Women

Photo Essay: The Importance of Midwives in Haiti

  • Posted on: 29 July 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti's infant mortality rate remains the highest in the western hemisphere.  This is due in part to a lack of accessible health care facilities with sufficient staffing, training, and equipment.  With funding from Every Mother Counts, Midwives for Haiti have been training skilled birth atttendants (midwives) to asist mothers during delivery.  Ideally, every Haitian mother could deliver in a facility staffed by health care professionals available to them twenty four hours a day.  That's isn't the reality for most Haitian mothers, making the work of skilled birth attendents critical for them and their babies.  Take a look at the full Washington Post photo essay to learn more. 

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. 

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.    

The Dominican Dream Turned Nightmare for Haitian Migrants

  • Posted on: 18 October 2012
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Equal Times has produced a compelling report on the abuse of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic.  It is concise, features remarkable photography and raises important issues such as the extent to which Dominican employers and law enforcement collude with traffickers.  Preventing and responding to abuses is necessary for developing a bilateral relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic based on mutual respect.

Keeping Haiti Safe: Police Reform

  • Posted on: 12 September 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The International Crisis Group has released a report on the importance of police reforms for security in Haiti, meaning freedom from intimidation and abuse, conflict and violence, and crime and impunity.  The release comes during a time in which Brazil and other partner nations are increasingly contemplating a gradual drawdown of MINUSTAH staffing. This provides the Haitian government and its partners a window of opportunity to continue reforms that will make the Haitian National Police more effective and accountable.  The full report is attached and a summary is copied below.  

Haiti Earthquake Update (5/9/2010)

  • Posted on: 9 May 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The transition from emergency relief to reconstruction is happening, albeit slowly.  It won’t be easy and there will be setbacks, particularly given that the rainy season is upon us along with the risks it brings of flooding, mudslides, infectious diseases, and infrastructure damage.  Engineers have completed emergency mitigation measures at six of the most vulnerable settlements to protect the most vulnerable, but much remains to be done.

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.

UN Extends Haiti Peacekeeping Mission, Adjusts Strategy

  • Posted on: 14 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf


According to Edith Lederer (AP), The Security Council voted Tuesday to extend the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for another year.  The Council slightly reduced peacekeepers and added more police instead. In the absence of large scale security operations (such as took place in Cite Soleil), MINUSTAH will increasingly focus on rapid deployment to border and coastal areas.  Also copied below is the full UN resolution which references the protection of children, the participation of women, and the need to promote human rights and legal reform.  While Haiti is stabilizing, and the relationship with MINUSTAH is at times tense, it is still very much needed.

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.