Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

History of Interventions & Exploitation Against Haiti

Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti is amplified by several remnants of colonial relations, military interventions by Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, and now today by “poorly implemented aid projects.” Law Street Media traces the history of economic exploitation of Haiti by France and Spain, and demonstrates the progression of “disappointments” by the United States and the United Nations: the U.S. continuing economic exploitation, and the UN continuing to deny responsibility for the increasing spread of cholera. Law Street cites IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom: “The need for a new UN response that both controls and eliminates cholera and compensates the victims who have suffered so much is now more dire than ever.” Using history and recent examples of exploitation, the article concludes: “Haiti will continue to be plagued with problems if the impoverished country is unable to properly recover from disease outbreaks like this, as well […]

A Call for the Repayment of Debts to Haiti

Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti last weekend, a country still reeling from the effects of its last natural disaster: the earthquake in 2010.  In this time of need, this editorial calls for long overdue repayments to Haiti from countries that have long affected the prosperity and success in Haiti.   The Guardian view on Haiti: time to repay our debts The Guardian October 11, 2016 Haiti, yet to recover from 2010’s terrible earthquake, is reeling again. This time, Hurricane Matthew has devastated the country, whose acting president, Jocelerme Privert, has warned that famine could soon take hold. The UN has launched an emergency appeal for almost $120m to provide “life-saving assistance and protection” and has warned that 750,000 people need help urgently. The current death toll of many hundreds could spiral: there are fears that flooding and other damage to water supplies could prompt a fresh spike […]

More Incriminating Details Released on UN Sexual Abuse Scandal

Earlier this year, UN officials came under fire for attempting to cover up sexual abuse by French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic by suspending a whistleblower. More details about this scandal have now been revealed: UN officials knew about the abuse for months and when they failed to act, a staff member, Anders Kompass, passed the information along to the French government. When France began to investigate, UN officials became determined to fire Kompass but settled on suspending him when he threatened to make the information public. The investigation is ongoing and organizations like AIDS-Free World are demanding accountability for peacekeeper sexual abuse.   Part of the press release is below. Click HERE for the full text.   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Gill Mathurin: +1 646-924-1710 (EDT), Christina Magill: +1 416-657-4458 (EDT), TOP UN OFFICIALS IGNORED CHILD […]

Details on UN Mishandling of CAR Sexual Abuse Report

Last month, The Guardian broke the story of a UN staff member who was suspended for leaking a report on sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. Apparently, this staff member, Kompass, decided to send the report to French authorities when he realized that the UN wasn’t taking any action against the French peacekeepers who committed the abuse. This article provides more details on what happened when the UN received the report, and the UN’s claims on why they didn’t act immediately. Kompass couldn’t make a statement, as the investigation is ongoing.   UN Officials Didn’t Follow Up On Sex Abuse Claims For Months, But Whistleblower Was Punished Cara Anna, The World Post May 26, 2015   UNITED NATIONS (AP) — For months, the U.N.’s top human rights officials knew about allegations of child sexual abuse by […]

France Needs Open Dialogue on Haiti Debt Restitution

On May 12, calls for France to restore Haiti’s “Independence Ransom” were renewed when Haiti saw its 2nd ever visit by a sitting French president. Instead of addressing the restitution issue directly, French presidents have cancelled Haiti’s debts and promised to help Haiti with development. Given the terrible price Haiti has paid France for its independence, many are adamant that these concessions are not enough for justice to be served.   Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.   Dialogue on reparations for Haiti is long overdue Nathalie Baptiste, Latin Correspondent May 18, 2015   On May 12, French president Francois Hollande made history by becoming the first president of France to make a formal state visit to the former colony, Haiti. Rather than a welcome parade, however, President Hollande was greeted by 200 protesters […]

Is it time that France repay Haiti’s “Independence Debt”?

When Haitian slaves won their independence from France in 1804, neither France nor Haiti’s neighbor, the US, recognized it. In 1825, under threat of invasion and re-institution of slavery, France forced Haiti to repay it for the loss of plantations and other property. Haiti has paid the price long after this “debt” was repaid and with France’s President Hollande visiting, many have reignited calls for restitution of this “independence debt.” Is it time for France to pay its real debt to Haiti? Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post May 13, 2015 In 1791, the slaves of France’s most profitable Caribbean colony, Saint Domingue, revolted. The uprising was kindled by the appalling exploitation and abuse of the colony’s enslaved African population, and stoked by the same Enlightenment values championed by white anti-monarchic revolutionaries in the United States and France itself. But the […]

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