U.S. State Department Releases 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Last month, the U.S. State Department released the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report.  As in previous years, the report noted serious shortcomings in the Haitian government's efforts to prevent and respond to human trafficking.  There is some good news, though - in 2014 the Haitian government enacted a law to criminalize human trafficking which is a welcome and much-needed step.  The country narrative for Haiti follows below.   Read more »

IOM Reports 92 Percent Decrease in Number of Households Living in Camps

By Bryan Schaaf on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Solutions to displacement take time, coordination and resources.  According to a recent update by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the total number of households living in camps has decreased by 92 percent compared to four and a half years ago. The government-led rental subsidy program, supported by IOM and donors, has been instrumental in helping households transition.  For more information, view the full report.   Read more »

New Dominican Nationality Law Will Aid Some of the DR's Stateless

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, May 23, 2014.

The government of the Dominican Republic recently passed a nationality law which, by no means perfect, represents a step forward in addresssing statelessness.  The main difficulty now lies in its full implementation across the country.  Below is an article by Associated Press writers Ezequiel Abiu Lopez and Danica Coto that notes both positive and negative reactions to the nationality law.    Read more »

"Papa Machete": Short Film on Haitian Machete Fighting

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

In Haiti, machetes are ubiquitous and versatile.  As Arielle Castro notes below, they are also the "Excalibur of the Caribbean".  In the case of Haiti, machetes were common weapons in the struggle for independence.  The short film, "Papa Machete", revolves around a Haitian machete-fighting instructor who lives and practices outside of Jacmel. The film producers have also launched a Kickstarter campaign to construct a new training facility.  More information on the history of Haitian machete fighting is available here. Read more »

Haiti Moves Towards Adoption of Counter-Trafficking Law

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, May 16, 2014.

The FY 2013 Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report notes Haiti is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking including 150,000 - 500,000 children (restaveks) in domestic servitude.  Given that, it is highly signficant that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) helped draft an anti-trafficking bill approved by the Haitian parliament.  It establishes a National Counter-Trafficking Committee and intends to improve prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnerships. Read more »

Drought in the Northeast Exacerbates Food Insecurity

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

The Haitian Government and the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS-NET) report that a drought is causing food insecurity in northeast Haiti due to the loss of crops and livestock.  The National Coordination of Food Security Office and the World Food Program (WFP) are planning a response which will involve seed distribution to farmers and food distribution more broadly.  Below is a Miami Herald article with more information.    Read more »

Maire Chery, Haitian Nurse and Humanitarian, Dies at 59

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Below is a Miami Herald article by Patrick Riley concerning the recent passing of Marie Chery.  I was fortunate to be able to work with her as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thomonde.  Marie was a good nurse, a model humanitarian, a strong community leader, and an excellent human being.  She died too early but, thanks to her, many more people have access to health care than they would otherwise.  Marie will be missed.  A good way to remember her would be through donations to organizations that support health care in Haiti.      Read more »

In Haiti, Beauty That Plays Hard to Get To (New York Times)

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Below is an article by Dean Nelson in the New York Times about a trip taken to some of Haiti's most beautiful and remote sites. Could these sites one day help promote tourism in Haiti? Perhaps with the right physical and human infrastructure to support it.  In any case, it is a reminder that there is a lot to see, much of it beautiful, outside of Port au Prince. Read more »

Supporting Solutions to Urban Displacement in Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, February 7, 2014.

The Brookings Institution and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently released a report analyzing solutions for those who remain displaced in Port-au-Prince.  A key message is that solutions involve more than just closing camps.  Solutions happen over the long-term and require the participation of governments, humanitarians,  development agencies and the displaced.  The executive summary is below and you can read the full report here.   Read more »

2014 UN Humanitarian Action Plan for Haiti Released

By Bryan Schaaf on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

The UN has released its 2014 Humanitarian Action Plan for Haiti. While 89% of camp residents have moved out and significant progress has been made against cholera, significant challenges remain such as halting environmental degradation and reducing vulnerability to disasters.  The plan focuses on meeting the basic needs of those remaining in the camps, addressing the cholera epidemic, increasing food security, and strengthening the leadership and capacity of national authorities.  A summary of the plan follows. Read more »