Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Lawyers for Cholera Victims Say Power United Nations Ambassador Nomination is Opportunity for a Just Response to Haiti Cholera

South Florida Caribbean July 17, 2013 Port-au-Prince, Haiti — Lawyers for the victims of the cholera epidemic introduced to Haiti by poor United Nations (U.N.) sanitation practices in 2010 say that the nomination of Samantha Power for the United States Ambassador to the U.N. is an opportunity for the U.S. to encourage a more just response to the epidemic that has sickened over 662,000 and killed 8,200. The Senate hearing for the confirmation of Power, a recognized scholar on ethical humanitarian intervention, is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, 2013. “Samantha Power has a long and effective record of support for the rule of law, especially international law,” notes Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, “She recognizes the need for accountability for harms the U.N. inflicts on the vulnerable populations that host its missions, and […]

Building Back Better Requires Justice and Haitian Participation

By South Florida Caribbean News January 11, 2013 Port-au-Prince, Haiti — Human Rights lawyers in Haiti and the United States affirm that progress in Haiti is achievable if Haitians are involved at all stages and the building is done on a foundation of justice. Despite the frustration with the uneven progress at the 3rd anniversary of Haiti’s January 12, 2010 earthquake, the lawyers note that well-designed projects have produced results. According to Mario Joseph of the Port-au-Prince-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), “Haiti can be built back better, but only if it is built back more justly, with the Haitian people involved in the choice, the planning and the execution of the projects.” Attorney Joseph cites the efforts to fight rape after an increase in rapes following the earthquake, especially in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The Haitian justice system has […]

Two years after the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, access to clean water and sanitation is desperately needed

By Nicole Phillips, Esq., South Florida Caribbean News October 24, 2012 Washington, D.C. – On the second anniversary of the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, human rights groups, faith-based organizations, policy institutes, and humanitarian organizations renew their call for the United Nations and U.S. government to help Haiti install the clean water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to control the ongoing epidemic. The cholera epidemic in Haiti has received less U.S. attention during the presidential campaign season, but it remains a critical problem for this Caribbean neighbor that is not being adequately addressed and is undermining broader aid efforts. Last month, 260 new cholera cases were reported daily, and 2-3 children died a day. Since the epidemic broke out in October 2010, 7,564 Haitians have reportedly died from cholera and some 600,000 persons (6% of the Haitian population) have been […]

Freedom of Press in Haiti: Report Finds Haitian Journalists Face Death Threats and Intimidation

South Florida Caribbean News September 28,2012. BOSTON – A report released today entitled Freedom of the Press in Haiti: The Chilling Effect on Journalists Critical of the Government documents troublesome trends of threats and intimidation journalists encountered in Haiti in violation of their freedom of expression. The report was released by the Center for Law and Global Justice at the University of San Francisco School of Law (USF) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and is based on interviews with Haitian and international journalists. The first trend described by journalists was direct interference with their reporting by Haitian law enforcement and the administration of President Michel Martelly. The interference included intimidation, threats, imprisonment, destruction of media equipment, and retaliation, which has created an atmosphere of fear and a chilling effect on journalists’ freedom of expression. The second […]

Haiti’s Housing Crisis: Relocated Families Live in Worse Conditions

South Florida Caribbean News July 15, 2012 BOSTON – The Haitian government housing program is a not a durable or sustainable solution to Haitian’s tent-camp housing crisis, according to a survey of residents conducted by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). The survey interviewed 75 households that had been relocated from six internally displaced persons (IDP) camps under the government’s housing program implemented by the International Organization of Migration (IOM). The housing program (called the “16/6” Program), which affects only 5% of the camp population, subsidizes residents with up $500 to pay their rent for a year. The survey results indicated some positive results in the short-term. Two-thirds of families reported that their living situation was better now than when living in the camps, and almost three-quarters said they felt safer […]

Innovative Haitian Legal Advocate Honored for Pioneering “Victim-Centered Approach”

South Florida Caribbean News June 6, 2012 Boston, MA – Mario Joseph, respected human rights lawyer, was honored on June 6, 2012, at the annual Social Justice Throwdown, hosted by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. Social justice lawyers and advocates from across New York City celebrated Joseph and his team, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) from Haiti. The honorees’ innovative approach empowers impoverished and marginalized individuals and groups in Haiti to effectively enforce their own human rights. Joseph’s colleague in Boston, Brian Concannon, Jr., Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), explains, “It is particularly appropriate that the recognition of Mario and the BAI is coming from CCR, itself a leader in using the law to fight poverty and inequality.” Advocating in this way is very dangerous. Bullets have flown into […]

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