A coalition of Haiti- and U.S.-based organizations — Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Partners In Health, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, and Zanmi Lasante — are asking organizations to join us in calling on countries at the Donors’ Conference on Haiti to make human rights the guiding principle of international assistance to Haiti.
Prior to the earthquake, international assistance typically did not address the constant human rights violations experienced by the vast majority of Haitians. Too often, recipients of assistance were treated as victims deserving of charity, rather than individuals entitled to human rights. They were excluded from decisions affecting their basic rights to food, medical assistance, water, and housing.
The attached joint letter calls on governments to adopt a human rights-based approach—which requires empowering the Haitian people, strengthening the capacity of the government to guarantee human rights, and making assistance accountable and transparent to the Haitian people—for all assistance to Haiti.
We hope that you will join us in this call so that we can show donor governments that global civil society is united in solidarity with the Haitian people. Your support is crucial to ensure donor governments respect the human rights of all Haitians and do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
We will deliver this message to donor states, international financial institutions, and the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Haiti on March 17th, two weeks before the Donors’ Conference at the UN. If your organization would like to sign this letter, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 17, 2010 with the name of the organization and the country where it is located. Please note we can only take organizational signatures and cannot take any edits.