Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Steady Progress Against Sexual Violence in Haiti

Below is a brief report from one of our partners in Haiti, KOFAVIV, on the current women’s rights situation. The report describes the decrease in rapes since the 2010 earthquake and the need for continued work on the justice system so that more perpetrators are prosecuted. Making Progress in the Fight Against Gender-based Violence Malya Villard Appolon May 2016 On behalf of KOFAVIV, the Commission of Women Victims helping women Victims, I extend our appreciation to everyone who has helped to provide services to women and girls who have been victims of sexual violence in Haiti. The 2010 earthquake led to significant increase in insecurity and impoverishment in a country already coping with economic hardship and instability. The natural disaster impacted negatively the nation as a whole, where everyone was grieving over the loss of a loved one, their homes, […]

MINUSTAH Troops Dodge Accountability for Rapes

Though rape is a known problem among UN peacekeepers, they are often able to dodge accountability because the current process sends rapists to their home countries to be judged and prosecuted. The victims don’t get to testify abroad and often never know if their attackers faced justice. Many women are also left with children that they can’t afford to care for without the father’s help. Mario Joseph, of BAI, represents some of these women in their quest for justice. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and video. United Nations in Haiti: Justice Invisible for Victims of Rape Lisa Armstrong, 100 Reporters January 12, 2015 Audrey was not afraid of the men in the apartment, where she’d gone to sell her lotions, soaps and cosmetics, because they were United Nations peacekeepers. “I know that they are […]

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

From Peace in the Home to Peace In the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women. November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This is an international campaign to raise awareness of and to call for an end to all forms of violence against women. This year, the campaign centres on highlighting the links between militarism and gender based violence. IJDH and BAI have joined with grassroots groups in Haiti and international partners to launch the Haiti Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP) to respond to the epidemic of rapes against poor women and girls in Haiti in the wake of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. RAPP provides individual victims of sexual assault the legal services they need to obtain justice and compensation, while working with allies in Haiti and abroad to transform […]

GADES Human Rights Defenders Threatened

In yet another instance of threats to human rights defenders, the head of GADES (Groupe d’appui au développement du Sud) is being harassed for her involvement in a rape case. Amnesty International calls on the public to contact authorities, asking them to investigate the threats and bring the perpetrators to justice. Making Haiti safer for human rights defenders will increase respect for the rule of law, improving the system and society as a whole. Activists Fighting for Justice Threatened Amnesty International August 4, 2014 Members of GADES, an organization of women human rights defenders in Haiti, have received threats following the recent sentencing of a police officer for the rape of an underage boy. The organization has been supporting the victim and his family throughout the legal process. On 25 June a court in Les Cayes, southwestern Haiti, sentenced a police […]

Cholera and Women’s Rights on Chicago NPR

IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom and KOFAVIV Associate Director Malya Villard-Appolon speak about cholera accountability and gender-based violence in an hour-long NPR show about Haiti. Joining them are Dr. Ludovic Comeau of GRAHN-World, and Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health. Bringing perspectives from the legal, medical and economic development fields, they answered questions like “What might happen now that Ban Ki-moon said the UN bears a “moral responsibility” to eliminate cholera,” and “What impact are grassroots organizations having on rapes in Haiti?” Cholera lawsuit against U.N. in Haiti, and death threats for Haitian advocate for women’s safety WBEZ Worldview July 16, 2014   Click HERE for the original.

Importance of Expert Testimony in Rape Cases

New Media Advocacy Project writes about their excitement about their latest video, Advancing Justice Through Expert Testimony in Haiti. This video and post explain the importance of expert testimony not just in Haiti but anywhere, particularly in cases of rape. Haitian courts don’t currently use expert testimony enough but increased use of expert testimony will help ensure justice for rape victims and improve the system. Expert Witnesses: Advancing Justice for Women in Haitian Courts Abby Goldberg, New Media Advocacy Project July 8, 2014 It is with great enthusiasm that N-Map launches our newest film: Advancing Justice Through Expert Testimony in Haiti. (Pou kreyol, tanpri klike isi) In November 2013, our partners—the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) —invited us to Haiti to produce a film that advocates for the greater use of expert witnesses in Haitian courts. The […]

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