Justice

UN Expected to Wrap Up Haiti Peacekeeping Mission Mid-October

  • Posted on: 13 April 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

On Thursday, April 13 the United Nations Security Council is expected to pass a resolution extending the mandate of MINUSTAH for a final six months, during which its 2,370 military personnel will phase.  After, a smaller mission of 1,275 police officers will focus on training the Haitian National Police. The full article by Edith Lederer (AP) follows and more information is available on the MINUSTAH website

U.S State Department Releases 2016 Human Rights Reports

  • Posted on: 4 March 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has released 2016 Human Rights Reports.  As in previous years, human right challenges in Haiti included weak democratic governance, inufficient respect for the rule of law, a deficient judicial system, and persistent corruption.  The good news is that it is clear where the shortcomings are and what the new government must do to improve.  There a wide range of partners who want to help including Haitian activists and organizations, other governemnts, and multilateral and non-governmental partners.  The 2016 Human Rights Report for Haiti follows. 

Haitian Government Creates Commission to Probe Prison Conditions

  • Posted on: 25 February 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Haitian Government has announced a commission to examine the country's prisons, which have long known to be over-crowded and unsafe.  Due to Haiti's weak justice system, most prisoners have not been convicted of crimes but are instead being held in pre-trial detention. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other organizations have for many years tried to improve conditions in the prisons but lasting change requires governmental committment, planning, and resources.  For more information on Haiti, visit the World Prison Brief.  The full article by AP reported David McFadden follows. 

UN Chief Apologizes for Cholera Six Years Later

  • Posted on: 2 December 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

On December 1st, outgoing United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered an apology of sorts, expressing reget for not doing enough to respond to cholera while not admitting that it was caused by the poor sanitation practices of UN Peacekeepers. Had this apology been made five years ago, coupled with a committment to bring an end to the outbreak no matter how long necessary, it would have meant something.  Coming months before he leaves office, one has the impression that the outbreak was not a priority until recently, that he is seeking to tie up the loose ends of his legacy before stepping down, or both. The full article by IRIN writer Samuel Oakford is below and information on efforts to hold the United Nations accountable can be found at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

Slaying of Three Deaf Women Highlights Vulnerability

  • Posted on: 25 April 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
Below is an article by AP Writer David McFadden regarding the brutal murder of three deaf women in Leveque.  It is not yet clear why the women were murdered.  However, people living with disabilities in Haiti are often stigmatized, isolated, and abuses committed against them ignored by the justice system. The murders have attracted widespread attention, the families have legal representation, and the Cabaret Police have three people in custody and are searching for two more. While nothing will bring the women back, apprehending and prosecuting the killers could send a message that such abuses will no longer be ignored.  

Protests Planned Over Court Decision Denying Citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian Descent

  • Posted on: 2 October 2013
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is an article by Ezra Fieser and Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald concerning a Dominican court ruling denying citizenship to Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants.  Many of them have never been to Haiti but nevertheless will be denied access to education and opportunities as they lack citizenship from the country where they were born and raised.  Haiti has recalled its Ambassador and protests are planned by human rights activists. 

State Department Releases 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

  • Posted on: 29 June 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department released its 2011 annual report on human trafficking.  While Haiti does have institutions devoted to protecting children, such as the Haiti National Police Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM), they lack resources and capacity.  For the immediate future, trafficking prevention and response will remain driven by non governmental and international organizations.  However, the Haitian government can make a major contribution by passing legislation that criminalizes sex trafficking and forced labor.  The portion of the report devoted to Haiti follows below.

USIP Report: The Rule of Law After the Earthquake

  • Posted on: 20 April 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is a recent report by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on the state of the Haitian justice system.  Prior to the earthquake, Haiti was making slow but much needed progress on improving access to justice.  The Haitian government is not starting from scratch but now has the added challenge of rebuilding courts, prisons, and police stations while continuing reform efforts.  Promoting a society that understands and values human rights and government that can monitor and enforce them is essential for Haiti's long term development.  

ICG Report: Stabilization and Reconstruction After the Quake (3/31/2010)

  • Posted on: 31 March 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Haiti Donors' Conference is taking place today, which you can view by clicking here.  In the meantime, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has released a report and recommednations for stabilizing and reconstructing Haiti.  The report makes clear that stability demands a difficult balancing act between meeting immediate humanitarian needs, which will only become more pronounced during the rainy season, and  laying the groundwork for long term recovery.  An accountable government, an informed civil society, and an engaged Diaspora are key.  The executive summary/recommendations are copied below and the complete report is attached.

Robert Maguire: The Way Forward for Haiti

  • Posted on: 6 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

 

Robert Maguire, with Trinity University and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), recently wrote a well thought out report (attached and below) on obstacles to stability and growth in Haiti.  Maguire highlights important issues such as the neglect of rural Haiti, where most Haitians live, and the need to bolster Haiti's Health and Education Ministries. Throughout, he states success depends not just on securing resources, but on allocating them in a way that is accountable, effective, and demonstrates the committment of the government to reform.  Something to keep mind if investment picks up in Haiti.