Information on the refugee status determination process in Honduras, the rights conferred by such status, and on how many claimants from Arab countries were accepted as refugees from 1993 to 1996 [HND28161.E]

The information that follows was provided during a 30 October 1997 telephone interview with the Research Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPRODEH), a non-government office that serves as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) liaison in Honduras and deals with refugee cases and related matters in that country.

The Honduran government is reviewing a bill to establish a refugee determination system, but currently has no legally established system for handling claims for asylum or refugee status. Requests for asylum or refugee status have been dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Despite the lack of legal provisions, in practice the immigration authorities and the UNHCR liaison (CIPRODEH) receive claims for asylum or refugee status, review the cases, and immigration authorities grant those accepted as refugees a temporary or provisional migratory status indicated by a provisional residence card (carnet de residencia provisional). Refugees thus become temporary residents of Honduras, albeit under one of two categories: refugees under UNHCR mandate (bajo mandato del ACNUR), in which only the UNHCR recognizes the person as a refugee and notifies the Honduran government of this, or refugees under the protection of the Honduran state with participation of the UNHCR. In either case, the person is a legal resident of Honduras and generally enjoys the same rights as other legal residents of Honduras. Honduras adhered to the Geneva Convention with reservations which entitled the state to limit refugees' rights to employment, movement and services, to prevent their possible detrimental impact on Hondurans' employment, security and well-being; however, in practice these limitations are not applied.

Honduras has had no requests for asylum or refugee status by individuals from the Middle East or Africa in this decade. However, CIPRODEH knows that during these years refugees or migrants from the Middle East and Africa have passed through Honduras on their way to other countries, without approaching the UNHCR liaison or Honduran immigration authorities' offices to request asylum or refugee status.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Centro de Investigacion para la Promocion de los Derechos Humanos (CIPRODEH), Tegucigalpa. 30 October 1997. Telephone interview with representative.