IJDH and BAI Focus Discussion of Haiti Fuel Increase Protests on Root Causes
IJDH and BAI influenced the discussion of Haiti’s July 6 civil unrest, in both Haiti and the U.S., to focus on the misery and corruption that left Haitians feeling that provocative demonstrations were the only way they could make their voices heard. BAI’s Managing Director Mario Joseph, in a press release, decried the Haitian government’s willingness to execute the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) unpopular and disastrous economic policy while ignoring the pain and the suffering that the policy will inflict on the Haiti’s poor. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon’s Op-Ed, in the Miami Herald noted that “Haiti’s poverty, like the fuel-price increases, is the product of decisions made by those who possess wealth and power in Haiti and abroad — with a stunning absence of input from the majority of Haitians who are poor.” Concannon criticized both Haitian government and IMF’s failed economic policy that is designed to only protect the interest of the wealthiest Haitians at the expense of the poor on the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC/NPR in New York City) and the morning show (WBAI/Pacifica, New York).
With the majority of Haitians living under USD$2 per day, rampant corruption and deeply flawed elections, it was almost inevitable that a drastic reduction in fuel subsidies would trigger street unrests. IJDH and BAI work every day to increase the Haitian people’s ability to non-violently assert their rights through the Legal Observer Program, defending protesters arrested illegally, the civic engagement network and making the courts more accessible for all Haitians.
BAI’s Mario Joseph was featured in a Vice News/HBO video report, explaining why the planned return of Haiti’s army will bring a return of increased state violence.
Human Rights Organizations Demand UN Consult with Haiti’s Cholera Victims
Over 60 human rights organizations, including the Amnesty International, joined the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) in a letter urging the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to consult with the victims of cholera in Haiti. They also called on Mr. Guterres to follow through on the promise made by his predecessor to raise $400 million to eradicate cholera, and compensate the victims. The organizations noted that “[t]he UN has an opportunity with the New Approach to help rebuild the lives of thousands of cholera victims and set a powerful example that the UN will embody the principles of human rights and rule of law that it promotes to others.”
IJDH and BAI Continue the Fight for Justice for Victims of Sexual Assault and Exploitation
Haitian press articles on the obstacles facing sexual assault victims- and one successful prosecution—featuring BAI’s work was in Le Nouvelliste and Loop Haiti. IJDH Staff Attorney Nicole Phillips told a PBS Frontline documentary on Haitian mothers’ paternity claims against UN soldiers in Haiti “How are you supposed to file a claim against somebody from the UN who had left the country and now lives on another continent in a country that speaks another language? … The hurdles are almost insurmountable for her.”
IJDH Is Accepting Applications for Fall 2018 Internships
IJDH is now accepting applications for its Fall 2018 Communications & Development Internships and Legal Internships. We count on interns as a critical part of our work. Most interns find their time with us to be exciting; many find it life-changing. Please consider passing this message on to anyone in your network who might be interested. Interns and volunteers at IJDH are unpaid, but internships provide significant training in nonprofit administration, development, and communication, and human rights advocacy.
Join IJDH this fall as a communications & development or legal intern.
‘Scared to death’: Miami Haitians fear family separations if protected status expires, by Martin Vassolo, Miami Herald, July 24, 2018
Op-Ed: If Haiti’s government does not confront poverty, corruption, more unrest will follow, by Brian Concannon Jr., Miami Herald, July 17, 2018
Haiti’s Army Is Making A Comeback 20 Years After Disbanding, by Joshua Hersch and Harriet Dedman, Vice News, June 25, 2018