Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Open Letter from Haitian Diaspora to President of Haiti for Standing Claims Commission

PDF version available View in French The Haitian diaspora condemns the negligence of the United Nations on the matter of the cholera epidemic and requests that the Haitian government obtains justice for the victims. The diaspora calls for the creation of a commission to gather claims for compensation for the epidemic. They write to the President of Haiti for swift action in obtaining justice for the cholera victims.  Your Excellency, We write to you as leaders in the Haitian diaspora to highlight a critical opportunity for the Haitian Government to ensure that cholera victims finally obtain justice for the harms they have suffered as a result of the United Nations’ negligence. The Haitian Government has a time sensitive opportunity to initiate a standing claims commission to hear cholera victims’ claims related to injury, illness and death, and determine compensation by […]

BAI/IJDH Response to Haiti Protests

                             Building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice     Dear IJDH/BAI Community: As you know, this month Haiti is experiencing a wave of protests, some of them violent, and disruption of government (including the Prime Minister’s resignation) and daily life. We are relieved to report that the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) team in Haiti is safe, although some members spent a night in the office when they could not go home safely. The protests were sparked by the announcement of crippling fuel price increases required by an International Monetary Fund bailout agreement. But the unrest has deep roots in Haiti’s history of poverty, corruption and foreign manipulation, and more recent roots in the flawed elections of 2015-2016 and the ostentatious corruption of the current government. BAI responded […]

If Haiti’s government does not confront poverty, corruption, more unrest will follow

Brian Concannon, The Miami Herald July 17, 2018 Saturday’s resignation of Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, along with the suspension of controversial fuel price rises, will bring temporary respite from the latest social unrest in the country. But they will not resolve the problem underlying the protests — the Haitian people’s inability to demand better governance and basic services from its leaders. In a 1962 speech to the Organization of American States, President Kennedy urged the United States and “those who possess wealth and power” in the hemisphere’s less wealthy nations to enact reforms to allow the people of the Americas “to hope for a suitable standard of living.” Kennedy famously warned that. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” We did not need last week’s images of angry protests and burning cars to know that, […]

Haiti’s Army Is Making A Comeback 20 Years After Disbanding (HBO)

“…The past hangs over everything the new Haitian army is trying to do, and for good reason. The last time Haiti had an army, it participated in a series of brutal crackdowns and coups against the country’s democratically elected president.“ Narrator Late last year, Haitian president Jovenel Moïse announced that his country, the poorest in the Caribbean, would build a brand-new army. President Jovenel Moïse [translated from Haitian Creole] We’ll insist, so that all the Haitian people and the whole world can hear, the Haitian Army is not involved in politics and won’t be involved in politics. Narrator That plan isn’t just an expensive one. It’s a total about-face from the decision more than twenty years ago to get rid of Haiti’s military entirely. (00:41) You’re looking at pretty much all that exists of the new Haitian Army. Capt. Louisin […]

Human Rights Organizations Call on UN Secretary General to Engage Victims as Partners in the New Approach Plan

To read PDF versions click here: ENG FR July 16, 2018 Dear Mr. Secretary-General: We write to you as organizations that share the UN’s goal of promoting human rights to express our concern regarding the situation of cholera victims in Haiti, and their right to access effective remedies. For six years, the UN denied legal responsibility for sparking the Haiti cholera epidemic, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that UN peacekeepers had introduced the disease. This denial was rightly met with global outcry; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights labelled it “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” The refusal to accept accountability in Haiti hurt both the victims and the UN’s credibility and standing worldwide. As organizations committed to the protection of universal rights, including the fundamental right to a remedy, we were pleased […]

BAI Launches Legal Observation Program

Building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) launched Haiti’s first legal observation program to observe demonstrations on May 1 st known as Obsèvatwa Libète Piblik. The program was developed in partnership with the U.S. National Lawyers Guild, deploys trained lawyers and observers to monitor and report on violations of protestors’ constitutional rights to free speech and free assembly.The BAI launched the program in response to rising reports of illegal activity by police at protests, including illegal arrests of demonstrators and violence. “Public freedoms such as expression and assembly are the base of democracy. The police routinely use unjustified force against peaceful protestors to quell Haitians’ voices,” said Mario Joseph, BAI’s Managing Attorney.The Bureau expects more protests in the coming weeks due to announced price increases for gasoline and electricity. The legal observation program, combined with BAI’s legal […]

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