the impact of displacement and alternative solutions for displaced persons. It concluded that 58,500 households were displaced between 2004 and 2018. Of the 247,090 people affected, at least one member per household was displaced by violence. Although it has been established that displacement occurs as a result of violence in Honduras, the study highlighted the extensive impact of internal displacement on its citizens. Using this study as a baseline, the Government of Honduras endeavoured to develop a holistic response to internal displacement and to strengthen protections and care for displaced persons at the local and national levels.

Towards a Solution

In order to achieve those goals, the Government sought the support of Colombia, a country that had addressed internal displacement in a similar context. The exchange focused on the institutional response to forced displacement by local authorities and the judiciary in Colombia, which had developed and implemented mechanisms to promote coordination between the local and national levels.

The exchange aimed to support the Inter-institutional Commission for the Protection of Persons Displaced by Violence [Comisión Interinstitucional para la Protección de las Personas Desplazadas por la Violencia] (CIPPDV) of Honduras in designing public policies and local programmes with sustainable solutions to prevent and protect against forced displacement in the municipalities of San Pedro Sula and El Progreso. The Commission had formally delivered the draft law on prevention, care and protection for internally displaced persons to the Justice and Human Rights Commission within Congress.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and CIPPDV facilitated an exchange between Colombian authorities from Bogota and Medellin and Honduran officials from the municipality of San Pedro Sula. The aim was to share knowledge about the lines of coordination available to local governments within a decentralized framework and about local mechanisms to prevent forced displacement, which all promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies at the local level.

The exchange of experiences strengthened the response to internal displacement in the municipality of San Pedro Sula, where mechanisms, public policies and local programmes were designed and updated to prevent forced displacement and to provide protection and care for those displaced by violence.

Following a visit to a local centre that provides care to victims of displacement in Colombia, the Honduran officials decided to replicate this valuable service, with adjustments for the local context. They requested technical assistance from UNHCR to establish a local care centre for victims in San Pedro Sula, and UNHCR has been coordinating with officials in Honduras in its development.

With regard to the judiciary, with the coordination and support of the juridical school of Honduras, 15 judges from various chambers of the Supreme Court of Honduras attended a meeting led by an expert on land restitution and magistrate from Colombia. They exchanged good practices and lessons learned on the development of land restitution processes in Colombia in order to give continuity to efforts in Honduras and guarantee the application of justice in the context of forced displacement.

This experience aimed to provide examples on good practices regarding define the conditions necessary to facilitate access to justice and the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies by establishing better criteria for revising legal frameworks, tools and mechanisms so as to guarantee the application of justice in the context of forced displacement, as well as land and property abandoned as a result of violence.

As a result of this exchange, various justice officials expanded their knowledge on how to handle possible requests for land/housing restitution cases in the future. This exchange on good practice should be used to expand the criteria for updating existing instruments to address forced displacement, ensuring that the processes are sustainable and appropriately respond to the situation in Honduras. In this way, it is possible to promote access to peace and justice, guarantee sustainability by institutionalizing processes for legal protections and strengthen local capacities in the registration and restitution of abandoned land and property.

Contact Information

Name: Mr Andres Celis Title: Representative Organization: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Countries involved

Colombia, Honduras

Supported by

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Implementing Entities

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Inter-institutional Commission for the Protection of People Displaced by Violence (CIPPDV)

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

2/2020 - 2020

Primary SDG

16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

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