Guatemala

Situation of human rights in Guatemala: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/46/74)

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Human Rights Council
Forty-sixth session
22 February–19 March 2021
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

Summary

In her report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights describes the human rights situation and the activities of her office in Guatemala from 1 January to 31 December 2020. She highlights advances and persisting challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights, with a focus on issues related to equality and non-discrimination, inclusive and sustainable human development, justice, democratic space and the human rights impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The report concludes with recommendations to various State institutions.

I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the agreement between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Government of Guatemala, signed in January 2005 and renewed in September 2020 for one year.1 The report covers the year 2020 and is based on information provided by State institutions and other stakeholders as well as information collected and analysed by OHCHR in Guatemala. The report also provides an overview of some of the key activities undertaken by OHCHR in Guatemala in 2020.

2. OHCHR provided technical assistance to State institutions, notably the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance, the National Council for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities (CONADI), the National Civil Police, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education, the Social Welfare secretariat, the National Council for the Assistance of Migrants (CONAMIGUA), the Presidential Commission on Human Rights (COPREDEH), the Office of the Attorney General, the judiciary, Congress, the Constitutional Court and the Office of the Ombudsperson. The Office also provided 65 capacity-building courses to State institutions; organized 39 forums on various human rights topics such as participation, health, water and sanitation, social protection, access to justice, violence against women and girls, and labour rights; and held webinars about the rights of indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities and young people.

3. The year 2020 was marked by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. OHCHR remained fully operational during the reporting period, and adjusted its activities in accordance with the guidelines and regulations established in the context of the pandemic. It continued to monitor the human rights situation remotely, through active engagement with public officials, communities and civil society at the national and local levels. OHCHR also produced 26 bulletins, guides and other publications,2 and launched four public information campaigns to promote the rights of indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the context of the pandemic. It assisted in the development of public campaigns by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the National Council for the Assistance of Migrants.3 It held nine regional workshops and two three regional forums with the participation of institutions and civil society organizations from Guatemala as well as from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Panama.

4. OHCHR followed up on 141 cases and situations of alleged human rights violations, and worked with victims, civil society and State institutions to mitigate human rights risks and prevent violations. Throughout its work, OHCHR collaborated with regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms