Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Rights Groups Urge Respect for Human Rights in Delivering Respect to Haiti

Rights Groups Urge Respect for Human Rights in Delivering Respect to Haiti In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, IJDH joined six prominent rights groups and issued a statement today calling for relief efforts to be grounded in human rights principles, transparency, and respect for the human dignity of all Haitians. The groups—the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), and TransAfrica Forum—warned that failure to do so could aggravate the already disastrous impacts of the earthquake. “There is no doubt that Haiti’s hungry, thirsty, injured, and sick urgently need all the assistance the international community can provide, but it is critical that the underlying goal […]


DATE: January 14, 2010 SOURCE: New York Times, TEXT: Once again, the world weeps with Haiti. The earthquake that struck on Tuesday did damage on a scale that scarcely could have been imagined had we all not seen the photos and videos and read the survivors’ agonizing accounts — of the sudden crumbling of mountainside slums, schools, hospitals, even the Parliament building and presidential palace. Whenever disaster strikes, we are reminded that Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere. And each time there is a disaster, this country and others help — for a while. This time must be different. Haiti urgently needs relief to dig out and shelter survivors, and to nurse, feed and clothe people who had little to start with and now have nothing left. But Haiti needs more. It needs a commitment to finally […]

Reach out to Haiti

SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel,,0,3682365.story DATE: January 14, 2010 Nothing prepared the hemisphere’s longest suffering people for the catastrophe that befell them on Tuesday. Not Haiti’s abject poverty. Not its history of political corruption and military coups. Not even its disproportionate experience with natural disasters. And nothing will allow the Haitians who survived it to get back to their feet, save an international response on the scale of the earthquake that killed perhaps hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The world hasn’t glimpsed such devastation since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed almost 300,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Hospitals and schools demolished. Entire neighborhoods leveled. The country’s parliament and government palace turned to rubble. Unable to respond to the crisis, Haiti’s government fell to imploring the international community to rescue the nation while its […]

Brian Concannon and Bill Quigley Interview on Democracy Now!

Listen to IJDH Director and Center for Constitutional Rights Director here.

Country Without a Net

By TRACY KIDDER New York Times Op-Ed Contributor THOSE who know a little of Haiti�s history might have watched the news last night and thought, as I did for a moment: �An earthquake? What next? Poor Haiti is cursed.� But while earthquakes are acts of nature, extreme vulnerability to earthquakes is manmade. And the history of Haiti�s vulnerability to natural disasters � to floods and famine and disease as well as to this terrible earthquake � is long and complex, but the essence of it seems clear enough. Haiti is a country created by former slaves, kidnapped West Africans, who, in 1804, when slavery still flourished in the United States and the Caribbean, threw off their cruel French masters and created their own republic. Haitians have been punished ever since for claiming their freedom: by the French who, in the […]

Haiti’s Angry God

By POOJA BHATIA New York Times Op-Ed Contributor PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti FOR most of the past 20 hours I�ve been hiking the earthquake-rubbled streets of Port-au-Prince. Tuesday night, when we had less idea of the scope of the devastation, there was singing all over town: songs with lyrics like �O Lord, keep me close to you� and �Forgive me, Jesus.� Preachers stood atop boxes and gave impromptu sermons, reassuring their listeners in the dark: �It seems like the Good Lord is hiding, but he�s here. He�s always here.� The day after, as the sun exposed bodies strewn everywhere, and every fourth building seemed to have fallen, Haitians were still praying in the streets. But mostly they were weeping, trying to find friends and family, searching in vain for relief and walking around in shock. If God exists, he�s really got it […]

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