Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Landmark Win in UN Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Case: Court Orders Child Support for Child Fathered by UN Peacekeeper

A local court orders UN peacekeeper to pay 350,000 gourdes per month (approx. $4,600 USD) in child support. Read the judgment here. Read coverage on the landmark win in The New Humanitarian, World Magazine, Rezo Nòdwes, and VICE World News.  

IACHR Public Hearing on Impunity for Human Rights Violations and Lack of Judicial Independence in Haiti

Civil Society and Government of Haiti discuss impunity and lack of judicial independence in Haiti before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  On Human Rights Day, December 10, 2020, BAI and IJDH, along with two experienced Haitian legal practitioners, presented evidence to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the subject of impunity for human rights violations and judicial dysfunction in Haiti. The Commission had called this public hearing in response to the BAI and IJDH’s Request (EN/FR); Haiti’s ambassador to the United States and to the Organization of American States (OAS) likewise participated. Written Submissions of IJDH and BAI List of Participants Report on Proceedings Video of Proceedings (in original Spanish, French, and English) MEDIA AND RECENT DEVELOPMENTS La CIDH s’intéresse à l’accès à la justice et l’indépendance judiciaire en Haïti, Patrick Saint-Pré, Le Nouvelliste, 10, 2020 On […]

Marking 20 Years Since the Raboteau Massacre Convictions

“Down with impunity” Twenty years ago today (on November 16, 2000), a Haitian court convicted 37 men for their roles in the 1994 Raboteau massacre – a violent attack by government forces on a civilian neighborhood associated with political opposition to the governing regime – in absentia. Yet, none of these men have served time pursuant to their sentences. None have contributed to the award issued by the court in favor of the Raboteau massacre victims who intervened as civil parties to the case.  Haitian law requires that any individuals convicted in absentia be arrested upon returning to Haiti and either accept the conviction issued against them or request and participate in renewed proceedings. In a positive step, the government has been detaining former death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant – the founder and head of a paramilitary group complicit […]

Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti: Key Recent Developments

PDF Version in English and French. Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti: March to October 2020 Introduction Widespread insecurity has gripped Haiti[i] since our February 2020 Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti update.[ii] Local human rights organizations investigating the rise in violence have documented the involvement of police officers and state officials in numerous attacks against marginalized communities and raised credible concerns that gang violence is being deployed as a tool of political repression.[iii] At minimum, the government has failed to control violence that affects some of Haiti’s most marginalized communities.[iv] In addition, there are numerous reported incidents of government violence against protesters and the press;[v] impunity for these and other human rights violations, due at least in part to the politicization of the judiciary, is pervasive.[vi] Such impunity leaves victims without recourse and is emboldening perpetrators.[vii] […]

IJDH/BAI Open Letter to the UN Victims’ Rights Advocate and Response

In May 2020, IJDH and BAI sent an open letter to UN Victims’ Rights Advocate (VRA), Jane Connors. Attorneys Mario Joseph and Sandra Wisner wrote, “As lawyers representing the mothers of children fathered and abandoned by UN peacekeepers, in Haitian court proceedings for child support, we write to express our concerns that almost three years after these cases were filed, the UN’s failure (a) to certify the non-applicability of functional immunity directly to Haitian courts pursuant to Article 52 of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and (b) to recognize that these cases involve legal rights, processes, and obligations, is impeding access to justice for our clients.” “We, therefore, call on the VRA in its mandate to secure access to remedies for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse to ensure that, in accordance with Article 52 of the SOFA, UN […]

IJDH/BAI Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders

IJDH and BAI made a submission (informal translation to French here, along with Attachment 1 and Attachment 2) to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in response to her call for input to a report on killings of human rights defenders. The submission highlights in particular an assassination attempt and death threat directed at BAI attorney Job Gene in connection with his work as a human rights defender. It further explains that Haiti’s human rights defenders are facing immense risks in the current environment in Haiti: there have been a number of documented killings and attacks directed at human rights defenders, the government has been violently suppressing peaceful protests, and has been implicated by local human rights organizations in violence directed against civilians. BAI’s managing attorney, Mario Joseph, has been repeatedly cautioned regarding his safety given his work on behalf of […]

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
867 Boylston Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (857)-201-0991
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org