Justice

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‘Triple Threat’ of Cholera, Malnutrition and Violence Puts Young Lives at Risk

  • Posted on: 3 November 2022
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a brief but stark warning about the threat posed to Haitian children by gang violence, cholera, and malnutrition.  The situation in Haiti is difficult, but especially so for children.  Emboldened gangs, a growing cholera epidemic, and worsening malnutrition are negatively impacting the well-being of Haitian children.  The government is weak, the gangs are in many cases better armed than the police, and core development issues like agriculture, education, infrastructure, and human rights have once again taken a back seat to insecurity.  Restoring security won't solve Haiti's problems but it is at least a prequisite.

Update: Donations Help Maternity Hospital Reopen with New Generator

  • Posted on: 21 January 2022
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Good News! Upon having their generator stolen by a gang, the situation was grim for the Saint Croix Hospital in Leogane and the many people who depended upon it.  With the support of Miami Herald readers, a new generator was purchased and transported to Leogane by boat in order to avoid having it stolen by gangs again.  With their generous support the gang lost, the hospital re-opens, and much needed care can be provided to pregnant women.  A small group of people committed to Haiti made a real difference in this situation.  

U.S State Department Releases 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report (Haiti)

  • Posted on: 6 July 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has releaed its 2021 Trafficiking in Persons (TIP) reports.  Haiti is "Tier 2" country meaning it is falling short in many areas.  The economic downtown, political instability, and conflict increased vulnerability.  Of note, the government did not make efforts to combat child domestic slavery with estimates of the number of restaveks in Haiti as high as 300,000.  The number of street children has likely increased and "orphanage entrepeneurs" continue to operate unlicensed shelters as profit-making enterprises.  The concrete steps Haiti could take to improve prevention and response are laid out in the Haiti section of the report copied below. 

U.S State Department Releases 2017 Human Rights Reports

  • Posted on: 24 April 2018
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has released the 2017 Human Rights Reports.  While not without controversy this year, these reports are valuable for tracking to the extent to which partner countries protect human rights - including for women, children, and minorities.  As in previous years, Haiti's weak justice remains a major challenges.  Conditions in prisons remain poor and journalism remains a dangerous business.  However, they have been some modest successes including the Haitian National Police becoming increasingly professional.  The full report follows. 

Haiti Joins Global Effort to End Statelessness

  • Posted on: 27 March 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Stateless persons are not recognized as citizens of any country.  They are often vulnerable to exploitation due to a lack of access to health care, education, work, and justice.  It is a major problem in the Dominican Republic where the the government has long been reluctant to grant citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian descent.  Last week, the Haitian Parliament voted to accede to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, making it the third member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the 69th country in the world to do so.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a statement praising Haiti for its committment. To become involved, consider joining UNHCR's "I Belong" Campaign to End Statelessness

U.S State Department Releases 2015 Human Rights Report for Haiti

  • Posted on: 20 April 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) is mandated to release annual country-specific human rights reports that address individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 2015 report for Haiti is linked and copied below. There have been some modest improvements from last year - for example in improving oversight of the police.  However, there is a long way to go in reforming the justice system, corrections, and protecting the rights of women, children, and the disabled. Post your thoughts about human rights in Haiti below.  

MINUSTAH Releases Semi-Annual Report (August 31 - March 15)

  • Posted on: 14 March 2013
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is the latest semi-annual report from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) covering the period from August 31st - March 15th. The report provides an overview of key developments during this time, especially police capacity, rule of law, and human rights promotion - all of which need to be strengthened significantly before MINUSTAH can fully transition its responsibilities to the Haitian government.    

Haiti Moves to Tighten Laws on Sexual Violence

  • Posted on: 8 March 2013
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is an article by the International Press Service's Ansel Herz describing upcoming legislative changes that would make it easier for survivors of rape to prosecute their attackers. The reforms have high-level support and could pass within a year.  While much more remains to be done, these reforms would represent significant progress.

U.S. State Department Releases 2010 Human Rights Report for Haiti

  • Posted on: 11 April 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Each year, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor  is mandated to release country specific human rights reports that address individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 2010 Human Rights Report for Haiti, attached and copied below, indicates much remains to be done.  Protecting human rights is a critical element of governance and one which the new administration must take on as institutions and infrastructure are reformed and reconstructed.   Protecting human rights will help Haiti become a country that is more fair and just for the whole population, not just the rich and powerful.

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