Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haitian Government Seeks to Rebuild National Military

In the wake of the UN’s decision to withdraw its military peacekeepers from Haiti, the Haitian government is now faced with questions about what, if any, military force should replace them to avoid a security vacuum. Haiti’s national army has been disbanded for 22 years, and, for many Haitians, the thought of reconstituting an army brings back memories of the political repression and destabilization associated with the prior military regime. Thus, while many Haitians do support the idea, others fear it will quickly become politicized and thwart Haiti’s democratic progress. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. With End of UN Mission Ahead, Haiti Seeks to Revive Its Military Voice of America (Associated Press) April 19, 2017 GRESSIER, HAITI — Their heads held high and chests puffed out, nearly 100 Haitian men in camouflage fatigues do jumping jacks or march around […]

Unanimous Vote Brings End to MINUSTAH

Today, the UN Security Council voted to end the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission after a 13-year presence in Haiti. But, the end of this mission does not mean the end of the UN’s influence in the country. The vote determined that MINUSTAH will be replaced by a smaller police mission, which is intended to promote the rule of law and human rights. MINUSTAH has been plagued by controversy since it began its mission, and, despite what may happen with the future mission, many in Haiti are happy to see it go. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. UN to Close Haiti Peacekeeping Mission in October Margaret Besheer, Voice of America News April 13, 2017 The United Nations Security Council took action Thursday to begin shutting down its 13-year-old peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The current 5,000-strong mission will begin drawing down its […]

What Does Immunity Really Mean for UN Perpetrators of Sexual Assault?

The United Nations has been heavily criticized for high incidences of rape perpetrated by peacekeepers and for its policies in response to such allegations. Despite a “zero tolerance” approach, the UN has shielded its perpetrators from consequences under immunity laws and, in a few instances, doled out punishments that are shockingly disproportionate to the crime. For example, impregnating a minor resulted in only a nine-day suspension. Many UN officials, including the Secretary-General and the the UN director of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management, have committed the organization to end impunity, hold peacekeepers accountable and stop sexual exploitation and assault, but many are wary that the promises they have heard for decades will continue to disappoint without a critical look at the immunity laws and how far they can reach. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original […]

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 […]

Des mères d’enfants abandonnés des casques bleus de la MINUSTAH notifient des sommations pour rechercher la Paternité, le recouvrement des créances d’aliments et la garde de leurs enfants

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE  Contact PRESSE: Mario Joseph, avocat, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), Mario@ijdh.org, +011 509 3701-9879 (Haïti) (français, kreyol) Nicole Phillips, avocat, Institut pour la Justice et la Démocratie en Haïti (IJDH), Nicole@ijdh.org, +1 510 715-2855 (Etats-Unis) (anglais, français) Des mères d’enfants abandonnés des casques bleus de la MINUSTAH notifient des sommations pour rechercher la Paternité, le recouvrement des créances d’aliments et la garde de leurs enfants  Port-au-Prince, le 3 aout, 2016 – Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) annonce aujourd’hui la notification des sommations aux neuf (9) soldats de la MINUSTAH venant de l’Uruguay, de l’Argentine et du Sri Lanka au nom de neuf (9) mères haïtiennes qui étaient tombées enceintes puis abandonnées et laissées toutes seules avec la responsabilité de leurs enfants. L’une des requérantes avait 17 ans quand elle a donné naissance à son enfant, ce […]

UN Impunity Hurts Those it Intends to Help

The United Nations has a long and storied history of mistreating the vulnerable populations it seeks to help. From the withholding of food to those in refugee camps to allegations of sexual assault and abuse by UN Peacekeepers and even the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, the international organization has failed to reform such behavior and hold itself accountable. Immunity from local laws permits UN personnel to exist without repercussions for their actions leading to atrocious crimes against vulnerable populations and protection for aggressors. End the UN’s Legal Immunity Ian Hurd, The Hill July 22, 2016   When the United Nations housed Roma refugees in Kosovo, it built their camp next to a lead-smelting plant. For years, the UN ignored the residents’ complaints that toxic waste was causing seizures, miscarriages, brain damage, and more. A UN report last week excoriated the […]

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