Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Investigative Report Highlights Systemic Nature of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in MINUSTAH

While instances of sexual exploitation and abuse have been widely documented in the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, a new investigative report suggests that the number of formal allegations drastically underrepresents the extent of the crimes; sexual exploitation and abuse in MINUSTAH indicates a systemic problem in both the peacekeeping mission and the UN’s approach to bringing justice to the survivors. UN actions to address issues of sexual exploitation and abuse have been inadequate to affect real change, and have even deterred more people from reporting. This report highlights the preliminary findings from a 27-day investigation by independent investigator Mark Snyder, and strongly urges the UN to launch an immediate and in-depth investigation into the abuses. Click HERE to watch a new Fault Lines documentary entitled “Haiti By Force: UN Sex Abuse.” Part of the introduction to the investigative report is shown below. Click HERE for the full […]

Impunity for UN Peacekeepers Who Rape Women in Haiti

In talking to women around Haiti, Al Jazeera Fault Lines found only one in twelve women who reported being raped by a United Nations peacekeeper. The one woman who filed the report never heard back Neither did BAI’s Mario Joseph, who sent legal notices to the UN last summer regarding paternity claims. Women in Haiti feel that the decades of UN impunity show there is no point in reporting this abuse because they will not get justice. Mario is trying to change that, though child support from UN peacekeepers is a rare occurrence. Al Jazeera English will air this story at 2230 GMT / 2330 WAT on 22 March 2017 and repeat it on 25 March 2017 at 1630 GMT / 1730 WAT / 1830 CAT / 1930 EAT. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. […]

U.N. Secretary-General Recommends ‘Gradual’ Withdrawal of Military Peacekeepers

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres submitted a report detailing his suggestions for MINUSTAH’s gradual withdrawal from Haiti. He suggests phasing out the military component, and replacing it with a smaller mission to focus on strengthening the Haitian police force, the judiciary and human rights. Haiti is still in a period of transition, marked by a new and politically-inexperienced government and recovery from years of vulnerability to natural disasters. Guterres urges partners and U.N. member states to remain committed to supporting Haiti, leading up to and after MINUSTAH’s withdrawal, in order to ensure continued progress in Haiti. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. U.N. secretary general: Time for peacekeeping mission in Haiti to end Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 17, 2017 It’s time for the United Nations’ 2,300 blue-helmet soldiers in Haiti to head home after 13 years, the head […]

UN Fundraising for Cholera Victims at 2% of Necessary Funds

After admitting the role of UN peacekeepers in causing Haiti’s deadly cholera outbreak, the UN is far behind in its goals to remedy the crisis. The ambitious $400 million plan would provide reparations to cholera victims, decrease the number of yearly cholera cases and invest in development projects to provide more clean drinking water and toilets. However, voluntary contributions to the campaign have constituted a mere 2% of necessary funds, sending a clear red flag that cholera victims may continue to wait for their promised reparations, or not receive them at all. An excerpt is shown below. Click HERE for the full story. UN Fund to Fight Cholera in Haiti at 2 Percent of Goal Voice of America Learning English March 12, 2017 Late last year, the United Nations promised to strengthen its fight against the spread of the deadly cholera disease. U.N. peacekeeping troops unknowingly brought the […]

UN Secretary-General Promises to Combat Sex Abuse and Exploitation

Haiti hosts a peacekeeping mission with one of the largest numbers of reported sexual exploitation and abuse. The UN Secretary-General is urging MINUSTAH to appoint a victims’ rights advocate to address the increase in reported cases. In a new report, he puts forth a four-part strategy to address policy changes regarding, among others, fraternization of peacekeepers, investigations into sexual abuse and victims’ rights. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. UN will put sex abuse victims first, urge action on abusers Edith Lederer, Associated Press March 9, 2017 Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced new measures Thursday to tackle the increase in sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers and staff, calling for a new focus on victims and bans on alcohol and fraternization for troops. The report released Thursday also calls on the General Assembly to back the U.N. chief’s […]

Controversial UN Peacekeeping Mission to Leave Haiti

The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, which is known by its French acronym MINUSTAH, is likely to significantly downsize its presence in Haiti in the near future. Over 2,000 soldiers from 19 contributing countries will be sent home, although the plans for foreign police officers and civilian staff remain uncertain. Some suggest that civilian staff will remain in Haiti alongside the UN police, an unprecedented move in UN peacekeeping history. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. After lengthy mission, UN peacekeeper pullout looms in Haiti David McFadden, Associated Press March 9, 2017 A few dozen Brazilian troops wearing the blue helmets of the U.N. military force stroll through a dense warren of shacks in Haiti’s most notorious slum, facing no greater threat than a few barking dogs along some of the same streets where pitched gunbattles […]

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