Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

US Senators & Reps Urge DHS to Extend TPS for Haiti

U.S. Senators and Representatives from Flordia wrote to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly to extend Haiti’s TPS designation when the current 18-month period expires on July 22. Signatories include US Senators Rubio and Nelson and US Representatives Alcee Hastings, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, and Lois Frankel. March 24, 2017 Honorable John F. Kelly Secretary Department of Homeland Security 3801 Nebraska Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20016 Dear Secretary Kelly: We write to encourage you to exercise your authority under Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a) to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals who have been residing in the United States and benefitting from this program. … Read the full letter here.

Former Haitian Mayor Hiding in Massachusetts Sued for Human Rights Violations

Jean Morose Viliena fled Haiti when he was indicted on murder, battery and property destruction charges by Haitian courts in 2009. Since then, he has apparently been working as a licensed school bus driver and an Uber driver in Massachusetts, despite his history of silencing political dissidents in the town he oversaw. Instead of being prosecuted for his crimes, the Martelly government appointed Viliena mayor of Les Irois in 2012. Now that there is a case against Viliena in the U.S., this will be a test for Haiti’s new government to see whether it will allow human rights abusers to continue getting away with their crimes. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Boston bus driver and former mayor in Haiti sued for human rights abuses in U.S. court Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 23, 2017 A […]

Haiti’s New Prime Minister Seeks to Unite and Heal Country

After confirmation by the Haitian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, physician Guy Lafontant rose to second-in-command in the Haitian government. As the new Prime Minister, he urged the country to unite and build bridges between polarized, unequal and marginalized communities. Lafontant also stressed the importance of major reforms, and, like President Jovenel Moise, he committed the new administration to prioritizing agricultural investments. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. New prime minister urges Haitians to heal deep divisions David McFadden, Associated Press March 22, 2017 Haiti’s new prime minister on Tuesday urged this deeply polarized country to bridge divisions, and he vowed to bring steady advances even while acknowledging that the struggling nation has no shortage of accelerating problems. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, a physician and political outsider approved as Haiti’s No. 2 official after clearing a final parliamentary hurdle […]

Investigative Report Highlights Systemic Nature of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in MINUSTAH

While instances of sexual exploitation and abuse have been widely documented in the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, a new investigative report suggests that the number of formal allegations drastically underrepresents the extent of the crimes; sexual exploitation and abuse in MINUSTAH indicates a systemic problem in both the peacekeeping mission and the UN’s approach to bringing justice to the survivors. UN actions to address issues of sexual exploitation and abuse have been inadequate to affect real change, and have even deterred more people from reporting. This report highlights the preliminary findings from a 27-day investigation by independent investigator Mark Snyder, and strongly urges the UN to launch an immediate and in-depth investigation into the abuses. Click HERE to watch a new Fault Lines documentary entitled “Haiti By Force: UN Sex Abuse.” Part of the introduction to the investigative report is shown below. Click HERE for the full […]

UN Emphasizes Development Cooperation for Water and Sanitation Improvement

        “Development cooperation is key to realizing rights to safe drinking water and sanitation” – UN expert GENEVA (21 March 2016) – Everyone involved in development cooperation is being urged by a UN expert to work together to ensure that the human rights of water and sanitation are available to all people around the world. The appeal comes from the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation,  Léo Heller, on World Water Day (22 March) and aims to shed light on the key role of development cooperation in the realization of the rights to water and sanitation. Mr. Heller says: “development cooperation is a crucial element in the funding of these services in many developing countries and seems to be increasing in accordance with commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”   […]

Secretary-General Guterres Must Ensure the UN’s Moral Debt to Haiti is Paid

In December 2016, after six years of trying to avoid blame for the cholera epidemic it brought to Haiti in 2010, the United Nations apologized for its role and announced a $00 million New Approach to dealing with cholera. Months later, the fund has only raised about $2 million – from voluntary contributions from South Korea, France Chile, India and Liechtenstein. It is now up to a new Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to make sure the New Approach continues.  He “needs to use every bit of skill and good will to compel and cajole member nations and philanthropies to make the cholera campaign succeed — and with it, to settle the United Nations’ moral debt to Haiti.” Part of the editorial is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. Accepts Blame but Dodges the Bill in Haiti Editorial Board, The […]

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