Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti


BAI and IJDH have the backs of Haitians who are threatened, harassed or arrested because they are working for a better Haiti—speaking out, organizing, protesting or engaging the justice system to work for all Haitians and hold even the powerful accountable. BAI gets Haitian activists and lawyers out of jail, defends them in court and gets the word out to Haitian media. IJDH brings the weight of international advocacy and media to bear by taking the cases to international courts as needed. Every activist or lawyer freed or defended is another voice back in the fight to advance Haiti, knowing that the risks they take are mitigated by BAI’s and IJDH’s readiness to step in.

In 2013, BAI Managing Attorney Mario Joseph was a finalist for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders—presented by a prestigious collaboration of the world’s foremost human rights organizations. The award recognized the constant danger he faces for his human rights work in Haiti, in hopes that the international attention would give Mario some protection. Watch Mario’s nomination video here.

Recent Case Highlights


URGENT ACTION – Haiti: Human Rights Defenders’ Lives in Danger – Amnesty International, April 12, 2017

Boniface v. Viliena Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief – March 22, 2017 (French translation) 

Des avocats de Droits Humains exhortent le Gouvernement haïtien à dénoncer et à enquêter sur les menaces de mort proférées à l’encontre de Monsieur Pierre ESPERANCE, défenseur des droits humains en Haïti / Human rights lawyers urge the Haitian Government to denounce and investigate death threats against human rights defender Pierre Espérance – January 3, 2017


Human Rights Group Congratulate Victims on their Victory in Historic Murder Trial – August 3, 2015


BAI Frees Haitian Political Prisoner – December 31, 2014



Haiti’s Violent Politics Are Taken to Court. In Boston. (New York Times) – April 1, 2017

Accused in Haiti, Malden man is latest to face lawsuit here (The Boston Globe) – March 31, 2017

Lawyers: Death of Haiti plaintiff in US suit ‘suspicious’ (Associated Press) – March 31, 2017

Has a murderer in Haiti been hiding in plain sight in Massachusetts? (The Boston Globe) – March 27, 2017

Far From Murder Charges, Haitian Immigrant Lives Quietly In Malden (WBUR) – March 24, 2017

Boston bus driver and former mayor in Haiti sued for human rights abuses in U.S. court (Miami Herald) – March 23, 2017

US group sues ex-Haitian mayor over human rights claims (Star Tribune) – March 23, 2017

Former Haitian mayor sued in Boston over human rights abuses (Reuters) – March 23, 2017


Lettre ouverte à Evans Paul, nouveau Premier ministre d’Haïti : Faites des droits humains la priorité de votre nouveau gouvernement. (Amnesty International) – February 2, 2015 (English here)

The Attack on Human Rights Defenders in Haiti (Other Worlds) – January 28, 2015


Amnesty: Haiti human rights activist threatened (Miami Herald) – April 15, 2014

Leading Human Rights Activist Daniel Dorsainvil and Wife Killed in Haiti (RYOT News) – February 18, 2014

Haiti, encore des victimes ! C’ en est trop … (Defenseurs des Opprimés) – February 11, 2014

Haïti-société: assassinat d’un important militant des droits de l’homme (Haiti Press Network) – February 9, 2014


“Now They’re All Dead”: Threats of Assassination to Human Rights Advocates In Haiti (Other Worlds) – August 21, 2013


Haiti: Human Rights Lawyers Face a Rising Tide of Persecution (The Center for Justice & Accountability) – October 2012

Action Alerts


Haiti: Human Rights Defenders’ Lives in Danger (Amnesty International) – April 12, 2017


Activists Fighting for Justice Threatened (Amnesty International) – August 4, 2014

Document – Haiti: Women’s Human Rights Defenders Threatened (Amnesty International) – June 13, 2014

Haiti: Fear for safety of human rights defender: Pierre Espérance (Amnesty International) – April 15, 2014


Urgent Action: LGBTI Organization’s Office Attacked in Haiti (Amnesty International) – November 26, 2013


Haiti: Lawyers in Haiti Threatened and Intimidated (Amnesty International) – October 4, 2012


Amnesty International Urgent Action: Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine and Wilson Mesilien (Amnesty International) – December 18, 2007


Jailed Haitian Priest Diagnosed with Leukemia: Your Support Urgently Needed (Human Rights First) – January 2006

Precautionary Measures Requested to/Issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


Affaire Juders Ysemé et autres au sujet d’Haïti – July 28, 2015


Pierre Espérance and Members of the Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH) – June 9, 2014


Patrice Florvilus and members of the organization “Défense des Opprimés” – November 27, 2013 (Français ici)

Human Rights Groups Denounce Illegal Arrest of Haitian Lawyer André Michel (IJDH) – October 24, 2013 (press release)

Members of Union des Citoyens Conséquents pour le Respect des Droits de l’Homme – September 23, 2013 (Français ici)

Human Rights Groups Petition Inter-American Commission to Protect Threatened Haitian Lawyer (IJDH) – September 12, 2013 (press release)

Haitian lawyers request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate government’s role in suspicious death of Judge Jean Serge Joseph (IJDH) – August 6, 2013 (press release)


Mario Joseph – October 19, 2012

Threats, Harassment and Intimidation Against Attorney Mario Joseph (IJDH) – October 3, 2012

Contact IJDH

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

Telephone: (857)-201-0991
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