Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half Hour for Haiti: Fear of Evictions for Two Hundred Families

Amnesty International Urgent Action Alert: Fear for Eviction of Two Hundred Families

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Urgent Action Required

Amnesty International recently issued an action alert calling for protection for the earthquake survivors in Camp Mosayik, who are facing imminent and illegal eviction. IJDH and the BAI are working with the Mosayik Community and fully support Amnesty International’s Action. Please make your voice heard, you can make a difference.

Families living in a makeshift camp called Camp Mosayik in the Delmas municipality of the capital Port-au-Prince have been threatened with eviction. On the afternoon of 9 September four people claiming to represent the Delmas municipal authorities arrived at the camp. They proceeded to mark several shelters on the perimeter of the camp for demolition on 13 September. They subsequently told residents that the entire camp would be demolished on that day. No court order for the eviction or any other legal notice was presented. The eviction threat could also affect the neighbouring camp, called Camp Mormon. An Amnesty International delegation in Haiti was informed by the Delmas municipal authorities that they had not sent anyone to the camp to inform of evictions and believed that the individuals must be criminals looking to seize the land.

The residents of Camp Mosayik staged a demonstration on 13 September in order to protest against the recent eviction threat. Although the eviction did not occur that day, the families live in constant fear that at any moment their meagre shelters and possessions could be destroyed through an eviction process.

In May 2011, more than 300 families were forcibly evicted from two makeshift camps in the municipality of Delmas by local municipal authorities who were accompanied by officers from the Haitian National Police.

Thousands of homeless Haitians were forced to settle on vacant plots of land in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in 2010, including several hundred families in Delmas municipality which is now Camp Mosayik. The residents live in improvised shelters, and the camp has poor sanitary conditions and no running water.

Please write immediately in French or your own language:

  • Urge the authorities to ensure that residents of Camp Mosayik and Camp Mormon 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 basic shelter and housing and protection against arbitrary displacement.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 OCTOBER 2011 TO:

Mayor of Delmas
Wilson Jeudy
Rue Charbonnière
Delmas 33, Haiti
B.P. 13399
Email: wilsonjeudy@yahoo.fr
Salutation: Monsieur le Maire / Dear Mayor

President
Monsieur Michel Martelly
Palais National
Rue Magny, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Fax: + 1 202-745-7215 (via Haiti embassy in the USA)
Email: communications@presidentmartelly.ht
Salutation: Monsieur le Président/ Dear President Martelly

And copies to:

Association of human rights lawyers

Bureau d’Avocats Internationaux

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

E-mail: avokahaiti@aol.com

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.

URGENT ACTION

FEAR OF EVICTION FOR TWO HUNDRED FAMILIES

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is not the first time the families in Camp Mosayik have received eviction threats. In March 2011, a lawyer claiming to represent the owner of the land visited the camp accompanied by police officers and informed the residents they had to leave immediately, despite not presenting a court order. No evictions took place at the time but the threat persists until now.

In May 2011 more than 300 homeless families were forcibly evicted 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.

There are currently 680,000 persons living in more than 1,000 camps in Haiti and 70 per cent of these face threats or imminent eviction, in most cases without due legal process. According to figures from the United Nations, since the January 2010 earthquake, 67,162 people have been affected by evictions, and the number of camps under threat of eviction have risen from 87 in July 2010 to 348 camps in July 2011, an increase of 400 per cent.

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.
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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
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