UN's Universal Periodic Review, 2011: Coalition of 57 Haitian groups presents 12 reports on human rights to UN Human Rights Council

Grassroots Groups Present Counter-Perspective on Haiti’s Human Rights Record to United Nations

Haitian Groups Participate in First Ever UN Universal Periodic Review

Press Release: March 24, 2011
(Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 24, 2011) — A coalition of 57 Haitian grassroots groups, internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, human rights organizations, and academic institutions presented a set of 12 reports (plus summary) totalling 152 pages on human rights in Haiti to the U.N. Human Rights Council this week as a part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). (See the table of contents and authors and endorsers of the 12 reports below).

The coalition’s reports covered issues ranging from violations of the right to vote and violence against women to the responsibility to implement a rights-based approach through­out Haiti’s rebuilding after the earthquake.  They are designed to pro­vide the Human Rights Coun­cil the per­spec­tive of civil society as it conducts its review of Haiti’s record from now until the final hearings in October. The reports are available at: http://ijdh.org/projects/universal-periodic-review-upr (and attached here as a pdf).

“As a Hait­ian, I felt it was my responsibility to participate in the UPR process in order to shed light on the human rights situation in Haiti, specifically the right to education. The Haitian Government has failed to meet its obligation to protect human rights and this process is a tool to use to pressure the Government to play a more active role in realizing human rights,” said Esaie Gelin Jules who runs a school in Solino, a poor neighborhood Port-au-Prince, and submitted a report on the right to education.

Collectively, the reports make 147 recommendations to the Government of Haiti and members of the international community active in Haiti on concrete steps they should take to improve human rights over the next four years, when Haiti will be reviewed again.

“While the UPR mechanism focuses on the Government’s duty to recognize and protect the human rights of Haitians, a discussion of rights in Haiti must also include the responsibility of donor coun­tries and international actors that have played a large role in the country, both before and after the January 12 earth­quake.” said Nicole Phillips, Staff Attorney at the Insti­tute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).

The recommendations will be presented to Haiti at a hearing before the Human Rights Council in October, where the gov­ern­ment will explain its actions and policies.  The government will be expected to publicly state which recommendations it agrees to implement.

The UPR was established in 2006, and provides an unprecedented mechanism to publicly review UN member states’ human rights records.  Haiti is the last country to be reviewed in the first cycle, and the government is obliged to consult with civil society as it develops its own report on its enforcement of human rights.

“The UPR provides a unique opportunity to engage with the Gov­ern­ment on human rights, and we plan to advocate for mean­ing­ful consultation with civil society.  The perspective of grass­roots groups representing Haiti’s poor and displaced communities is particularly important, and we hope that the Government and Council will listen to their voices,” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI).

The coalition of groups were coordinated by the Lawyer’s Earth­quake Response Network (LERN), a network of 400 lawyers, law professors and students that came together after the earthquake to defend human rights in Haiti. LERN is led by the BAI in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and IJDH in Boston, MA.

Their efforts were supported by the U.S. Human Rights Network and You.Me.We, who provided training on the role of civil society in the UPR process. For more information, visit ijdh.org.

Contact:
* Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Inter­na­tionaux, mario@ijdh.org, +509‑3701-9879 (Haiti; Cre­ole, French);
* Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, beatrice@ijdh.org, +509‑3610-2847 (Haiti; English);
* Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, nicole@ijdh.org, +1–510-715‑2855 (U.S.; Eng­lish, French, Spanish).

Note: The attached UPR submissions document (pdf format) is 152 pages and consists of 12 submissions by international human rights organizations and of 58 Haitian grassroots organizations, plus a summary. The list of submissions is on page two of the document and is reproduced below. To read the document, click on the pdf attachment below, or find it here.


Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, October 2011

By International Human Rights Organizations and 57 Haitian Grassroots Organizations

Here is a list of the 12 reports contained in the submission (plus summary). To view the 152 page submission, click on the pdf attachment below or click here.

Summary Report, page 2

Children's Rights, page 14
Submitted By: Fondasyon Kolezepòl pou Sove Timoun Moun Viktim (MOVI); Action des Unités Motivés pour une Haïti de Droit (AUMOHD)
Endorsed By: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; Fanm Viktim Leve Kanpe (FAVILEK); Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Link Haiti, Inc.; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Criminal Justice, page 26
Submitted By: Alternative Chance; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; LAMP for Haiti Foundation
Endorsed By: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; Link Haiti, Inc.; Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Haiti; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; University of Miami School of Law, Human Rights Clinic; UnityAyiti

Right to Education, page 41
Submitted By: Asanble Vwazen Solino
Endorsed By: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation;  Link Haiti, Inc; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Elections & The Right to Vote, page 47
Submitted by : Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Canada Haiti Action Network; TransAfrica Forum; Louisiana Justice Institute
Endorsed By: Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye; Center for Constitutional Rights; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; Klèdev; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Let Haiti Live; Link Haiti, Inc.; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Environmental Justice, page 58
Submitted by: Association Haitienne de Droit de l'Environnement (AHDEN); Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti; National Lawyers Guild-Environmental Justice Committee
 Endorsed by: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Link Haiti, Inc; Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Haiti; Other Worlds are Possible; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Right to Food, Water & Sanitation, page 71
Submitted By: Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU School of Law; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LinkHaiti, Inc.; Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
Endorsed By: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Haiti; Paloma Institute; Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL); UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti; You.Me.We

Gender-Based Violence, page 87
Submitted By: MADRE; KOFAVIV (Komisyon Fanm Viktim Pou Viktim); FAVILEK (Fanm Viktim Leve Kanpe); KONAMAVID (Kodinasyon Nasyonal Viktim Direk); Women's Link Worldwide; The International Women's Human Rights (IWHR) Clinic at the City University of New York; (CUNY) School of Law
Endorsed By: Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP); The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (BAI); The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (IJDH); Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); The Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast (HSNNE); Human Rights Clinic, University of Miami School of Law

Right to Housing, page 101
Submitted By: Camp Benediction; Camp CAPVVA; Camp Cavil; Camp CCTT; Camp COSSBAMI; Camp CR-5*; Camp Faitree Michiko; Camp Imaculée Deplacée; Camp Michiko I; Camp Mosaique; Camp Refugee; Camp SOHOMO; Camp Toussaint Louverture; Groupe d'Action pour la Défense des Droits Humains en Haïti; International Action Ties; MOSFV; You.Me.We
Endorsed By: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Link Haiti, Inc.; Moun Viktim; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Labor Rights, page 113
Submitted by: Antèn Ouvriye; Transnational Legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Endorsed by: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Link Haiti, Inc; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

MINUSTAH: Renewal of the Mandate in Violation of Human Rights, page 122
Submitted by: Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye; Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Haiti; Let Haiti Live; UnityAyiti
Endorsed by: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; International Action Ties; LAMP for Haiti Fundation; Link Haiti, Inc.; Paloma Institute; TransAfrica Forum; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic

Restavèk: Child Labor and Child Slavery, page 136
Submitted by: Restavèk Freedom!
Endorsed by: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Center for Constitutional Rights; Conférence des universitaires pour la défense des droits et de la liberté; Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti; LAMP for Haiti Foundation; Link Haiti, Inc; Paloma Institute; UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic; UnityAyiti

Sovereignty, page 146
Submitted By: L'Organisation des Etudiants de l'Université de l'Etat d'Haïti (OEUEH); La Commission Rédaction, La Faculté de Science Humaine (FASH); La Faculté d'Agronomie et de Médecine Vétérinaire (FAMV)