Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Violations of the Right to Effective Remedy: The UN’s Responsibility for Cholera in Haiti

2 weeks 2 days 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

2 weeks 2 days 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

2 weeks 3 days 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

3 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

4 weeks 2 days 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

1 month 1 week 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

1 month 2 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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Apply to our Summer 2020 Legal Internship

1 month 4 weeks ago
PDF Version Available Here IJDH Legal Internship – Summer 2020   Position Title:            Legal Intern Start Date:                 June 2020 Location:                   New York, NY Reports to:                 IJDH Staff Attorney/Legal Director   About Us
 The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a U.S.-based human rights non-profit organization that has successfully helped enforce recognition and accountability to human rights in Haiti since 2004. 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. Internship Description IJDH is seeking 1-2 legal interns passionate about supporting struggles for justice in the Global South. The Summer Legal Internship is an opportunity for highly motivated law students to work in a fast-paced, creative and exciting environment to advance human rights in Haiti. In partnership with the […]
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The UN’s Tainted Legacy in Haiti

1 month 4 weeks ago
Originally published in the New York Times by the NYT Editorial Board   They came to bring peace; they departed 13 years later leaving behind disease and hundreds of children born to impoverished women and girls. The full damage done by these men, members of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Haiti, is still being reckoned. There have been many reports of sexual misconduct by United Nations peacekeeping forces, in Haiti and elsewhere. New research published last week on the academic website The Conversation chronicles what that means to the afflicted communities, people who by definition were in sufficiently dire straits as to require international intervention and therefore were easy prey for armed men bearing money and food. The study was based on interviews with 2,500 Haitians who lived near a peacekeeper base. They weren’t asked directly about sexual encounters, […]
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Weeks after suspicious death, Haiti gay rights activist still not buried

1 month 4 weeks ago
Originally published in the Miami Herald by Jacqueline Charles More than three weeks after the death of a prominent gay rights activist in Haiti under suspicious circumstances, he still has not been buried and no autopsy has been performed to find the cause. Charlot Jeudy’s lifeless body was found on Nov. 25 inside his home in the Caradeux neighborhood of Haiti’s capital. Jeudy, 35, was the leader and founder of Kouraj, or Courage, the country’s leading LGBTI advocacy group. He also was a member of the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism in Haiti, which is chaired by the country’s first lady. The Global Fund fights to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by getting life-saving treatment to vulnerable populations. Read the full story here
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In Haiti, the UN is a violator of Human Rights

1 month 4 weeks ago
Originally published in the Harvard International Review   All across the globe, sky-blue hats are a symbol of international cooperation and hope. These hats are the iconic blue protective helmets worn by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers while on duty. They are especially prevalent in rural, developing, and conflict-ridden regions. Particularly, UN peacekeepers have been a fixture in Haiti for the last 15 years until recently. On October 15, 2019, the familiar sea of blue hats left, leaving many questions. But, most importantly, peacekeepers have, perhaps, ironically left behind a legacy of human rights abuses. In 2010, the UN’s failure to ensure the hygiene of its peacekeeping force resulted in bringing the fatal disease, cholera, to Haiti. Tens of thousands of deaths followed but with little response by the UN. Ultimately, it took the UN six years to deliver a deliberately […]
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UN Peacekeepers fathered, then abandoned, hundreds of children, report says

1 month 4 weeks ago
Originally written here  by Michael Brice-Saddler U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti allegedly fathered children with women and girls before abandoning them, according to a new report, building on previous accusations of sexual misconduct carried out by peacekeepers on the vulnerable populations they are ordered to protect. As part of the report, published Tuesday in the Conversation, researchers surveyed 2,500 Haitians about the experiences of local women and girls in areas that hosted the United Nations’ 13-year Stabilization Mission in Haiti, also known as Minustah. Of that group, about 265 people told stories featuring children fathered by U.N. personnel — stitching together a troubling stream of coercion and abuse that left girls as young as 11 to raise children by themselves in conditions of extreme poverty. Some participants alluded to instances of rape or sexual violence, but more often, the Haitians surveyed relayed […]
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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

1 month 4 weeks ago
Originally published in The Conversation. By Sabine Lee and Susan Bartels Marie* was 14 years old and enrolled in a Christian school when she met and became involved with Miguel, a Brazilian soldier working in Haiti as a UN peacekeeper. When she told him that she was pregnant with his baby, Miguel said he would help her with the child. But instead, he returned to Brazil. Marie wrote to him on Facebook but he never responded. After learning that she was pregnant, Marie’s father forced her to leave the family home and she went to live with her sister. Her child is now four and Marie has yet to receive any support from the Brazilian military, an NGO, the UN or the Haitian state. Marie provides what she can for her son but she cannot afford to send him to […]
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Haiti Human Rights Organizations Pen Letter to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights After In Loco Visit

2 months ago
PDF Version available here   Mercredi  18 décembre 2019 Monsieur Paulo Abrão Secrétaire exécutif  Commission Interaméricaine des Droits de l’Homme (CIDH) 1889 F Street NW Washington, 20006 Etats-Unis d’Amérique (USA)  En ses bureaux.-    Monsieur le Secrétaire exécutif,    Plusieurs organisations de la société civile haïtienne ont adressé, en date du 15 novembre 2019 une correspondance à la Commission Interaméricaine des Droits de l’Homme (CIDH) dans laquelle elles ont sollicité une visite in loco de cette structure de droits humains en raison de la situation préoccupante dans le pays et des conditions de vie de la population qui patauge, pour sa majorité, dans une pauvreté extrême.     C’est donc avec plaisir que ces organisations avaient appris la visite de la CIDH en Haïti du 17 au 19 décembre 2019. Cependant, à leur grande stupeur, elles ont été informées que pour […]
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