Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN & US Accountability in the Haiti Cholera Epidemic

After Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, 1.4 million Haitians are left needing emergency assistance.  The recent natural disaster is bringing with it the resurgence of a human-made disaster: the cholera outbreak that began with the presence of United Nations peacekeeping forces in 2010.  Although the UN has taken responsibility, they’ve fallen short of apologizing. Combined with US efforts to undermine the former government of Aristide, cholera has become an epidemic in Haiti. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full text. How the U.S. and U.N. Set the Stage for a Major Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Sarah Lazare, Alternet October 11, 2016 Scientists say the warming of the ocean due to human-made climate change has intensified mega-storms like Hurricane Matthew, which recently tore through the Caribbean and parts of the United States, killing more than 1,000 people in Haiti alone, according to some […]

International Community Pushes Haitian Elections By Reducing Aid

At a time when Haitians are particularly vulnerable due to a drought and ensuing food shortages, the international community is withholding aid and donations. Throughout the electoral process, international actors have been urging Haiti to hold elections as soon as possible, despite rampant fraud and other problems with the elections. Now that Haiti has a transitional government which is set to end on May 14, the international community is upping the pressure to hold elections, even though many Haitians are calling for a verification of the previous rounds. As one Haiti expert puts it, “International assistance has always been ‘political,’ so this is not really new. Dependent countries like Haiti have very limited room to maneuver; their sovereignty is always at bay.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. As Haiti Political Crisis Deepens, International […]

How US Policy Causes Injustice in Haiti

Though the United States vowed to help Haiti rebuild after the earthquake, many of its policies towards Haiti lacked results or even worsened the situation. This article examines initiatives like the Caracol industrial park built after the 2010 earthquake, as well as US meddling in Haiti’s elections and labor to make Haiti more amenable to foreign interests. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Why Things Continue to Go Wrong in Haiti, and How U.S. Policy Is Responsible Washington has been meddling in a country it doesn’t believe should be allowed to chart its own path. Antony Loewenstein, AlterNet September 24, 2015 The industrial park in Caracol, northern Haiti, never receives tourists. It’s a collection of factories producing clothes for some of America’s leading retailers including Walmart and Target. The opening of the facility in 2012 […]

US Government Played Role in Suppressing Haitian Wages

With pressure from large companies like Hanes, the Obama Administration apparently fought to keep the Haitian minimu wage low.  Haitian garment workers struggle to make a living with about a $3/day minimum wage in the textile industry. Wikileaks Reveals Obama Administration’s Role in Stifling Haitian Minimum Wage American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss prefer to pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet January 16, 2014 Wikileaks. The ever-controversial leaker of the world’s best-kept secrets has published a wire on The Nation that reveals the Obama Administration fought to keep the Haitian minimum wage to 31 cents an hour. According to the published wire (which came to light thanks in large part to the Haiti Liberte, a newspaper based in Port-au-Prince and New York City), Haiti passed a law in 2012 raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. […]

NY Times Suggests It’s Pointless to Report Rape in Haiti, Ignoring Serious Efforts to Protect Women

By Meena Jagannath, AlterNet December 14, 2012 A recent New York Times op-ed offers only half the picture. What is the point of doing any work in Haiti? After all, the country is a mess and it’s hard to shake that habit. And its reputation. Athena Kolbe and Robert Muggah’s December 9 New York Times op-ed illustrates in detail the post-rape reality for a survivor of sexual violence in Haiti – a series of misfortunes that encapsulate all of Haiti’s failings in responding to rape. Yet the authors make no mention of the hard work of many groups that have been trying to improve the country’s reputation. The story is so vivid and real that I can imagine Wendy recounting it to me and my former colleagues at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) office in Port-au-Prince. Yet, it does Haiti a disservice by focusing […]

How can Haiti get back on its feet, 3 years after quake?

By Anastasia Moloney, Alertnet December 13, 2012 Houses in a flooded area of Haiti’s northern city of Cap Haitien, Nov 10, 2012, after heavy rain which also left up to 15 people dead. REUTERS/Logan Abassi/UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti BOGOTA (AlertNet) –  Nearly three years after a major earthquake hit Haiti, political stability remains fragile and reconstruction is slow, while public protests and donor fatigue are growing. On top of that, a cholera epidemic and a series of natural disasters, from drought to hurricanes, have swept the impoverished Caribbean nation. So far, just over half the $6.04 billion in aid to Haiti pledged by donors from 2010 to 2012 has been disbursed. Following are AlertNet interviews with experts and aid officials about what donors and the Haitian government need to focus on to help the country get back on its feet […]

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