Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

‘It became part of life’: How Haiti Curbed Cholera

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published in The Guardian Jacob Kushner March 16, 2020 Excerpt below: In 2011, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), a US-based legal advocacy organisation, filed a claim against the UN on behalf of 5,000 Haitian victims. The UN rejected the claim as “not receivable” and has refused to establish a standing claims commission to hear the dispute, although its peacekeeping agreement with Haiti requires it to do so. Nor has the UN created commissions to consider any of the other claims against UN peacekeepers in Haiti, including wrongful killings and child abuse. In 2013, IJDH sued the UN in the US federal court, which dismissed the case citing legal immunity. Some in Haiti say the UN’s actions during the cholera outbreak go beyond negligence, amounting to a deliberate cover-up that may have unnecessarily endangered lives. “Even […]
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Candidates must be honest about harmful U.S. role in fueling refugee crises

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published in the Miami Herald Paul Mondesir and S.G. Sarmiento March 13, 2020 Excerpt below: The Democratic candidates for president have an opportunity this week to address an issue that Floridians know well, but both national political parties willfully ignore: Bipartisan U.S. policies regularly force people to leave their homes in Latin America and the Caribbean and head to the United States. If we are to challenge rising bigotry and dehumanizing anti-immigrant policies at home, it’s time that we also have an honest conversation about the U.S. role abroad as well. After he left office, President Bill Clinton famously admitted to making a “devil’s bargain” in which he forced Haiti to lower tariffs on rice imports. He noted that while the move was “good for some of my farmers in Arkansas,” it forced Haitian rice farmers out of business […]
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Amnesty International: Americas 2019 Report

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published by Amnesty International March 13, 2020 Excerpt below: PROTESTS, REPRESSION AND MILITARIZATION 2019 was marked by mass protests across the region. In many countries – such as Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela – the main protagonists of these mobilizations were young people, people from low income homes and women. With a few exceptions, the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful. However, the year was also marked by states’ inability to channel people’s discontent and demands for their rights. Instead, they resorted to repression; excessive use of force, including intentionally lethal force; and other human rights violations. Main drivers of mass demonstrations During the year, predominantly young and diverse mass demonstrations across the region demanded action on women’s rights, the climate crisis and equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Mass anti-government protests […]
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The U.N.’s Inadequate Response to the Haiti Cholera Outbreak

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published in Harvard Political Review Andre Ferreira March 6, 2020 Excerpt below: In 1945, much of Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa, lay in ruins. Countries faced severe economic strife in an attempt to rebuild what was lost. The war led to the deaths of over 80 million people, a staggering toll of military and civilian lives. In the midst of all this suffering, the end of World War II would signify the beginning of an era towards maintaining international security and peace through international cooperation. Thus, 51 nations gathered to sign a Charter that would become the founding document of the United Nations, a multinational organization intended to give humanitarian assistance and promote global development. The U.N. strives to build a better world “guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter” by promoting democracy and […]
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As Haiti installs new prime minister without Parliament, U.S. lawmakers express frustrations

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published in the Miami Herald Jacqueline Charles March 4, 2020 Excerpt Below: As Haitian President Jovenel Moïse used his one-man rule Wednesday to install his fifth prime minister in three years, hundreds of miles away on Capitol Hill U.S. lawmakers were trying to figure out how to help Haiti while receiving an earful on the president’s poor human-rights and governance record. “President Moïse by decree appointed a prime minister,” Ellie Happel, an attorney and Haiti project director at New York University’s Global Justice Clinic, told the bipartisan Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights as the swearing-in of Joseph Jouthe and his 21-member government unfolded in Port-au-Prince. “This is quite concerning in the sense that he had been encouraged … to have a prime minister of consensus. Instead, he unilaterally appointed an individual and there is real discontent at what […]
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CARICOM’s role as Haitian crisis worsens

2 weeks 1 day ago
Originally published in MENAFN Sir Ronald Sanders February 28, 2020 (MENAFN – Caribbean News Global) Sir Ronald Sanders is Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto.   On February 20, the UN Security Council received a grim report of deteriorating human rights and collapsing rule of law in Haiti. The troubling situation includes widening malnutrition, kidnappings for ransom, rapes and gang violence. And, while all of this is happening, the courts in the Capital, Port-au-Prince, have been closed since September 2019; president Jovenel Moïse, unable to secure Senate approval for a government, has been ruling by decree. For every country in the world, apart from the […]
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Human rights and Rule of Law in Haiti: Key Recent Developments

1 month 1 week ago
PDF Version Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti: Key Recent Developments February 2020 Haiti faces an increasingly challenging human rights, security and rule of law context. In the five months since the operationalization of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in October 2019, the population has been threatened by acts of repression and private violence committed with apparent impunity.[1] Threats to the independence and functioning of the justice system are undermining the impartial application and consistent enforcement of laws. Civil liberties have been under risk from acts of violence and repression against protesters by the Haitian National Police (HNP). Amnesty International issued an advisory report on verified evidence of excessive use of force by the HNP against civilians in October 2019,[2] and the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders issued a November 2019 open […]
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Violations of the Right to Effective Remedy: The UN’s Responsibility for Cholera in Haiti

1 month 3 weeks ago
PDF Version   Executive Summary In December 2016, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General delivered a landmark public apology for the organization’s role in causing the world’s deadliest cholera epidemic in Haiti. Acknowledging both the suffering in Haiti and the resulting damage to the UN’s reputation, helaunched a “New Approach to Cholera in Haiti.” This $400 million plan was intended to end cholera in Haiti, provide assistance to those most affected, and turn the page on a shameful chapter in UN history. The UN’s responsibility for the cholera outbreak is no longer in dispute. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) improperly disposed of contaminated fecal waste into a tributary of the Artibonite River in 2010, introducing cholera to the country.(1) The epidemic, now in its tenth year, has killed at least 9,789 people and sickened 819,000.(2) Cholera has caused ongoing […]
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For Immediate Release: Groups Ask Human Rights Experts to Intervene in UN Response to Haiti Cholera

1 month 3 weeks ago
PDF Version Groups Ask Human Rights Experts to Intervene in UN Response to Haiti Cholera Three years after admitting its responsibility for cholera, UN continues to violate victims’ rights February 6, 2020 (New York, NY; Cambridge, MA; Port-au-Prince, Haiti) — Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, Haiti-based human rights law firm Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), and its U.S.-based partner organization, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), filed a formal complaint last week asking UN experts to investigate human rights violations linked to the UN’s response to introducing cholera to Haiti. The complaint is a request to the UN “Special Procedure” system, a group of UN-appointed human rights experts charged with reporting and advising on human rights issues worldwide. In 2016, after years of denial, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly apologizedfor the UN’s role in […]
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Now Hiring: IJDH Legal Director

1 month 3 weeks ago
PDF Version Position Title:         Legal Director Date:                            February 7, 2020 Start Date:                Immediate Location:                  New York, NY Reports to:              Executive Director xxxx Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a U.S.-based human rights non- profit organization. Since 2004, IJDH has worked to advance recognition and accountability to human rights in Haiti. In partnership with its Haiti-based sister organization Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH advocates, litigates, builds constituencies, and nurtures networks to create systemic pathways to justice for marginalized communities. xxxx Position Overview The Legal Director is part of the leadership team of IJDH. Reporting to the Executive Director, the primary […]
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Now Hiring: IJDH Senior Staff Attorney

2 months ago
PDF Version Position Title:              Senior Staff Attorney Date:                           January 31, 2020 Start Date:                  Immediate Location:                    New York, NY Reports to:                  Legal Advocacy Director   Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a U.S.-based human rights non-profit organization. Since 2004, IJDH has worked to advance recognition and accountability to human rights in Haiti. In partnership with its Haiti-based sister organization Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH advocates, litigates, builds constituencies, and nurtures networks to create systemic pathways to justice for marginalized communities. Position Overview IJDH seeks an experienced attorney to join our growing team. Reporting to the Legal Advocacy Director, the Senior Staff Attorney will design and implement legal advocacy strategies to advance international and national accountability for human rights violations in Haiti, including litigating high-impact cases in collaboration with […]
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‘They Put a Few Coins in Your Hand to Drop a Baby in You’: A Study of Peacekeeper-fathered Children in Haiti

2 months 1 week ago
PDF version of the study ABSTRACT Many peace support operations have faced allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by UN personnel against members of local communities. Some of these intimate relations result in children being born but there is little empirical data on the experiences of women and girls who conceive and bear these children. We analyse 265 self interpreted narratives from community members in Haiti about children fathered by UN personnel and born to local women or girls. The mixed methods results highlight three important themes: (a) poverty is a key underlying factor contributing to sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping personnel, (b) the repatriation of implicated peacekeepers often leaves the woman and child in exacerbated poverty, and (c) intimate relations with fair-skinned peacekeepers and having fair-skinned children are sometimes perceived as desirable. The data highlight that children […]
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WGBH: MGH Doctor Back in Haiti on 10 Year Anniversary of Earthquake

2 months 1 week ago
Originally published on WGBH News by Arun Rath and Matt Baskin Ten years ago Sunday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti. At least 100,000 people died but some estimates put the total at more than twice that. There was roughly $8-billion dollars in damage. In the months that followed there was a cholera outbreak that claimed thousands more lives. Dr. Louise Ivers of Massachusetts General Hospital was on the ground in Haiti when the earthquake happened. She recently returned to the country for the 10 year anniversary and spoke with WGBH News’ All Things Considered anchor Arun Rath. This transcript has been edited for clarity. Arun Rath: The earthquake hit just before 5 o’clock on the afternoon of January 12th, 2010. That was a Tuesday. At what point were you on the ground? Dr. Louise Ivers: I was actually there on January […]
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The Pernicious Power of American Promises

2 months 1 week ago
Originally published in the New York Times by Jacob Kushner   The first time I saw the famous Fabienne Jean, she was limping toward me, slowly, but with the unmistakable elegance of the dancer that she was. Two years had passed since American donors and American media had turned Fabienne into a symbol of recovery from the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Well-wishers had promised her everything from a new house and an American visa to her own dance academy. At the time she was still hopeful; none of it, however, would come to pass. The last time I saw the famous Fabienne Jean, she was sitting idle in her basement apartment in Port-au-Prince, unable to work, unable to dance, still nostalgic about her brief encounter with American generosity. She took out her phone and flipped through photos. […]
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CEPR: Haiti by the Numbers

2 months 1 week ago
Originally published in Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch, by Jake Johnston of CEPR.   Years since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti: 9 Estimated number of aftershocks that measured 4.5 or greater: 59 Number of people who died in the earthquake, according to Haitian government: 316,000 Number of people displaced: 1,300,000 Number of people who remained in internally displaced persons camps, as of September 2017: 37,867 Estimated population of Canaan, a barren hillside north of the capital, pre-earthquake: 0 Estimated population of Canaan now: 300,000 Minimum number of new homes necessary to meet demand: 500,000 Estimated damage and economic losses from earthquake, in percent of Haiti’s GDP: 120 percent Total amount of aid disbursed by donors, since 2010: $7,538,885,632 Amount of aid given to the government in the form of budget support: $280,844,071 Total amount of approved World Bank projects in Haiti since […]
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The Gourdean Knot– Jovenel Moise tries to govern Haiti without a parliament

2 months 1 week ago
Original article published in The Economist Even before it was dissolved, parliament was dysfunctional and its relationship with the president was broken. The 119-seat lower house was divided among 20-odd parties, which mostly represent the interests of local bigwigs. The 30-seat senate had 15. Mr Moïse, unable to form a majority, has named four prime ministers since 2017. One quit, one was felled by a no-confidence vote and two others never won parliamentary approval. Since March the government has operated without parliamentary authorisation. For the second year in a row, no budget was passed. Bureaucrats operate under the budget for 2017-18, unadjusted for inflation. The weakness of the gourde, Haiti’s currency, pushed up prices by 30% over the last two years. Mr Moïse’s answer to these problems is a new constitution, which would give the president more power. He told The Economist that […]
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Communiqué de Presse: Le BAI dénonce une tentative d’assassinat contre son collaborateur Maître Job GENE

2 months 1 week ago
Version PDF NOTE DE PRESSE 24 janvier 2020 Contact: Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney Organization: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux Email: mario@ijdh.org Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux dénonce une tentative d’assassinat contre son collaborateur Maître Job GENE Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), dans sa mission première de défendre les droits des plus démunis, les droits inaliénables, imprescriptibles et inhérents à la personne humaine, en particulier ceux des victimes du choléra importé par la Mission des Nations-Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haïti (MINUSTAH), des femmes et filles victimes de viol et d’agressions sexuelles, des citoyens victimes de terrorisme d’État dans l’exercice de leur Liberté Publique et autres abus de droit, dénonce une tentative d’assassinat avec commencement d’exécution perpétrée contre l’un de ses avocats dans sa résidence privée à Mirebalais , à savoir Maître Job GENE, l’avocat qui assiste légalement les victimes dont […]
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Ten Years On from Haiti’s Earthquake, Accountability and Self-Determination Hold Keys to Change

2 months 3 weeks ago
PDF Version FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ten Years on from Haiti’s Earthquake, Accountability and Self-Determination Hold Keys to Change   Jan 13, 2020 (Port-au-Prince and New York) – On the ten-year anniversary of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, we remember those whose lives were lost in the devastating tragedy. Over the past ten years, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), a Haiti-based, human rights law firm, together with its partner, the U.S.-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), have advocated for a rights-based approach to earthquake reconstruction grounded in state capacity building, transparency, participation,  and accountability. We’ve worked in grassroots solidarity to improve accountability, rule of law, and access to justice, including progress to strengthen the legal protection of women’s rights through Haiti’s courts, extending our model of community lawyering outside of the capital, building civic engagement and legal empowerment in […]
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Now Hiring: IJDH Executive Coordinator

2 months 4 weeks ago
PDF Version Available Position Title: Executive Coordinator Start Date: Immediate Location: Boston, MA Reports to: Executive Director Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a U.S.-based human rights non-profit organization. Since 2004, IJDH has worked to advance recognition and accountability to human rights in Haiti. In partnership with its Haiti-based sister organization Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH advocates, litigates, builds constituencies, and nurtures networks to create systemic pathways to justice for marginalized communities. Position Overview IJDH seeks an Executive Coordinator to join our growing team. Reporting to the Executive Director, this position will coordinate key projects and work of the Director and manage the general activities of the office. Key responsibilities include: management of key projects and activities, executive outreach, and office administration. The Executive Coordinator will serve as […]
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