Human Rights Council
Agenda item 2
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
The present report provides an overview of the human rights situation in Guatemala and the work undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala (OHCHR-Guatemala) during 2012. OHCHR-Guatemala conducted monitoring activities and provided advisory and technical assistance to State institutions and civil society to contribute to the implementation of the country’s international human rights obligations and the recommendations contained in previous reports.
A new Government took office in January 2012. The High Commissioner visited the country in March, and urged the implementation of a comprehensive human rights agenda to address important, long-standing gaps in the enjoyment of human rights, such as high levels of insecurity, impunity and poverty; malnutrition and discrimination and violence against women; as well as the situation of indigenous peoples and the discrimination they face in the political, economic, cultural and social spheres. The universal periodic review in October 2012 presented a unique opportunity to strengthen the commitment of Guatemala to the protection of human rights, in meaningful dialogue with civil society.
In line with the recommendations issued during her visit, such an agenda should include a plan clearly establishing an end date for the deployment of the military in lawenforcement functions; a reform proposal for the legal framework of judicial and prosecutorial careers; strengthened mechanisms and institutions addressing social conflicts; and a national plan of action against racism and discrimination, with full participation of indigenous peoples.