Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Canadian Government May Improve Relations with Alleged Victims of UN Peacekeepers

As Canada’s new Liberal government gears up to reengage with peacekeeping efforts, the issue of peacekeeper sexual exploitation and abuse has been brought into the spotlight and highlighted with the recent accusation of three more Canadian peacekeepers in Haiti. Although the UN has bolstered its talk of “zero-tolerance policies” with regards to sexual misconduct by troops, evidence of actual action to facilitate paternity and abuse claims has proven to be difficult to find. With the recent revelations of the disturbing sexual exploitation of children in the Central African Republic by peacekeepers, the precedent is being set for future transparency and concrete legislation by the UN and member state governments like Canada. Global Affairs within the Canadian government has explicitly stated its intent on finding the best way to address these issues. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full […]

Housing Subsidies, Reconstruction Didn’t Benefit Poor Haitians

Although there are lots of new buildings and a lot of construction going on all over Haiti, those living in the slums benefit none of it.  Although many received subsidies so they could move out of tents in Port-au-Prince parks and public areas, the money quickly ran out and their situations haven’t improved. Haitian earthquake: Daunting challenges remain four years after disaster Nation rebuilding has begun, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says, but more money is needed for progress to continue. Catherine Porter, Toronto Star January 12, 2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—This city is a totally different place that it was four years ago today, when one of the world’s worst natural disasters hit it: a 7.0-magnitudeearthquake that shattered thousands of buildings and killed up to 300,000 people. In fact, some afternoons looking out the car window as I drive around, I can forget […]

Donor Fatigue Hampers Haiti’s Recovery

The Star August 12, 2012 In this June 13, 2012 photo, a boy plays near a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. International donors pledged billions of dollars to help Haiti “build back better,” breaking its cycle of dependency. Yet 2 1/2 years later, the fruits of an ambitious reconstruction promise are hard to find. Hardscrabble. That’s the only way to describe life in Haiti, where people still struggle to rebuild shattered lives 2 ½ years after the earthquake that wrecked Port-au-Prince, killed 220,000 and left a million homeless. As the Star’s Catherine Porter wrote in this weekend’s World Weekly section of the Star, money is tight and donors are fatigued. Haiti is in danger of becoming an afterthought. Unlike some, Canada is well on track to deliver the more than $1 billion in aid […]

Haiti’s $500 question: Canada offers rent subsidy to Haiti’s homeless

Catherine Porter, The August 11, 2012 PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—Samuel Jean Bazile sits on a broken plastic chair by the broken door of his very broken hut, looking forlornly at the view. Luvica Pierre, 2, was born inside a tent in Port-au-Prince’s teeming Champs de Mars. Her family has since moved to this dark, two-room apartment in the bidonville of Fort National. It is a nicer view than last month, when his makeshift home was surrounded by hundreds of others, all crudely erected with plastic and metal and garbage, such as the fridge doors propping up the back of his shack. This morning, he can see a playground in the distance, benches, a crew of cleaners in government T-shirts sweeping garbage into wheelbarrows and fellow Haitians strolling through the park like it was just that — a park — and not […]

How A baseball Documentary Turned Into The Story Of Cholera In Haiti

Debra Black,  The Star July 15, 2012  Joseph Alvyns had recently returned to Port au Prince from Toronto, where he was being filmed for a documentary about baseball, when his mother died from cholera. The filmmakers soon realized they were witnessing a scandal of monumental proportions, and shifted gears to focus on the suspect: the UN. For Joseph Alvyns — a 17-year-old who survived the earthquake that ravaged Haiti — throwing the first pitch at a Blue Jays game was a dream come true. The captain of the first-ever Haitian Little League team had been spotted on a television news clip by Martha Rogers, whose family owns the Blue Jays. He and his cousin had been making bracelets to help children who were hurt by the tsunami that had rocked Japan. Rogers — who was in Haiti doing work for […]

Walkom: Ottawa’s Concern For Haiti Not Just Humanitarian

By Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star January 26, 2011 Canadians like to think their country’s interest in Haiti is strictly humanitarian. The reality is more complex. In particular, Ottawa’s key concerns in its dealings with this impoverished Caribbean nation are interwoven with the strategic interests of the country Canada hopes to please most— the U.S. Not that humanitarianism is absent. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was justly praised for his quick response to last year’s Haitian earthquake. Rank and file Canadians gave generously to relief efforts. But Canada’s relationship with Haiti goes beyond just helping out. First, there is a small but a growing economic dimension as Canadian firms set up operations in low-wage Haiti. More to the point, however, are American desires. If Washington wants something to happen in a nation just off its coastline, then so does Ottawa. And what Washington […]

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