Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

FEATURE -What Justice for Haiti’s Rape Survivors?

By Anastasia Moloney, Trustlaw February 16, 2012 PORT-AU-PRINCE – One morning last month, Nathalie Pierre left her home in the Haitian capital to run some errands. She returned a few hours later to find the skirt and underwear of her nine-year-old daughter stained with blood. It took five days for the little girl to reveal what had happened. “There was a long silence. My daughter didn’t want to talk or eat. She finally told me what I’d feared, that she’d been raped,” Pierre said. Pierre’s daughter is one of thousands of young Haitians who are sexually abused and raped every year. Sexual violence against women and girls in the Caribbean nation was widespread long before the 2010 earthquake, but increased after the disaster, women’s rights groups say. Pierre, who has two other children, said it was easy to identify her daughter’s […]

Haiti Eyes Tougher Law to Tackle Sexual Violence

By Anastasia Moloney, Trustlaw   February 16, 2012 PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti is putting the finishing touches on new legislation to tackle a scourge of post-quake sexual violence in a country where rape has only been outlawed since 2005 and rights groups say enforcement is sporadic at best. The new laws, if passed, aim to provide a legal framework for victims of sexual violence to receive better emergency and medical care, place tougher sanctions against all forms of physical violence against women and ensure better training for officials involved in sexual assault cases. These proposals could see survivors of sexual violence get better access to justice and lead to more rape convictions. “The new law aims to allow the state and other actors to find common ground on how to treat and help victims,” Hemanex Gonzague, director general of the Haitian women’s […]

Haiti Quake Survivors Battle Constant Threat Of Eviction (Trustlaw)

By. Tosin Sulaiman, Trustlaw In Camp Barbancourt II in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, a pool of foul-smelling, stagnant wastewater surrounds the tents and tarpaulins that have sheltered 310 families since last January’s earthquake. The pool can rise to three feet when it rains. Lawyers helping camp residents say the purported landowner, who operates a warehousing business on the land, is using the health risk as an excuse to force them to leave. Last July, the landowner turned up with 24 armed policemen in what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to evict the families. The case highlights the inhumane housing conditions many Haitians continue to endure one year after the earthquake, as well as the constant threat of unlawful evictions, lawyers with the Institute for Justice and Democracy (IJDH) in Haiti, say. The U.S.-based organisation, along with its Haitian […]

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