Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

BAI and IJDH Stand up for Haitian Dignity

  BAI and IJDH Continue to Fight for the Dignity of the Haitian People in Haiti and in the U.S. Last month, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) joined the Haitian community in the United States and in Haiti in denouncing President Trump‘s disparaging remarks about Haiti, El Salvador, and all African countries. IJDH’s Brian Concannon told a crowd at a rally in Boston that, “President Trump’s remarks about Haiti are false. They are an affront to the dignity of the Haitian people and the American people.” Meanwhile in Haiti, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)’s Managing Attorney Mario Joseph decried the president’s comment while attending a grassroots activist’s protest at the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince. “On many occasions in the past we have been victims of imperialist countries, particularly the United States,” said Joseph rebuking Trump’s vulgar comments […]

The Oxfam sex abuse scandal demonstrates the urgent need for legal accountability in the humanitarian aid sector

By Sienna Merope-Synge Sienna Merope-Synge is a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti This article was originally published by Al Jazeera The backlash against Oxfam continues to grow, but the scandal is just the tip of the iceberg of unaccountable “humanitarian” action in Haiti. In the wake of revelations that its staff solicited prostitutes in post-earthquake Haiti, Oxfam has pointed to an internal investigation that led to senior employees resigning or being fired, and released a new 10-point plan to eradicate sexual abuse. But what is striking is that the charity never treated its staff’s abuses as a legal matter. Let’s be clear: this behaviour wasn’t just unacceptable, it was unlawful. Prostitution is illegal under Haitian law and if minors were involved, this was also statutory rape. The behaviour also constituted illegal child prostitution under […]

The truth behind the numbers: Why Haiti Did Not Dodge a Bullet with Tropical Storm Isaac?

Angela Bruce Raeburn, Oxfam America August 31, 2012  The aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti. Photo by Stephania Musset. As Tropical Storm Isaac dumped torrential rains on Haiti this past weekend, many found a silver lining in the fact that only 24 Haitians died. True, it could have been much worse. Haiti continues to suffer from the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake, and Isaac could have been yet another major catastrophe. But the effects of Isaac will be felt for quite some time and could result in a much higher death toll. Haiti did not dodge a bullet. Agriculture losses, a looming cholera crisis, and homelessness are the real numbers behind Isaac. And what will happen the next time a tropical storm passes through Haiti if people remain displaced without adequate housing? Agriculture provides employment for half the national workforce and makes up 28 […]

Haiti: Why Ground Reports Still Matter

By Adam Clark Estes, Huffington Post Haiti is still there. Shattered, starving and suffering, the Haitian people endure despite the media’s most recent retreat in coverage. And slowly, a rebuilt nation is rising from the rubble. During the next ten weeks, members of the Huffington Post Citizen Reporting unit will chronicle these efforts on this blog. The team includes relief workers both on the ground in Haiti, members of international support teams like UNICEF and Oxfam as well as supporters dispatching help from their hometowns across the country. It was ten weeks ago to the day that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 people in the Caribbean nation. In the days following the initial quake — aftershocks continued for weeks — over a million people were left homeless and hundreds of thousands needed medical treatment. […]

Good intentions gone wrong

  By Paul Waldie Globe and Mail Too many aid organizations and an inept government have created a chaotic relief effort in Haiti.   Joey Adler could barely contain her anger when she returned to Canada recently from Haiti.   Ms. Adler had been on her third trip to the country, delivering medical supplies on behalf of the Montreal-based OneXOne Foundation, which she founded. When she arrived at the Port-au-Prince airport to board her flight home, Ms. Adler saw nearly 100 pallets loaded with bottles of water sitting on the tarmac, going nowhere. “I was so angry,” Ms. Adler recalled. “People were starving and thirsty in the streets.”   She added that on each trip to Haiti, she has seen ever-increasing piles of emergency supplies stuck at the airport. “I don’t know what it is and I’m not blaming anyone,” […]

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