Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Report of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst

By Michel Forst,  United Nations General Assembly February 7, 2013  Click HERE to See the Report

UN backs Haitians’ appeal over Duvalier trial

By Trenton Daniel, Associated Press February 8, 2012 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A U.N. official expressed support Wednesday for Haitian victims of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier’s regime who plan to appeal a judge’s recommendation that calls for trying the ex-leader only for alleged financial crimes and not human rights abuses. The appeals process began this week after Haiti’s attorney general received the finding of an investigative magistrate recommending that Duvalier face trial in a lesser court that handles only relatively minor crimes. “I support (the victims’) decision to appeal the judge’s decision in order to proceed with the (human rights) case,” Michel Forst, the U.N. independent expert on human rights, told reporters. Human rights groups have strongly criticized the judge’s finding, saying there is ample evidence to prosecute Duvalier on abuse charges that include torture, false imprisonment and political assassination during his […]

UN Independent Human Rights Expert Urges Support for Justice in Haiti (UN News Centre)

By, UN News Centre Staff Jan 19, 2011 Noting the pending legal proceedings against Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former Haitian leader who returned to his home country earlier this week, the United Nations independent expert on human rights in Haiti today urged the international community to “allow justice to take its course” in the Caribbean nation. “At a time when the international community strengthens its support for the restoration of the rule of law in Haiti, unwavering support to the fight against impunity for serious crimes would be a good signal to send to the people of Haiti and particularly to victims and victims’ families,” said Michel Forst, the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or […]

UN stresses safeguarding human rights in humanitarian emergencies

UN News Centre United Nations human rights experts today called for ensuring that measures to protect the rights of people affected by humanitarian emergencies are integrated in all stages of the response effort. “It is widely accepted that human rights considerations must be made an integral part of humanitarian responses,” Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang said at an event held at UN Headquarters. “The issue is no longer whether there should be a human rights-based approach to relief, but rather how best to implement this approach.” Today’s discussion, held in connection with the humanitarian affairs segment of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), highlighted the need to keep in mind the needs of specific groups in vulnerable situations, especially women and children, drawing on lessons learned from the response to the 12 […]

Haiti’s jails are ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’: UN expert Conditions in two of Haiti’s main jails are “cruel, inhuman and degrading”, with severe overcrowding after prisons were damaged in an earthquake in January, a UN human rights expert warned Wednesday. The independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst, visited the National Penitentiary and the prison of Cayes April 21 to May 1. “Both places are overcrowded with detainees living in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conditions, in the meaning of the (UN) convention against torture,” he said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council. Part of the National Penitentiary is in danger of collapsing and detainees are kept in one building “where conditions are even more severe than before the earthquake”, the report added. Forst cited International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that each prisoner had on average 0.3 square […]

Human Rights Council discusses human rights situation in Haiti

June 16, 2010 Council Also Holds General Debate on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building The Human Rights Council this afternoon discussed the situation of human rights in Haiti, hearing from the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery on behalf of Special Procedure Mandate Holders. The Council also held an interactive dialogue on Haiti, followed by a general debate on its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building. Kyung-Wha Kang, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the protection and promotion of human rights was above all a State’s responsibility, but it was also increasingly a cooperative global effort in the face of today’s daunting challenges such as poverty, impunity, democratic deficits, exclusion, violence and discrimination. Weak State […]

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