Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

American Rabbis Speak Out on DR’s Discriminatory Policies

After a trip to the Dominican Republic, a group of U.S. rabbis is inspired to speak out against DR’s unjust citizenship polities, which have resulted in countless people becoming stateless. The rabbis likened the treatment of people of Haitian descent in DR to the treatment of Jews at tragic times in world history. One rabbi hopes to mobilize American Jews on this issue. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. US rabbis speak out against Dominican Republic’s citizenship law Dominican Republic’s treatment of people of Haitian descent is like discrimination Jews have faced, rabbis say Renee Lewis, Al Jazeera America January 28, 2016 The Dominican Republic’s treatment of people of Haitian descent resembles the discrimination Jews have faced through their history, said a group of U.S. rabbis who visited the Caribbean island Thursday. Hundreds of thousands of […]

American Jewish Community Should Speak Against Deportations in DR

In comparing and drawing parallels between the current citizenship crisis in the Dominican Republic and Jewish history, particularly in the years leading to World War II, American Jewish leaders are calling for their community to respond. According to Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service, Jewish Americans have an obligation to speak out against the current situation in DR in order to avoid repeating history. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Op-Ed: American Jews must speak out for Haitians in Dominican Republic Ruth W. Messinger, Jewish Telegraphic Agency 28 July 2015 NEW YORK (JTA) — Fewer than 800 miles from our shores, a deeply disturbing crisis is unfolding as tens of thousands of citizens of the Dominican Republic face deportation from their country simply because of their heritage. Tragically, people of Haitian descent who were born in […]

Congress Passes Bill for Haiti Aid Accountability

After the 2010 earthquake, billions were donated and pledged to Haiti but over 4 years later, much of the money is unaccounted-for or still yet to be disbursed. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act, which recently passed through Congress, seeks to better account for US government money going to Haiti. Congress passes law promoting transparency in Haiti’s reconstruction Concerned about the slow disbursement of U.S. dollars in Haiti and problems with projects, U.S. lawmakers pass legislation giving them more oversight. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald July 25, 2014 Nearly five years after a devastating earthquake nearly flatten Haiti’s capital, the U.S. Congress on Friday passed legislation aimed at shedding light on how U.S. funds are used in the country’s reconstruction efforts. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014 requires the U.S. Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on […]

HAWG 4-Year Commemoration of Haiti Earthquake

This document compiles statements from 10 US-based and 6 Haitian organizations commemorating the four-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. HAWG is the Haiti Advocacy Working Group, a group of international development, faith-based, human rights and social justice organizations advocating on issues related to US-Haiti policy. IJDH’s statement is below.  Click HERE for the full document.   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH),, +1 404-217-1302. Nicole Phillips, Esq., Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH),, +509 4730-3359. Advocates for Cholera Victims Urge UN to Take Responsibility for Outbreak, U.S. Government to Promote Accountability (PORT-AU-PRINCE, January 6, 2014) – As Haiti prepares to mark the fourth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck in January 2010, attorneys at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and its sister […]

How Obama’s $2.8B To Haiti Can Be Harmful

By Josh Berkman, Associate Director for Media and Marketing at American Jewish World Service (AJWS). A supplemental bill that includes the $2.8 billion in emergency funding to Haiti is expected to hold a House committee mark-up this week. But mere allocation of this money for Haiti is not enough – how the money actually gets used is of paramount importance. To ensure U.S. aid to Haiti benefits Haitian farmers rather than international agribusiness, Congress must include language in the bill that make certain this money will be used to support community-based food production and procurement, cash vouchers and other programs that support local reconstruction efforts. American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is calling on Congress to include this language. You can help by contacting your representative through this form. The U.S. approach, to this point, has been to structure relief and reconstruction […]

AJWS Calls on Congress to Bring Haitian Voices into Reconstruction Talks

Press Release from the American Jewish World Service Organization President Ruth Messinger concerned that no Haitians will be included in today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing In advance of today’s hearing held by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations concerning Haiti’s reconstruction, American Jewish World Service president Ruth Messinger expressed her concern that Haitian voices be heard as plans for rebuilding begin: “I want to thank the committee for taking up this critical issue and the countless government officials for their dedication and desire to do what they can to assist Haiti in this time of need. “While I am pleased that this important hearing is being held and believe that the witnesses called have important information to share with Congress, I am disappointed that the witness list is devoid of Haitian voices. Haiti’s reconstruction should be led by Haitians. […]

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