Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Monthly Review: June 2011

Housing Rights:

Our Haitian affiliate, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) filed a
complaint against Delmas Mayor Wilson Jeudy for illegally evicting camp residents.

On Wednesday  June 1, 2011, the BAI filed a complaint with Haiti’s National Pros­e­cu­tor against Del­mas
Mayor Wil­son Jeudy for his recent spree of ille­gal evic­tions in dis­place­ment camps cre­ated after the
Jan­u­ary 12, 2010 earth­quake.  The BAI’s com­plaint was filed on behalf of indi­vid­ual vic­tims of the
evic­tions and charges Mayor Jeudy with vio­la­tions of the rights to life and hous­ing pro­tected by Haiti’s
Consti­tu­tion, as well as crimes against the per­son and prop­erty, artic­u­lated in the Hait­ian Penal Code.

Click here to read the press release

 

IJDH and partners jointly filed a request to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) to take further action on the urgent issue of forced evictions in Haiti’s
displacement camps.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Bureau
des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)
You.Me.We., and TransAfrica Forum jointly filed a request to IACHR
on June 15 to advocate an end to the forced evictions taking place in Haiti’s displacement camps
housing that are affecting hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors.  The request proposed,
among other actions, that the government place a moratorium on evictions from the camps until a
comprehensive return and resettlement plan is adopted that protects the human rights of the residents.

For link to IACHR request in English, click here

For letter from Jeena Shah, BAI Legal Fellow, click here

For Huffington Post article Displaced Women Demand Justice by IJDH volunteer lawyer Bill Quigley
and BAI Intern Jocelyn Brooks, click here

None of the 15 displacement camps that have received prior representation or
“know your rights” training from IJDH/BAI have been evicted.

Thank you for making this possible — forward to his email to 5 friends and help
us continue to defend the rights of homeless earthquake survivors!

 

Rape Accountability & Prevention Project (RAPP):

IJDH-BAI legal advocacy leads to fiftieth arrest for year in gender-based violence
cases. Our pilot Security and Sensitization project has resulted in no reported rapes
in
 May and June in the Place Petion camp where it was implemented.

 To learn more about our RAPP work, click here.

 

Duvalier Prosecution:

IJDH continues reconstructing an overview of Haiti’s government and military
administration under Duvalier’s regime and meeting with victims to accumulate
testimonies for the case.

After filing its first complaints on behalf of Duvalier victims in May, IJDH continues to build its case,
through locating and interviewing witnesses and victims in Haiti and North American and conducting
legal and factual research. We are particularly focusing on establishing the basis for a “command
responsibility” claim against Mr. Duvalier, the same type of claim used to convict the authors of the
holocaust and the mass atrocities in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia. To do this, we are collecting and
preparing the evidence that Mr. Duvalier knew or should have known that the soldiers and
paramilitaries under his command were committing crimes against humanity, and that he failed
to take adequate measures to stop or punish the perpetrators.

Our donor challenge still stands —$7,201.50 until we reach our $40,000 mark —
your donation will be matched up to $5,000!

 

Stagiaire Program:

Four Haitian law students began the Haiti Public Interest Lawyers Program,
a BAI program funded by the Center for Constitutional Rights– helping increase
the number of potential progressive lawyers in Haiti advocating on behalf of
Haiti’s poor majority.

 

Through our partnership and financial assistance of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
four Haitian legal candidates started our Haiti Public Interest Lawyers Program last month, which
provides students financial and academic support as they complete their memoire (80-100 page thesis)
andstage (apprenticeship). This year’s candidates come from diverse backgrounds and interests
, including one displacement camp resident, and a grassroots organizer, who understood the need to
have legal support behind lobbying efforts. With continued funding, successful candidates will have the
opportunity to join the BAI and expand our legal advocacy and organizing efforts in Haiti.

Staff and Volunteer Update:

Three new college interns begin work in the Boston Development
team — two come to us through our partnership with the
Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield in Minnesota.

Sonia Weiser, Henry Neuwirth and Sophie Greene, interns from NYU and Carleton College
respectively, are making progress on projects like social media development, event planning
and fundraising. Sophie and Henry are sponsored by the Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield
a non-profit partner organizaion to IJDH based in Minnesota.  The Haiti Justice Alliance of
Northfield engages with the Carleton College, Saint Olaf College, and Northfield communities to
raise money and awareness on issues related to human rights in Haiti. Theyare looking forward to
working at IJDH through the end of August and continuing to raise awareness about Haiti justice
issues upon returning to Minnesota in the fall.

IJDH has so many hard-working volunteers in our Boston office this summer that we all
need to take turns working from home to avoid a fire code violation!

Three legal interns– Amber Charles, Laura Mazor, and Jennifer Kirby, law students at Boston University
School of Law, George Washington School of Law, and Northeastern School of Law respectively– joined
us to assist in the Duvalier prosecution, immigration rights, as well as our initiatives against
gender-based violence in Haiti. Ronald Bernard, a Brandeis University Masters student, formally joined
our team in June and helps us translate documents into English, Creole and French. Julia Rogers, our
volunteer coordinator, studied at University of St. Andrews in Scotland before joining us in Boston this
June. And Jiyeong Seong, an IJDH development intern, and Seoul Women’s University undergraduate
student, started with us at the
end of April.

Annabella Jean Laurent, Krista Nylen and the INSPIRE team volunteer remotely, but are a huge help
with social media and making improvements on the IJDH website.

Our Haiti staff also welcomed 2 new summer interns — Jocy Brooks and Greger Calhan.  Jocy is a
student at Fordham University School of Law and Greger is studying at New York University.
They are both primarily working on the Housing Rights Advocacy Project as well as preparing for
Haiti’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review.

A big thank you to this talented and growing group of volunteers!

For more information on IJDH’s growing staff, interns and volunteers, click here.

 

Donor Highlight:

A big thank you to the Kelly family, IJDH supporters.

Kathy Kelly volunteered hundreds of hours at IJDH during the last school year, and now her kids are
getting involved!  Jack (16), Brian (15) and Megan (11) who previously ran a lemonade stand to raise
money for IJDH, worked all spring to buy a new desk for our expanding numbers of volunteers and
interns. The kidsgenerously contributed babysitting and weeding money to pay for half of the table
while Mom and Dad chipped in for the rest.  Brian Kelly even came into our office over a weekend
and assembled the table!  It is because of our wonderful network of donors and volunteers that
IJDH exists today. Thank you!

For more ways that you can get involved, visit our website at ijdh.org

 

New Podcast Series Begins

The IJDH Boston Office began publishing audio clips from BAI and IJDH staff members in Haiti and
around the world.  We hope this new podcast series will keep IJDH-BAI supporters up-to-date with
our projects, news and progress.  You can find the podcasts on our website www.ijdh.org under the
section Messages from Haiti.

Haiti in the News:

Wikileaks expose US suppression of Haiti

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/24/haiti_leaked_cables_expose_us_suppression

 

More from democracynow: Wikileaks reveal secret history of U.S. bullying in Haiti

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/3/wikileaks_cables_reveal_secret_history_of

 

Haiti Facts 17 Months after the Earthquake

http://www.countercurrents.org/quigley170110.htm

 

Migration as a Tool for Disaster Recovery: A Case Study on U.S. Policy Options for
Post-Earthquake Haiti – Working Paper 255

http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1425143/

Interview with Jose Luis Patrola, of the Rural Landless Workers’ Movement, on Haiti construction

http://www.otherworldsarepossible.org/another-haiti-possible/“internationalism-between-peoples”
-learning-and-constructing-haitians

Women News Network reports on conditions for IDPs

http://womennewsnetwork.net/2011/06/21/haiti-advocates-legal-petition/

Rainy Season Exposes Precariousness of Haiti’s Homeless Camps

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-schuller/rainy-season-exposes-prec_b_874582.html

As Hurricane Season Looms, Government Officers Destroy Haiti Tent Camps

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beatrice-lindstrom/as-hurricane-season-looms_b_868759.html

The Gazett reports that floods kill 13 as heavy rains pound Haiti

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Floods+kill+heavy+rains+pound+Haiti+Official/
4903070/story.html#ixzz1OhA5X6W8

Witness to Broken Promises in Haiti

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/03

Displaced Women Demand Justice in Port au Prince

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-quigley/displaced-women-demand ju_b_887640.html

For more information about the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) or human rights in Haiti, see our website, http://www.ijdh.org. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts (monthly),subscribe hereTo keep us fighting on the front lines for justice in Haiti, donate here.

IJDH is an approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

666 Dorchester Avenue | South Boston, MA 02127 | (617) 652-0876 | http://ijdh.org | info@ijdh.org

  

Contact IJDH

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

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org

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