Amnesty International Urgent Action Alert: Eviction Threat for Makeshift Camp in Haiti
Be Part of the Solution for Haiti: Make a Difference a Half an Hour at a time
Amnesty International recently issued a second action alert this week calling for protection for the earthquake survivors in Palais de l’Art, who are facing imminent and illegal eviction. IJDH and the BAI are working with the Palais de l’Art Community and fully support Amnesty International’s Action. Please make your voice heard, you can make a difference.
Over 300 people who have been living in a makeshift camp in the capital of Haiti since their homes were destroyed in the earthquake in January 2010 have been threatened with forced eviction. Amnesty International is concerned that if evicted they may not receive alternative adequate accommodation and will be forced to live on the streets.
People living in a makeshift camp called Palais de l’Art in the Delmas municipality of the capital Port-au-Prince are facing imminent forced eviction. The owner of the land where the camp is located – in the car park of the Palais de l’Art events centre – told the residents on 9 September that they would be evicted ten days later. The owner did not present a court order for the eviction or any other legal notice at that time. During a visit to the camp on 17 September an Amnesty International delegation were told by the owner that he would return in two weeks time to “kick them out”. The 112 families – approximately 330 people – have lived in the camp since being left homeless after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. They have not been offered alternative accommodation and if evicted will be forced to live on the streets.
The camp was subject to threat of eviction last year. The Ministry of Interior reached a deal with the landowner which gave him compensation for allowing the displaced persons to remain on site for six months. Now that the six months has come to an end, the landowner wants his land returned. In June, he locked the entrance gate to the camp for several days, forcing the residents of the camp to climb over a five-foot-high wall in order to enter and leave the property. He also disabled a water storage cistern leaving the camp’s inhabitants without water.
Like thousands of homeless Haitians who were forced to settle on vacant plots of land in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in January 2010, the families now living in Camp Palais de l’Art live in improvised shelters with poor sanitary conditions and no running water. They do not wish to remain on the land but want to be provided with adequate alternative accommodation so they can finally start rebuilding their lives after the earthquake.
Please write immediately in French or your own language:
- Urge the authorities to ensure that residents of Camp Palais de l’Art are not evicted without due process, adequate notice, consultation and that all of those affected have access to adequate alternative accommodation;
- Urge them to comply with the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights which call for a moratorium on all evictions from Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and the transfer of anyone unlawfully evicted to places with minimum sanitary and security conditions;
- Remind them that UN Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons state that such persons have the right to an adequate standard of living, including shelter, housing and protection against arbitrary displacement.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 OCTOBER 2011 TO:
Minister of Justice a.i.
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
18 Rue Charles Summer, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
Director of political affairs and human rights, Ministry of the Interior
Pierre Canisius Guignard
Directeur des affaires politiques et des droits humains,
DMinistère de l’Intérieur Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Salutation: Monsieur le Directeur / Dear Director
Copies to :
(These will be collected and distributed to relevant parties)
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Eviction Threat for Makeshift Camp in Haiti
There are currently 680,000 people living in more than 1,000 makeshift camps in Haiti following the earthquake in January 2010. According to figures from the United Nations, since the earthquake 67,162 people have been affected by evictions and the number of camps under threat of eviction has risen from 87 in July 2010 to 348 in July 2011. This is an increase of 400 percent.
Many of the camps under threat of eviction are located in the municipality of Delmas in Port-au-Prince. In May more than 300 homeless families were forcibly evicted by from two makeshift camps in the municipality of Delmas by local municipal authorities who were accompanied by officers from the Haitian National Police. These families were among hundreds of thousands who had been left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake and who had no alternative but to make their own shelters wherever they could.
At the time, the Mayor of Delmas stated that within the next three months he intended to “evacuate” everyone in public places in the municipality of Delmas, in order to help Haiti’s efforts to attract tourism and investment in the country. The Mayor of Delmas ordered the eviction of all the families in these camps without prior notification or consultation with those affected. Municipal workers and police officers accompanying the Mayor pulled down and tore the tents and tarpaulins of the families. By the time the authorities arrived, some residents had already left for their daily activities and when they returned they found their frail shelters destroyed. Their personal belongings were seized or destroyed during the operation.
Several hundred families living in Camp Mosayik and neighbouring Camp Mormon, both in Delmas, are also currently under threat of eviction without having been offered alternative accommodation.
On 18 November 2010 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued precautionary measures calling on the Haitian authorities to adopt a moratorium on all evictions from camps housing people internally displaced after the January 2010 earthquake. The precautionary measures also called for anyone who is unlawfully evicted to be transferred to places with minimum sanitary and security conditions. States are obligated to adopt and implement the precautionary measures issued by the Commission.
Thank you for taking action for social justice on this critically important issue.
Click Here to See the Original Action Alert from Amnesty International