Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Support IJDH

November 30, 2006

Update: Sorry we missed last week’s alert. We were traveling, so we decided to give all of us a week off. This week’s good news comes courtesy of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and U.S. Treasury Department. The IDB has agreed in principle to cancel some of Haiti’s debt. That is another step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go: the Bank has not determined how much debt will be cancelled, and it envisions economic “reforms” that will make life harder for Haiti’s poor (see Jubilee USA Press Release). The U.S. Treasury Department deserves credit for pushing the initiative this far, we all deserve credit for pushing members of Congress to push Treasury. There’s more pushing to do, we’ll send details in future alerts.
Coming Attractions: Sunday, December 3, is election day in Haiti, for 29,000 candidates running for 1,420 municipal posts. The elections have attracted little attention, in part because there are no national offices at stake. But as our summary of Haiti’s ASEC System explains, Sunday’s winners will have the opportunity to influence national policy through judicial appointments, financial oversight and the nomination of a permanent electoral council. Our website,, has a special section on the elections, including news stories and reports from activists on the ground. Over the weekend, the Haiti JusticeBlog will be updated more frequently, so check that too. In New York, the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP), Haiti’s largest university scholarship program, is holding a Haitian Art Auction Fundraiser on December 1. This Week’s Action: This week we are asking you to help keep the Half Hour for Haiti alerts coming and keep the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) working for justice for Haiti’s poor. BAI and IJDH have had a productive 2006:-we helped Haitians reverse the coup d’etat by keeping activists out of jail, supporting organizing work in Haiti and coordinating opposition to the dictatorship from abroad;-our debt cancellation campaign has led to announced debt cancellation by both the IDB and the World Bank;

-we have informed thousands of people about human rights in Haiti through speaking at universities, churches and conferences throughout the world. Our website informs 500 visitors a day, our analyses are featured in newspapers, websites and newsletters on five continents;

Half-Hour for Haiti is a keystone in building a committed, informed Haiti solidarity community.
But as much as we have accomplished, there is still much more to do. Political prisoners remain in Haiti’s jails, and Haiti’s debts are not yet cancelled. Violations of economic human rights- malnutrition, children dying of preventable and treatable disease or kept out of school, abusive employment- continue to afflict most Haitians.
The BAI will continue to stand up for political prisoners in Haitian courts, and will also provide legal support to grassroots activists, labor groups and parents fighting for their economic human rights. IJDH will carry this fight to the world through action alerts, analysis, organizing and lawsuits. We are working on a program to train the next generation of Haitian human rights lawyers, and are preparing cutting edge advocacy tools using information technology.
This exciting work can make a real difference in the lives of poor Haitians, but we need your help. IJDH and BAI receive no funds from any government or political party. Most of our support comes from individuals like you, who care about justice in Haiti and contribute what they can as an investment in a more just future for Haiti. We know our donors sacrifice to support us, so we make sure your generosity goes far, by working long hours for short salaries, using donated office space, equipment and support services and keeping expenses down (for details, see our financial statements at the end of our Annual Report).
So please consider supporting our work. Donations to IJDH can be made with a credit card or Paypal account on our website, Checks may be sent to IJDH, Box 745, Joseph, OR 97846. IJDH is a charitable organization under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States; all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
For more information about the Half-Hour for Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, or human rights in Haiti, see To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per week, send an email to

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury St
Boston, MA

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
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