Human rights review with UN highlights Haiti’s shortcomings, experts say

Read the Kreyòl translation here. Read on The Haitian Times website here.

BAI Managing Attorney Mario Joseph and IJDH Senior Staff Attorney Alexandra Filippova are featured in an article about Haiti’s latest United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in The Haitian Times.

“‘The government of Haiti has a great deal of work to do in order to fully vindicate the human rights of the Haitian people,’ said Mario Joseph, a managing attorney with the nonprofit Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), in a prepared statement. ‘In some cases that involves confronting its own conduct, such as complicity in human rights massacres, police misconduct, corruption, and interference with the judiciary.’

“Human rights experts noted that there is room for progress in the areas Dorcé mentioned. Overall, the government offered a ‘rosy review’ of its human rights performance, said Alexandra Filippova, a senior staff attorney with IJDH, in a message to The Haitian Times. 

She cited the lack of accountability for perpetrators of the 2018 La Saline massacre, as well as witness tampering and judicial intimidation that have drawn international attention after the Moise assassination. 

“Issues such as the lack of judicial resources, insecurity and the replacement of high court officials by former President Jovenel Moïse have all exacerbated Haiti’s challenges with judicial accountability and impunity, Joseph told the UN late last year. 

The international community, Filippova said, could offer support to bolster judicial accountability, but it starts with a stronger commitment from the government, including to investigate its own actors when necessary. 

‘Our recommendation would be to offer support in a manner that builds local capacity while offering forensic skills and resources to uncover the facts of the underlying crimes,’ Filippova said. ‘The international community can serve as a resource here if it works alongside Haitian human rights attorneys and prosecutors to help bridge capacity gaps. Equally important would be measures to make proceedings accessible, including by ensuring that they are in Creole.'”

Read the full article here.