Strengthening of civil-political-economic rights and social auditing

Project completed
Committee for Free Expression
Free expression rights © FDFA

In Honduras, strengthening Human Rights (HR), transparency, and the fight against impunity are central to breaking out of the spiral of violence. The role of civil society constitutes an opportunity and at the same time a means to contribute to the construction of Rule of Law. The program supports five civil society organizations (CSO) and the UNDP, with presence in the southern region and Muskitia, so they can work together to promote social audits and protection of Human Rights.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention and transformation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Democratic participation and civil society
Conflict prevention
01.07.2015 - 30.08.2020
CHF  3’640’000

Defenders of human rights (HR), leaders of indigenous peoples, social communicators, journalists, lawyers, attorneys, and judges are targets of physical aggression, threats and murders. They are defenseless. In the 2011 Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Honduras received 129 recommendations about the HR situation; in 2015, they increased to 152. The CSO calculate 90% impunity in cases of physical aggression, threats and murders of HR defenders. This spiral of violence is made worse by the corruption and lack of transparency of public institutions. These factors intensify the challenge faced by the CSO, that react with initiatives such as the establishment of platforms and networks. They show weaknesses in coordination, and well as in continuity of the topics they address. In addition, distrust prevails and there is a breakdown of relations between the citizenry and a State that lost legitimacy because of its ineffectiveness.


To contribute to strengthening the Rule of Law in Honduras, with emphasis on fulfilment of rights to natural resources, freedom of expression, access to justice and more participatory and transparent public institutions.

The program has a national and two territorial focus (Gulf of Fonseca and Muskitia regions).

Target groups

HR defenders,
social communicators,
justice operators,
public institutions and CSO,
all directly related with transparency and accountability of public governance.

Territorial leaders representing collective interests,
citizens who participate in social audit,
the private sector,
all directly related with accountability exercises.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:
Defense organizations, collective rights structures and social communication organizations act in concert, with freedom, and demand protection and respect for rights to natural resources and to freedom of expression, and access to justice at collective and individual levels.

Outcome 2:
Civil Society (CS) organizations and CS structures undertake social audits with effective control and oversight of the actions of public institutions at local and national levels, ensuring adequate use of public funds for development.


Expected results:  

Outputs of outcome 1 are: AJD, C-Libre, Pi and UNDP have 1) strengthened capacities for collaboration among the organizations that make use of mechanisms like the UPR and other national and international mechanisms; 2) facilitated spaces for dialogue among the UPR Platform CSO, the government and international actors; 3) undertaken HR lobbying; 4) accompanied HR defenders; 5) applied a communications plan on the HR topics prioritized by the program; 6) carried out social audits of the justice system.
Outputs of outcome 2 are: FOPRIDEH and FOSDEH have 1) created spaces for inclusive strategic dialogue; 2) carried out social audits of the public-private alliance model and the concession process; 3) strengthened defense capacities in the southern region and the Muskitia; 4) carried out social audits with Citizen Transparency Commissions.

Results from previous phases:  


Inception phase:

  • Consultation undertaken by an external facilitator with 10 CSO about interests and capacities on the topic of HR and transparency.
  • Internal workshop held: definition of selection and weighting criteria; applied to the list of potential partners.
  • Two workshops held to validate the intervention strategy and expected outcomes with 8 pre-selected partners.
  • Specific strategies and institutional actions on HR themes reviewed, together with the transparency of each selected partner.
  • The process of risk evaluation for partners will continue until March 2016 (contracts will be signed following the risk evaluation).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners

Ministry of Human Rights and Justice (SDHJGD); Attorney General’s Office; National Human Rights Commissioner (CONADEH); Institute for Access to Public Information (IAIP); Auditor General (TSC); G-16; European Union (EU); AECID

Coordination with other projects and actors

Security System Reform - IDB;
Country Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR);

Territorial Watershed Management in the Gulf of Fonseca Region, SURCOMPITE and Inclusive Territorial Economic Development in the Muskitia.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’640’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’486’870
Project phases Phase 2 01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.07.2015 - 30.08.2020   (Completed)