Honduras: Facilitating health care in detention

15 March 2016
Honduras: Facilitating health care in detention
Everyone has the right to access decent health-care services, regardless of their legal situation. CC BY-NC-ND/CICR/J. Cornejo

Tegucigalpa (ICRC) – Honduras's National Penitentiary Institute (INP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today inaugurated a medical clinic in Gracias prison in the region of Lempira. The prison's 500 inmates will now enjoy decent basic medical and dental care.

"Health is a fundamental right. The State has a duty to ensure that everyone has access to health services, without discrimination," said Eduardo Ubierna, ICRC head of mission in Honduras. "Initiatives like this clinic mean that the right measures are being taken to ensure that the prison population has access to decent health-care services, on a par with the rest of the population, regardless of their legal situation."

The construction of this new facility comes under the plan of action to improve and modernize the prison system in Honduras which was signed by the government and the ICRC in May 2015. The plan selected three pilot detention facilities – Gracias, La Esperanza and Marcala – to undergo upgrades to improve material conditions of detention.

The new clinic belongs to the health department's network, and will therefore be involved in wider efforts by the authorities to step up health-related monitoring and protection in the region.

"Opening this clinic is another step towards modernizing the country's penitentiary system in line with international standards and upholding respect for human dignity," said the director of the INP, Colonel Luis Robelo Valladares Castellanos.

Work is also underway in these three detention facilities to bring the legal aspects of the treatment of prisoners into line with international standards and rules.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and to provide them with assistance.

For further information, please contact:
Érika Patricia Tovar, ICRC Mexico, tel: +52 55 2581 2110 or +52 55 2755 1794
Francisco José Pavón, ICRC Honduras, tel: +504 9452-5422 or +504 2239 3187