Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom Featured in Huffington Post

Beatrice Lindstrom is a human rights lawyer who has been fighting for UN accountability in Haiti for the past 5 years. Growing up in Korea and Sweden, she has always viewed her community as global rather than local, but she only became involved with social justice work when she went to Thailand after the tsunami. During her time in Thailand, Beatrice became aware of the many structural injustices that plague the international community. She attended the NYU School of Law to learn about human rights but never planning on taking the bar examinations. Through her studies and her experiences in Haiti, she realized that litigation was a complement to social justice work and continued with the profession. Beatrice went to Haiti as part of an NYU fellowship where she worked with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). She had only been there only a couple […]

Guild Lawyers Help to Build Haiti Back More Justly

 Blaine Bookey, Mass Dissent  April 2010 The Haitian Proverb, dèyè mòn gen mòn, meaning, “beyond mountains, there are mountains,” has taken on new meaning since January 12, 2010. With 230,000 and counting dead, thousands more injured or maimed, and millions pushed into further poverty and despair, Haiti faces enormous challenges. Developing a long-term legal response that advocates for the human rights of earthquake victims and reduces Haiti’s vulnerability to the next environmental, economic or political disaster will play a central role in overcoming those challenges. Haiti’s devastation exposed the disastrous effects of decades-old policies that systematically undermine the Haitian government and ignore the needs of the majority of its people. The earthquake itself was a natural phenomenon, but its horrible toll is largely the product of manmade factors. The international community, including the United States, implemented neoliberal “adjustments” and austerity measures […]

With cheap food imports, Haiti can’t feed itself

By JONATHAN M. KATZ, The Associated Press PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The earthquake not only smashed markets, collapsed warehouses and left more than 2.5 million people without enough to eat. It may also have shaken up the way the developing world gets food. Decades of inexpensive imports – especially rice from the U.S. – punctuated with abundant aid in various crises have destroyed local agriculture and left impoverished countries such as Haiti unable to feed themselves. While those policies have been criticized for years in aid worker circles, world leaders focused on fixing Haiti are admitting for the first time that loosening trade barriers has only exacerbated hunger in Haiti and elsewhere. They’re led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton – now U.N. special envoy to Haiti – who publicly apologized this month for championing policies that destroyed Haiti’s rice production. […]

U.S. Brags Haiti Response is a “Model” While More Than a Million Remain Homeless in Haiti

By Bill Quigley Bill is the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a frequent visitor to Haiti for human rights work over the past decade.  You can reach him at Despite the fact that over a million people remained homeless in Haiti one month after the earthquake, the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Ken Merten, is quoted at a State Department briefing on February 12, saying “In terms of humanitarian aid delivery…frankly, it’s working really well, and I believe that this will be something that people will be able to look back on in the future as a model for how we’ve been able to sort ourselves out as donors on the ground and responding to an earthquake.” What?  Haiti is a model of how the international government and donor community should respond to an earthquake?  The […]

Haiti Numbers – 27 Days After Quake

By Bill Quigley.  Bill has visited Haiti numerous times working for human rights.  He is legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.  His email is 890 million.  Amount of international debt that Haiti owes creditors.  Finance ministers from developing countries announced they will forgive $290 million.  Source: Wall Street Journal 644 million.  Donations for Haiti to private organizations have exceed $644 million.  Over $200 million has gone to the Red Cross, who had 15 people working on health projects in Haiti before the earthquake.  About $40 million has gone to Partners in Health, which had 5,000 people working on health in Haiti before the quake.   Source:  New York Times. 1 million.  People still homeless or needing shelter in Haiti.  Source: MSNBC. 1 million.  People who have been given food by the UN World Food Program in Port […]

Haiti Beyond the Cleanup

By William Fisher Truthout News Analysis Haiti experts are warning that unless the international community comes up with new, more imaginative and more inclusive approaches to reconstruction and development in the earthquake-ravaged nation, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country can look forward to more of the same. They see the suffering and deprivation caused by the earthquake as a human and physical disaster. But they also see it as an opportunity to change the way aid is allocated, managed and distributed so that it results in progress that works for all the people, not simply the country’s elites. The goal, they say, is better-built roads and buildings, sound education, infrastructure and public health and justice systems. They believe that this goal demands an approach to development planning that calls for the active participation of the Haitian people. “Without it,” says Robert […]

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