Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How Poor Water and Sanitation Impact Education in Haiti

On March 23, 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council met to discuss the latest report by the Gustavo Gallón, the UN Independent Expert on Haiti. The statement below comes from one of the groups who participated in this meeting, Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW highlights the effects of poor water and sanitation on education in Haiti, particularly for girls, and the need for adjudication of the UN’s introduction of cholera to Haiti. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. UN Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Haiti Human Rights Watch March 23, 2016 Thank you, Mr. Gallon for your continued work on human rights in Haiti. … On the question of cholera, Human Rights Watch has noted that to date, there has been no independent adjudication of the facts surrounding […]

Haitian Students Need Better Water and Sanitation

While education is a crucial part of a better future for Haiti, schools currently pose a major threat to students’ health. Most schools lack toilets or access to water, increasing children’s risk of contracting illnesses like cholera. As the October 9th conference–intended to increase financial commitments to water and sanitation–approaches, this is a key topic of discussion. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti: Students Need Safe Water, Toilets Human Rights Watch October 8, 2014 (Washington, DC) – The World Bank, international donors, and the government of Haiti should include an emphasis on water and sanitation in schools at the October 9, 2014 donors’ conference, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to a vice president at the World Bank. The conference in Washington, DC, is intended to galvanize greater financial commitments for clean water and improved sanitation […]

Duvalier Death “Sad for Haitians” Denied Justice

This interview with writer Jean Saint-Vil and journalist Amy Wilentz, author of “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier” features victims’ responses to the death of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and information on Duvalier’s repressive regime. The interview also discusses the current Haitian government’s support of Duvalier and President Michel Martelly’s reaction to his death, seen as a “slap in the face” of Duvalier’s victims. Human rights defenders hope to continue the Duvalier prosecution, against those who helped carry out his regime’s crimes. Part of the transcript is below. Click HERE for the full text and video. Death of U.S.-Backed Ex-Dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier Won’t End Haitian Victims’ Quest for Justice Democracy Now! October 6, 2014 The former U.S.-backed dictator of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as “Baby Doc,” has died at 63. Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986, taking power after the death […]

Duvalier Death Denies His Victims Justice

Notorious former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier died of a heart attack over the weekend. He was under investigation for corruption and crimes against humanity. but now that he’s dead, his victims fear that justice may never be served. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti: Justice Denied by Duvalier’s Death Ex-Dictator Under Investigation for Crimes Against Humanity Human Rights Watch October 4, 2014 (New York) – The inability of Haiti’s courts to bring to trial former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier deprived his countless Haitian victims of the justice they sought, Human Rights Watch said today. Duvalier’s death was reported on October 4, 2014. “It’s a shame that the Haitian justice system could not bring Baby Doc Duvalier to trial before he died,” said Reed Brody, special counsel at Human Rights Watch, who worked with Duvalier’s victims. “Duvalier’s […]

Top Ten Reasons to Install Clean Water in Haiti

In an interview with NPR, Jonathan Katz noted that lack of proper sanitation and water access contributes to the persistence of cholera in Haiti. In celebration of World Water Day, the team at IJDH has put together an additional ten reasons to focus on clean water initiatives in Haiti. 1. Eliminate cholera that the United Nations brought to Haiti and put an end to the epidemic sickening and killing people (Reference: NPR) 2. Save 4000+ lives every year from waterborne disease related deaths (Reference: Human Rights Watch) 3. Revolutionize access to basic human rights and dignity (Reference: Special Rapporteur submission) 4. Yield a fivefold return on investment through improving health, education, and creating jobs in establishing an adequate sanitation system. Consequently, inadequate infrastructure can sap as much as 7% of G.D.P. per year. (Reference: Jonathan Katz, New Yorker) 5. When asked if compensating victims and […]

Duvalier Ruling is Step Towards Accountability in Haiti

On February 20, 2014 a Haitian Appeals Court decided to uphold human rights charges against former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. This decision is a landmark first step towards accountability for the powerful and building the rule of law in Haiti. Next steps are victim and witness interviews and gathering of evidence in order to bring the case to trial. Duvalier will also likely appeal the decision. Haitian Dictator May Be Charged With Human Rights Crimes, Court Says Randal C. Archibold, The New York Times February 20, 2014 MEXICO CITY — An appeals court in Haiti ruled Thursday that one of the country’s most brutal dictators could be charged with crimes against humanity but stopped short of ordering a trial to proceed, calling for further investigation. The ruling came in the case against Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, who has been accused […]

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