Corruption

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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.

2010 Haiti Donors Conference and the Way Ahead

  • Posted on: 2 April 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The 2010 Haiti Donors’ Conference concluded yesterday.  The last such conference was held almost a year ago under very different circumstances.  This was very much an international event with Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain actively engaged.  Over 130 nations, NGOs, and other organizations participated.  Fifty nine pledged 9 billion, of which 5 billion will be for 2010 and 2011 – provided that these pledges actually become contributions which is not always the case.  As Phillipe Matieu of Oxfam puts it, “…pledges need to turn into concrete progress on the ground.  This cannot be a VIP Pageant of half promises.”   Below is a summary of what we know about the way ahead as of April 1st.

Some Frank Talk About Haiti

  • Posted on: 22 January 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

"Mesi" to Nicholas Kristof for his article below in defense of the Haitian people.  Development "experts" and religious "leaders" alike have put forth their own theories, ranging from fatalism to God's will, to explain Haiti's poverty.  Friends of Haiti know that Haitians are a strong, proud people who did not deserve what has happened to them.  As Kristof writes, " ...the implication of belated seismic revenge on Haitian children seems defamatory of God."  Haitians have made it through natural and man-made disasters before this.  While Haiti won't be the same, it will recover - the ultimate rebuttal to those who say it cannot.  

Building the Rule of Law in Haiti: New Laws for a New Era

  • Posted on: 29 August 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has been working with the Haitian Government to reform its sorely outdated criminal laws, more suited to the needs of 19th Century France than Haiti at present.  For this reason, Haiti's justice system has not been able to address moden crimes which include trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, and violations of human rights.  President Preval has initiated a comprehensive reform process with the participation of civil society, the United Nations, and think tanks such as USIP.  This process could help bring about a new chapter in Haitian history where criminal laws protect rights instead of violating them, and serve all the people of Haiti, including the poor and vulnerable.

State Department Releases 2008 Human Rights Report for Haiti

  • Posted on: 2 March 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
Each year, the State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is mandated to release country specific human rights reports.  The reports covers internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Human rights is fundamental to development.  While some progress was made in 2008, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.  Haiti's report is copied below and you can find the other country reports here.   

World Bank Applauds Swiss Handover of Duvalier Funds to Haiti

  • Posted on: 17 February 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is a press release by the World Bank welcoming the Swiss decision to return six million dollars in assets stolen from the Haitian people by Jean Claude Duvalier.  Duvalier still has thirty days to appeal although it is unlikely he would succeed.  These funds would be used for humanitarian projects in Haiti.  While the sum is not large, it shows that Haiti, and the international system of which it is a part, are willing to go after dictators (and ex-dicators) who enrich themselves by impoverishing their own countries.