Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Introduction During Hearing on Precautionary Measure 340-10: Women and Girls in Camps for Forcibly Displaced Persons in Haiti (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights)


Delivered to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

During a Hearing on Precautionary Measure 340-10 – Women and Girls in Camps for Forcibly Displaced Persons in Haiti

March 25, 2011



Good morning honorable Commissioners and distinguished representatives of the Government of Haiti. My name is Lisa Davis. I am the Human Rights Advocacy Director of MADRE, and Professor for the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law.

Petitioners on this case include, attorneys from MADRE, CUNY Law School, Women’s Link Worldwide, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, the Bureau of International Lawyers, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Law Firm Morrison and Foerster, and advocates from grassroots Haitian organizations, KOFAVIV, FAVILEK and KONAMAVID.

Here with us today is, Malya Villard-Appolon of KOFAVIV, who will discuss general conditions faced by the women and girls living in the 22 named displacement camps. Next we will hear from Eramithe Delva of KOFAVIV, who will discuss in more detail, issues women face. Then, I will talk about the obstacles to implementing the Commission’s recommendations. Lastly, Katherine Romero of Women’s Link will discuss our suggested recommendations. Also with us is Najeda Nelson, volunteer with MADRE who will be providing translation, Jocie Philisten of KOFAVIV and Annie Gell of the Bureau.

We are here today to present the immediate priorities for displaced women and girls, and obstacles to implementation of the Commission’s Decision for Precautionary Measures, issued on December 22nd. We regret to report, that since the Commission’s Decision, there has been minimal progress made towards compliance, which has resulted in a relentless epidemic of sexual violence, and continued impunity.

The 2010 recommendations, combined with the long-term recommendations, outlined in the Commission’s 2009 report on Haiti,[1] provide a comprehensive roadmap for addressing and preventing gender-based violence and related discrimination against women and girls in Haiti.This Commission, due to its expertise in international human rights law, is in a unique position, to assist the incoming Haitian government, UN agencies and other key civil society actors in implementing these recommendations.

[1] Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on Haiti, “The Right of Women in Haiti to be Free from Violence and Discrimination.” (2009).

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