Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Letter to UN Independent Expert on Haiti Post-Matthew

BAI, IJDH and five other human rights groups wrote a letter to United Nations Independent Expert Gustavo Gallón on the situation in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. Gallón will report to the UN Human Rights Council at the end of this month. The hope is that he includes language in his report that alerts the international community to the dire situation in post-Matthew Haiti and the need for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. We also hope that he encourages the Haitian government and international community to use a rights-based approach guided by human rights norms in their assistance to strengthen the country’s infrastructure and reduce their vulnerability to natural disasters.

A rights-based approach to Hurricane Matthew assistance (1) prioritizes capacity-building of the Haitian government and civil society; (2) ensures participation of communities affected by Matthew in the design and execution of assistance programs, with an emphasis on civil society organizations; (3) practices transparency by making information about the intervention accessible to the community; (4) ensures accountability to the target communities and Haitian government by providing monitoring, evaluation and complaint procedures; and, (5) insists on ensuring that the assistance does not discriminate against marginalized groups, with particular attention to women, children and elderly, disabled and LGBTI individuals.

Part of the letter is below. Click HERE for the full letter.

December 16, 2016

Dear Mr. Gustavo Gallón, Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti,
We congratulate you for your press statement issued on October 24, 2016, in particular, your recommendation that efforts to address the needs of Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew be redoubled.1 We also commend your commitment in prior reports to addressing human rights violations in Haiti that result from natural disasters.2
We would like to provide more information on the economic and social rights situation in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew and the human rights implications of international assistance. The destruction of homes, livelihood, livestock and crops is on a scale similar to the damage from the January 12, 2010, earthquake. Haitians call Matthew “ti 12 janvye” or “little 12 January”. But unfortunately the international community has not stepped up to help Haitian communities impacted by the hurricane. We ask for your help in alerting the international community to the dire situation in post-Matthew Haiti and the need for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.


Click HERE for the full letter.

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