Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Michel Forst

United Nations
General Assembly

Distr.: General
Original: French

Human Rights Council

Twentieth session
Agenda item 10
Technical assistance and capacity-building


In accordance with the mandate established by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1995/70 and with Presidential Statement PRST/15/1, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti submits the present report to the Council at its twentieth session.

This year’s report to the Human Rights Council is in a more traditional format. The Independent Expert first considers the question of civil and political rights, in particular in respect of the workings of the courts and the police. He describes the situation in the prison service and the threats faced by persons deprived of their liberty, extended pretrial detention and conditions of detention at prisons, and points to the importance that should be given to the Office of the Ombudsman (Office de la Protection du Citoyen) and the role it plays. He also raises the subject of the Human Rights Section of the United Nations
Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as a topic for consideration.

The Independent Expert then addresses economic, social and cultural rights in Haiti and the importance of incorporating a human-rights-based approach in the rebuilding of the country.

The Independent Expert also points out the factors still threatening human rights as the humanitarian crisis draws to a close, in particular drawing attention to the situation of women who are still victims of gender-based violence, children separated from their families, orphans, child domestic servants, adoption, persons living with disabilities and the issue of forced return. He describes the impact of cholera on the perception of MINUSTAH.

Lastly, the report presents the recommendations made by the Independent Expert, in three sections. In the first, the Independent Expert issues a number of recommendations related to the workings of State institutions, in particular the justice system, the police, the prison system and the Office of the Ombudsman. The second section addresses economic and social rights and how rights are taken into consideration during the country’s reconstruction. In the third part, he issues recommendations regarding the rights of vulnerable persons as the humanitarian crisis draws to a close.

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