Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Before the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Haiti is undergoing the 2016 Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. On November 7, other Member States of the UN made a range of recommendations to the Government of Haiti to improve Haiti’s human rights situation. Some of the key recommendations that BAI’s and IJDH are advocating for Haiti to accept include: -Taking measures to combat violence against women, including gender based violence and in particular updating the legislative framework to reform definitions of rape, criminalize marital rape and gender-based violence and address sexual harassment (multiple countries) -Ensuring identity documents are provided to Haitians, including those living in the Dominican Republic (multiple countries) -Taking measures to address threats and violence against human rights defenders and journalists (Austria, France) and excessive police force at peaceful protests (Costa Rica) -Taking measures to eliminate discrimination based on […]

A Human Rights-based Approach to Disaster Response in Haiti

While the devastation of Hurricane Matthew recalled the human rights crises that followed Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, it also brought up a topic that wasn’t discussed as much after the earthquake: a rights-based approach to disaster relief. According to international law, a human-rights-based approach entails capacity-building, participation, transparency, accountability, and non-discrimination. Applying all of these principles will allow organizations and funders to truly collaborate with Haitian people and organizations to make sure that there is lasting change long after debris from the Hurricane has been cleaned up. Part of the post is below. Click HERE for the full text. Applying Human Rights Principles to Disaster Response Karen Ansara and Brian Concannon, International Human Rights Funders Group November 2, 2016 Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti provides both a historic opportunity and a daunting challenge to funders who care about human rights. We […]

L’Expert indépendant de l’ONU présente ses conclusions au terme de sa mission en Haïti (FR, ENG)

  English version, see below La version anglaise se trouve ci-dessous L’Expert indépendant de l’ONU présente ses conclusions au terme de sa mission en Haïti PORT-AU-PRINCE (26 octobre  2016) – L’Expert indépendant des Nations Unies sur la situation des droits de l’homme en Haïti, M Gustavo Gallón, a terminé sa sixième visite officielle en Haïti pour évaluer la situation des droits humains dans le contexte politique actuel. L’expert indépendant a commencé réitérant sa solidarité avec les victimes de l’ouragan Matthew et avec le peuple Haïtien.  «L’affectation des droits des personnes en Haïti à cause des catastrophes naturelles est l’un des cinq aspects prioritaires que j’ai indiqués dans mes rapports précédents. C’est ainsi que je me suis rendu à Jérémie, dans le département de la Grand’Anse, où j’ai visité le Lycée Nord Alexis, qui abrite 525 familles victimes du cyclone. Leur […]

Summary of third committee UN expert statements on Haiti

The summary below goes into detail on Philip Alston’s, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, statement, as well as statements and responses of other experts and representatives. The summary and analysis includes discussion of cholera accountability, and the role of powerful member states, like the US, to take clear stances, and to donate generously to the newly established Trust Fund. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Human Rights to Food, Water, Sanitation Essential for Enjoyment of All Others, Experts Tell Third Committee during Interactive Dialogue United Nations Meetings Coverage and Press Releases October 25, 2016 ‘Morally Unconscionable’ Approach to Cholera in Haiti, Feeds Belief that Rights of Neediest Can be Trampled, Says Special Rapporteur The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) continued its discussion of human rights today, with six Special Rapporteurs updating on ways to […]

UN Special Rapporteur Demands Just Response to Cholera Victims

In an August 2016 report to the United Nations General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Philip Alston criticized the UN’s response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti as “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating. It is also entirely unnecessary.” When the UN later announced that it would soon release a new plan for eliminating cholera from Haiti, Alston wrote a letter to follow up, commending the UN for the new approach but also suggesting ways to make sure it was truly just. The Deputy Secretary-General wrote back the following week with further details on the new plan, including “a package of material assistance and support to Haitians most directly affected by cholera.” Parts of both letters are included below. Special Rapporteur Alston also spoke at the United Nations General Assembly regarding cholera on October 25. He again emphasized the importance of a just response. […]

UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in Haiti”

UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in Haiti” NEW YORK (25 October 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Philip Alston claimed today that flawed and unfounded legal advice provided by the UN lawyers is preventing the Organization from accepting responsibility for the cholera outbreak that UN peacekeepers caused in Haiti in 2010. “The UN’s explicit and unqualified denial of anything other than a moral responsibility is a disgrace,” Alston said today. “If the United Nations bluntly refuses to hold itself accountable for human rights violations, it makes a mockery of its efforts to hold Governments and others to account,” he noted. Cholera was brought to Haiti for the first time in the country’s history by UN peacekeepers exactly six years ago. Almost 10,000 people have died as a result and […]

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