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.

Haiti Ranked Fifth on 2011 Fragile States Index

  • Posted on: 20 June 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy Magazine released the 2011 Failed States index today.  Of 177 countries, Haiti was ranked the fifth most vulnerable when compared against twelve key social, economic, and political indicators.  Few would dispute Haiti’s fragility.  Still, the index does not convey that Haiti has major assets, such as its Diaspora and potential for economic development.  Improvements depend in large part on the extent to which Haitian civil society and the international community can have confidence in the leadership of the Haitian government.  A fair assessment or not?  Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section. 

Hunger and Hurricanes (6/6/2011)

  • Posted on: 6 June 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Last week, Trenton Daniel wrote an article highlighting malnutrition and hunger in Haiti’s neglected rural areas.  Over the long term, the countryside needs agricultural modernization, better environmental management, and roads to move crops to regional markets.  Haiti first has to make it through hurricane season which began May 1st.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) anticipates an above normal hurricane season with a 70 percent chance of 12 to 18 named storms, including 6 to 10 hurricanes.  Storms put lives, crops, and infrastructure in Haiti at risk. 

Envisioning a New Jacmel

  • Posted on: 30 May 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Trade is more important to Haiti’s future than aid.  This includes agricultural revitalization, industrial development, and perhaps growth in the tourism sector. Jacmel, Haiti’s city of art, has always been one of its most appealing cities.  While the city took serious damage during the earthquake, the Capponi Group and the Jacmel Advisory Council are collaborating in the development of Jacmel's downtown, including the construction of a hotel.  At the same time, Yele has committed to developing Jacmel’s first tourism training school.  Concept art and video can be found on the Capponi Group website.  Additional information follows.

Screening of "Lift Up" In Washington D.C. to Benefit Haiti (5/18/2011)

  • Posted on: 25 April 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Service to Serve Haiti Committee is a group of individuals from the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC committed to supporting recovery efforts in Haiti.  Its members have organized a screening of "Lift Up", a documentary about two Haitian brothers who return to Haiti in order to memorialize the grandfather they lost after the earthquake.  The screening will benefit Fonkoze, the Haiti Micah Project, and the Saint Vincent's School for the Handicapped, each of which the Committee's members have worked with and know first hand the impact these groups are making for women and children in Haiti.  Below is the official press release. 

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.

Peace Corps/Friends of Haiti Launched

  • Posted on: 6 April 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

While there is not an active Peace Corps program in Haiti,  the organization continues to make a difference in Haiti through the 507 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who served between 1982-1987, 1990-1991, and 1996-2005.  In March, Peace Corps/Friends of Haiti (PCFOH)  became the newest “Friends Of” Group to be recognized by the National Peace Corps Association.   You don’t have to be an RPCV to get involved!  Take a look at our temporary website (we'll improve it as time goes on), join in discussions about Haitian development issues, and feel free to reach out to us with your feedback and ideas.

Haiti Education and Leadership Program (HELP) Update

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

Since 1988, the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP) has provided scholarships to high performing students throughout Haiti based solely on merit.  HELP is still going strong and recently upgraded its website with support from the Mastercard Foundation.  It may well be that the only activity that counts as "sustainable development" is education.  Knowledge and skills can’t be taken away.  In a country where over 40% of the population is under the age of fourteen, education empowers individuals to improve themselves, their communities, and their country.  More information about HELP follows.  

Beyond Emergency Relief in Haiti (Groupe URD)

  • Posted on: 28 January 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is a stock-taking document by Groupe URD which highlights common themes from the many evaluations that have been carried out concerning the humanitarian response to the earthquake.  Chief among them are the importance of urban planning in cities, agricultural revitalization in the countryside, disaster preparedness throughout the country, and the need to focus on communities and institutions rather than individuals.  You can also learn more about URD's activities in Haiti here

State Department Awards Grant to Fight Human Trafficking in Haiti

  • Posted on: 21 January 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S. State Deparment's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) today announced a grant of $4.75 million to ten grantees to strengthen the capacity of the Haitian government and civil society to prevent and respond to human trafficking. Information about grantees and their activities follows in the official announcement below.  Background on human trafficking in Haiti and the Dominican Republic can be found in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report.    

Pages