Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Rights Groups Urge Respect for Human Rights in Delivering Respect to Haiti

Rights Groups Urge Respect for Human Rights in Delivering Respect to Haiti

In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, IJDH joined six prominent rights groups and issued a statement today calling for relief efforts to be grounded in human rights principles, transparency, and respect for the human dignity of all Haitians. The groups—the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), and TransAfrica Forum—warned that failure to do so could aggravate the already disastrous impacts of the earthquake.

“There is no doubt that Haiti’s hungry, thirsty, injured, and sick urgently need all the assistance the international community can provide, but it is critical that the underlying goal of improving human rights drives the distribution of every dollar of aid given to Haiti,” said Loune Viaud, Director of Strategic Planning and Operations at Zanmi Lasante. “The only way to avoid escalation of this crisis is for international aid to take a long-term view and strive to rebuild a stronger Haiti—one that includes a government that can ensure the basic human rights of all Haitians and a nation that is empowered to demand those rights.”

“The magnitude of the catastrophe is not entirely a result of natural disaster but rather, a history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment of the Haitian people through a series of misguided polices,” said Brian Concannon Jr., Director of IJDH. “Lack of donor accountability and continued aid volatility will only guarantee even greater suffering.” Read More

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