Justice

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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.

Justice from Lot Bo Dlo?

  • Posted on: 22 May 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf


Last week, Haitian survivors of a brutal 1994 massacre by paramilitary leaders at last received a measure of justice. Unfortunately, it wasn't a Haitian court that dispensed it. It was a federal court in Florida. The Raboteau Massacre was a joint military/paramilitary attack on a pro-democracy neighborhood in a seaside slum during Haiti's 1991-1994 de facto military leadership, carried out on April 22, 1994. Up to 100 people were slaughtered, many of them as they ran toward the sea to escape. The next day, survivors of the attack filed complaints in Haiti with a local judge. In 2000, they won the convictions of 53 paramilitary leaders, some of them in absentia, and a damages award of $1 million gourdes. The trial was praised by international observers as fair to victims and defendants alike, and was one of the most important human rights trials ever in the Western Hemisphere.