Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Haitian TPS-Holders Anxiously Awaiting Trump’s Decision

July 25, 2017 - 09:55

After finding refuge in the US, many Haitians still remain in fear after the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

These Haitians Found Refuge From Earthquakes, Cholera, and Poverty. Now Trump Plans to Send Them Back.

Nathalie Baptiste Mother Jones

But, in October 2010, “UN troops inadvertently introduced a still-unchecked cholera epidemic,” said Steve Forester, the immigration policy coordinator at Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, an advocacy group. “Haiti hadn’t had cholera in at least 100 years.”
Cholera is an illness caused by an infection of the intestine, which is spread by contaminated food or water. Symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and more. In rich countries, cholera is not fatal because it is generally treated quickly. But in Haiti, where hospitals and qualified doctors are in short supply, treatable illnesses often turn into death sentences. So far, cholera has killed at least 10,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. “Haiti needs the time to deal with the triple-whammy of quake, cholera, and Matthew and the health and food insecurity crises they’ve caused,” says Forester


In 2011, an UN-appointed panel concluded that a UN camp that housed peacekeepers from Nepal—where the same strain of the disease is endemic—was the source of the infection. The UN is struggling to come up with the resources to fund a sustained recovery effort. Forester points out that the UN has only raised $10 million of its goal of $400 million to effectively begin to combat the epidemic. In December 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered a formal apology for the outbreak. “We simply did not do enough with regard to cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti,” he said. “We are profoundly sorry about our role.”


Read Full Article HERE

Haitian Advocates start 180 day countdown to extend TPS

July 25, 2017 - 07:30

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists and Haitian advocates started an 180 day countdown to push the trump administration to extend TPS and also continue to work with U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urging Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

Haitian advocates start 180-day countdown urging Trump administration to extend TPS

Ayanna Runcie  Miami Herald
A 10-year-old girl from Miami who could be deported from the U.S. if Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, isn’t extended for Haitians joined a campaign Monday to raise awareness of the issue.
“I’m not afraid, but I have to be concerned about it,” Vanessa Joseph said during a press conference organized by Haitian Women of Miami. “So I have to keep on fighting for my parents and some TPS recipients.”
Joseph’s parents are Haitian citizens who have been living in the United States under TPS, a federal program that allows people living in counties that are plagued with civil conflict or environmental disasters to live and work in the United States. About 58,000 Haitians are protected from deportation under TPS.

TPS was granted to Haitian nationals under the Obama administration after an earthquake devastated the nation in 2010. The Trump administration announced in May that TPS for Haitians will expire January 22.
Haitian Women of Miami encouraged South Florida residents who could qualify for TPS to apply right up to the midnight deadline on Monday, even though some have already received letters from the Department of Homeland Security stating that they must leave the country in six months, according to Marleine Bastien, executive director of the organization.

Read Full Article HERE

After Thirteen Years, What Will Be the U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti?

July 24, 2017 - 11:27

On October 16, the United Nations (U.N.) will end its 13-year controversial peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The U.N. Mission for Stabilization in Haiti known by its French acronym MINUSTAH has been plagued by series of controversies from sexual abuses to cholera outbreak and the list can go on. The UN cholera has killed over 10,000 Haitians and sickened 800,000 more. It took U.N. nearly six years to acknowledge its role in spreading the cholera and to publicly apologize to Haitian people. U.N.’s legacy is in the line. The organization needs to raise $400 million to fund its New Approach to cholera in Haiti.

Join our Time2Deliver campaign to press the U.N. to keep its promise to Haitian people and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund it it has not already done so.

Read the full arricle HERE

The U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti: Stability, but for Whom?

Jake Johnston, World Politics Review 

After 13 years and more than $7 billion, the “touristas”—as the United Nations soldiers that currently occupy Haiti are commonly referred to—will finally be heading home. Well, sort of. While thousands of troops are expected to depart in October, the U.N. has authorized a new, smaller mission composed of police that will focus on justice and strengthening the rule of law. But the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, is not just thousands of foreign soldiers “keeping the peace.” It is the latest and most visible manifestation of the international community’s habit of intervening in Haiti, a habit that is unlikely to change.

World powers have always had a difficult time accepting Haitian sovereignty. When a slave revolt delivered Haiti independence from France in 1804, gunboat diplomacy ensured the liberated inhabitants would pay for their freedom. For the next 150 years, Haiti paid France a ransom for its continued independence. In the early 20th century, a new hegemonic power held sway, with U.S. Marines occupying the country for more than 20 years.

Read the full article HERE 

Haitian TPS-Holders Anxiously Await Trump’s Upcoming Decision

July 24, 2017 - 08:43

Haitian TPS-holders which amount to as many as 58,000 in the United States are overwhelmed with fear as they await Trump’s next move. Last week 26 U.S. senators wrote secretaries John Kelly and Rex Tillerson urging them to extend Temporary Protected Status  for ten countries, including Haiti. Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates continue to ask the Trump Administration to re-designate TPS for Haiti for least 18 months. Haiti has been rilled by a series of natural disasters in the past seven years. The country is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and from last year’s Hurricane Mathew that devastated its southern peninsula killing thousands of people and destroyed livelihoods of farmers.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Full Article HERE

Haitian Immigrants With Temporary Status Await Trump’s Next Move


Jean Jubens Jeanty, a Haitian Uber driver who lives in Brooklyn, has his future mapped out. After completing a high school diploma program at Brooklyn College next month, he plans to start college next year. He would then seek further schooling to become a nurse or pediatrician. But the clock is ticking on his plans.
Mr. Jeanty, 29, came to the United States from Port-au-Prince in September 2006 with his eldest brother and stayed after his tourist visa expired. He has what is known as temporary protected status, or T.P.S., which was granted to Haitians who were visiting the United States or living here illegally when a devastating earthquake struck their homeland in 2010. T.P.S. allows him and other Haitians to live and work legally in this country, until conditions in Haiti have improved enough to return home safely.
Now, the Trump administration is monitoring earthquake recovery efforts to determine whether temporary protected status for Haitians should be terminated in January when its recent six month extension ends.The Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly, said in a news release in May that Haiti has been making significant progress, advising T.P.S. holders to begin to “prepare for and arrange their departure” should the special designation end in January.

Full Article HERE

The Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York Provides Free Clinical Service to Haitian-TPS Holders

July 24, 2017 - 08:02

Following the announcement of  Department of Homeland Security’s six-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extension for Haiti, the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) has been holding free clinics in Flatbush, NY, to help Haitians renew their TPS. The Association has also assisted participants in finding Haitian Creole-speaking immigration attorneys statewide.

Full Article HERE 

Haitian Bar Association hosts clinics for those in danger of losing temporary protected status

Rob Abruzzese, Brooklyn Daily Eagle 

July 13, 2017

Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) have been hard at work this summer as they have held a pair of temporary protected status (TPS) renewal clinics in Flatbush this summer to help Haitian immigrants who are in danger of losing their status.

The first of these events was held at the YMCA in Flatbush last month and another was held this past weekend at the Bethesda Baptist Church, also in Flatbush. These events connect Haitians living in Brooklyn and the state with Creole-speaking attorneys who can help them to renew the immigration benefit.

Read Full Article HERE

Activists, Lawmakers Continue to Urge DHS Extend TPS for over 50, 000 Haitian Nationals

July 21, 2017 - 09:15

Over 50,000 Haitians who have been living in the United States for the past seven years could be sent back to Haiti next January. They were granted Temporary Protection Status (TPS) following the 2010 earthquake was extended last year under the Obama Administration after Hurricane Matthew ruined Haiti’s southern peninsula last year. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) John Kelly extended TPS for Haitian national for six month instead of the usual 18 months.  Haiti is not and won’t be ready to welcome back  those Haitians in the next few months. We urge DHS to extend TPS for Haiti for at least 18 months.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Full Article HERE

Plea to Trump to Extend Haitian Temporary Protected Status

Alan Warnick, NY Daily News 

July 17, 2017 

Q: I am here lawfully with Haitian Temporary Protected Status. I read that the Department of Homeland Security will end the program Jan. 18. If that happens, will they try to deport us Haitians all at once?

John Eugene, Florida

A: I remain optimistic that DHS will extend TPS for Haitians beyond Jan. 19. If I’m wrong, I doubt that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will make deporting Haitians a priority. ICE and the immigration courts are already overwhelmed. Many Haitians will have defenses to deportation. When they assert their claims, the courts will be clogged further.

Full Article HERE

Senators Gillibrand & Menendez, With 24 Senate Colleagues, Urge U.S. Dept. of State and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security To Extend Temporary Protected Status For Individuals From 10 TPS-Designated Countries.

July 19, 2017 - 16:18

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today with 24 Senate colleagues wrote to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging Secretaries Rex Tillerson and John Kelly to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of nationals currently residing in the United States. The TPS designation is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to foreign nationals in the United States and countries devastated by natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions. Currently, there are over 320,000 TPS holders in the United States from 10 countries with deadlines set to expire at the end of the year and beginning of 2018. These countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

“We urge you to review each of the designations closely, taking into consideration conditions on the ground and remaining mindful of the possibility that ending TPS and ordering the return of recipients could undermine fragile recovery efforts or put individuals in harm’s way,” the Senators wrote in their letter. “Continuing to extend TPS for the 10 currently designated countries serves our national security interests and demonstrates to our allies abroad that the United States is a leader in humanitarian efforts.”
The TPS designation is implemented through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to immigrants residing in the United States who are unable to safely return to their home country. TPS can be granted in the event of an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster as well as other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS recipients are fully vetted and are required to undergo background checks to ensure that they are not risks to public safety or national security.
Once granted TPS, individuals may not be deported, can obtain an employment authorization document and may be granted travel authorization. In addition, individuals cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of their immigration status. Today’s letter comes after Senator Menendez joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week in a meeting with Secretary Kelly about the Trump administration’s immigration policies including the future of Temporary Protected Status designations. Upon questioning, Secretary Kelly was non-committal in laying out a clear future that ensures the United States continues to show our leadership in extending protection to TPS recipients as their countries recover.

Read Full Article HERE

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Top U.S. Official Indicates Special Immigration Status for Millions May Terminate Soon

July 18, 2017 - 11:48

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “will likely be determined by the courts.” He also indicated that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals “will likely end.” Last May, Mr. Kelly extended TPS for Haitians for six months instead of the usual 18 months. 

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our WEBSITE

Click HERE to read the full article.

Top Trump official warns special immigration status may end soon for a million people


July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON —President Donald Trump’s top immigration official warned Hispanic members of Congress Wednesday that over a million people living in the United States under a special protected status could soon be placed in line for deportation.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the fate of deferred action program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — will likely be determined by the courts, perhaps as soon as September, and that attorneys he’s consulted with do not think the program is legally sustainable. Kelly also would not commit to extending temporary protected status, or TPS, for nationals from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and four other countries, but indicated that TPS for Haitians will likely end.

“I have never left a meeting so emotionally affected than from what I just heard inside,” said U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who estimated that millions of people could be deported. “And I’m positive that my colleagues heard the same thing that I heard.”

Click HERE to read the full article.

Grand’Anse: Farmers Struggling to Rebuild their Lives Post-Hurricane Matthew

July 18, 2017 - 10:49

Nine months after Hurricane Matthew devastated the southern peninsula of Haiti, farmers who have been  self-sufficient are now struggling to make ends meet. They  have been unable to afford to buy the staples that they once grew in their fields. With the exodus of humanitarian aid, many feel that they have been forgotten by their own government. They are worried about the government’s ability and interest in assisting their recovery from the hurricane that ruined their lives, destroyed their livelihoods and left behind $2.8 billion in damage.

Read Full Article HERE

After Hurricane Matthew, many  victims in Haiti feel abandoned

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

July 14, 2017

PLAINE GOMMIERS, HAITI: A feisty Vanette Joseph slowly navigates her way through a field of debris, passing broken branches and other reminders of last year’s devastating 145-mph hurricane before spying one of her few surviving plants.

“All of the lime trees were destroyed,” she says as something catches her eye. She moves in for a closer look.

Much like Hurricane Matthew put a choke-hold on her livelihood, an invasive coiling vine has gotten hold of the lone standing lime tree, and Joseph, 91, isn’t happy. So the determined farmer pushes her eyeglasses on top of her forehead, reaches in and starts pulling.

Read Full Article HERE 

Haitian Activists Press the U.S. to Extend TPS for Haitian Nationals

July 14, 2017 - 12:30

The Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

Haitian activists urge U.S. not to deport quake refugees

Sebastian Malo, Reuters

May 10, 2017

A Boston-based activist group, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), said it had been successful in lobbying lawmakers for their support.

So far, the group had prompted some 90 members of Congress to publicly voice their support for the preservation of Haiti’s status, said Steve Forester, a spokesman for IJDH.

“If there was ever a classic textbook case for TPS, it is Haiti,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

“Not granting TPS would increase despair, the destabilizing (of Haiti) and be contrary to the national security of the United States.”

Last week, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse told Haitian media he too backed the renewal of the TPS for his country.

Read Full Article HERE

U.N. Wants to Transfer MINUSTAH’s Underspent Dollars to Haiti’s Cholera Fund

July 14, 2017 - 12:06

The United Nations said that it will ask Member States to voluntarily transfer their share of the MINUSTAH’s unspent money to the Haiti cholera fund to assist the victims of cholera. In 92 days, the U.N. will close its 13-year controversial peacekeeping mission on October 16th.

Join our Time2Deliver campaign to add pressure to the  U.N. so that they can respect the promise they made to Haitian people.

Read Full Article HERE

UN asks countries to shift $40m to Haiti cholera fund,

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations said Thursday it will ask countries to voluntarily hand over $40.5 million remaining from the budget of the soon-to-close mission in Haiti to help victims of cholera in the Caribbean country.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing a proposal from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who is facing a major shortfall in the $400 million needed to help Haiti recover from the epidemic.

Guterres will ask all contributors to the peacekeeping budget to notify him within 60 days whether they will are willing to shift their share of the unspent money to the cholera fund.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, last month announced that it will be taking back its share of the unspent budget and will not be making a contribution to the fund.

Read Full Article HERE

Unable to Enter US, Haitians Settle in Mexico

July 12, 2017 - 09:10

After Barack Obama tightened his stance on immigration, many Haitian migrants began to settle in Mexico, rather than attempt to cross the border. For as long as the the Trump administration remains in power, these Haitians have little hope of entering the United Statets safely. As a result, more than 4,000 Haitians have been stranded in Mexico—2,000 of them in Tijuana, where they’ve set up their own “Little Haiti”.

Visit our immigration page for more information about Haitian immigrants and TPS extension.

Part of the article is provided below. Read the full article HERE

Stranded Haitians settling in Tijuana

Mexico News Daily, 10 July 2017

It’s a long way from Port-au-Prince to Tijuana but little by little thousands of Haitian migrants stranded in the city are beginning to feel more at home as they put down roots and even influence the local population with their food and culture.

Around 20,000 Haitians arrived in Baja California between June and December last year and although their original goal was to reach the United States, a change in U.S. government policy prevented many from gaining entry into the country.

Consequently, at least while President Donald Trump remains in the White House, some of them plan to stay in Tijuana.

 A 2010 earthquake devastated the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince as well as other parts of the country and another natural phenomenon – Hurricane Matthew – also caused widespread damage in October 2016.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the U.S. government established a humanitarian temporary protection program for Haitians but a hardening of the policy at the end of Barrack Obama’s term – aimed at deterring rising levels of migration from the country — left more than 4,000 stranded in Mexico.

Read the full article HERE


Haitians Continue to Risk their Lives at Sea

July 12, 2017 - 09:07

The United States Coast Guard repatriated 102 Haitian nationals back to Haiti. This new development is a sign that Haiti is not and won’t be ready to welcome back thousands of its citizens from the United States in the next few months. Two months ago, Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates continue to urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Read the full article HERE

U.S. Coast Guard repatriates 102 fleeing Haitian migrants to Haiti

By: Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

July 12, 2017

In what it’s calling its largest interdiction of Haitians at sea in more than a year, the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday repatriated 102 migrants back to Haiti.
The migrants were interdicted Tuesday approximately 22 miles south of Great Inagua, Bahamas, and taken to Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti.
“The Caribbean and Florida Straits are dangerous and unforgiving for migrants on illegal and ill-advised voyages in overloaded vessels,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, chief of response for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “The Coast Guard and its partner agencies continue to maintain a strong presence along our maritime border and will continue to interdict and rescue those who embark on these illegal voyages in unsafe vessels such as this one.”

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard has interdicted 1,028 Haitian migrants attempting to illegally migrate to the United States aboard rickety vessels, compared to 1,872 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2016.
The large number of Haitians risking their lives at sea comes as Brazil, Chile and the Turks and Caicos have in recent months restricted legal Haitian migration, and the U.S has tightened its border with Mexico. The southwestern U.S. border had become the preferred entry point for thousands of Haitians who had shunned the Florida Straits, instead making a staggering 7,000-mile journey that starts in Brazil and traverses 11 countries in South and Central America.

Read the full article HERE







BAI: Haitian Govt. Should Do More to Protect Women from Sexual Harassment  

July 6, 2017 - 13:32

Sexual harassment inside or outside the workplace is unacceptable. Haitian government must take necessary steps to prevent and eliminate it. The Government of Haiti has the obligation under the Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to “take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment.”  As the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) noticed in its 2016 report titled “Gender Issues Facing Women and Girls,” Haiti has no specific laws that prohibit sexual harassment. As a result of that, the victims of sexual harassment are victimized twice. It is time for Haitian lawmakers to act by passing legislations that aim at protecting all women from sexual harassment in the workplace and outside the workplace. According to an article published by the Haitian newspaper, Le National, Haitian women face sexual harassment daily in their workplace, and the perpetrators are often their male bosses who abuse their position of power to harass them.

Read the original article in French published by Le National.

U.N. Can and Must Deliver on its Promise to Haitian People

July 5, 2017 - 07:41

In less than three months, the United Nations will close its controversial 13-year peacekeeping mission known as MINUSTAH. The U.N.’s mission in Haiti has been plagued by a series of controversies ranging from cholera to sexual abuse. After six years of denying its role in the cholera epidemic that has killed 10, 000 Haitians and sickened over 800, 000, the U.N. finally apologized to people of Haiti. Nearly eight months since then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the New Approach, the victims of cholera are still waiting on U.N. to deliver on its promises, meanwhile the disease continues to kill at least one Haitian every day.

Tell the U.N. it’s time to deliver. Join our Time2Deliver campaign and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund.

Read the full Op-ED HERE.

U.N. continues to stumble — badly — in Haiti

By Lauren Carasik, Miami Herald

April 12, 2017

Nowhere is the United Nations’ lack of accountability more glaring than in Haiti. The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is responsible for causing a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and for crimes, including sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), that have largely gone unpunished.

Thursday, as the Security Council votes on the future of MINUSTAH, it has a last chance to ensure that its mission’s legacy includes an accountable response for the harms it has caused. If the United Nations replaces MINUSTAH without doing right by Haiti, its successor mission, whose mandate will focus on promoting rule of law, will lack the credibility to succeed from its inception.

After six years of unconscionably denying its culpability in causing cholera, then-outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally accepted moral responsibility for the U.N.’s role and its “collective responsibility to deliver” relief. He announced the New Approach, a $400 million strategy comprising two tracks: the first focused on upgrading badly failing water, sanitation and health infrastructure systems; and the second entailing “a package of material assistance and support to those Haitians most directly affected by cholera, centered on the victims and their families and communities.”

Observers were cautiously optimistic that the United Nations would finally remediate the harm caused when infected Nepalese peacekeepers recklessly discharged raw sewage, spreading a disease never before reported in poorest country in the Americas.

But instead of acting quickly to fulfill its promise to stanch the epidemic’s lethal toll and aid struggling survivors, the U.N. has stumbled again. On March 19, the New York Times revealed that the organization has only raised $2 million of the $400 million it promised to eradicate the disease and compensate its victims. Of the U.N.’s 193 member states, only six have voluntarily donated to the trust set up to fund the New Approach, with two countries donating just over $7 million to separate anti-cholera efforts. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is among those urging the U.N. to fulfill its obligation to the people of Haiti. But despite the anemic reception to his fundraising efforts, the Secretary-General is tabling a move to assess mandatory contributions in the face of stiff resistance from certain member states.

Read the full Op-ED HERE.

Lauren Carasik is clinical professor of law and director of the International Human Rrights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts. You can contact the author via her e-mail:

From MINUSTAH to MINUJUSTH, Where Is Justice for the Victims of Cholera?

June 28, 2017 - 06:14

Sadly, when the United Nations Security Council visited Haiti last week, the cholera issue was excluded from its agenda. But victims of cholera, which was introduced by U.N. peacekeeping soldiers from Nepal, and cholera advocates organized many demonstrations demanding that the U.N. keep the promises it made last year to the Haitian people. Mario Joseph of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) urged the U.N. to fulfill its promises by compensating victims of cholera individually and assisting in building infrastructure to prevent another cholera outbreak before the end of MINUSTAH’s controversial 13-year mission in Haiti.

Tell the U.N. it’s time to deliver. Join our Time2Deliver campaign and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund.

Read the full editorial HERE in French.

Editorial: De la MINUSTAH à la MINUJUSTH sans dédommager les parents des victimes

Par Lemoine Bonneau, Le Nouvelliste

June 26,  2017

La délégation du Conseil de sécurité qui a visité Haïti du 22 au 24 juin 2017, dans la perspective de la mise en place prochaine de la Mission des Nations unies pour l’appui à la justice en Haïti (MINUJUSTH), n’a rien promis sur le dédommagement des victimes du choléra causées par le contingent népalais de la MINUSTAH depuis 2010. Voulant s’enquérir de la situation du pays sur le plan de la gouvernance, la délégation s’est entretenue avec les représentants des grands Corps de l’Etat dans le cadre de cette visite de terrain.

Sans ambages, le chef de la délégation, le Bolivien LIorentty Soliz, conçoit la MINUJUSTH comme une mission qui s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une stratégie visant à assurer une transition continue et progressive vers le développement. Si au niveau de l’organisation mondiale le passage de la MINUSTAH à la MINUJUSTH se justifie par l’adoption de la Résolution 2050 du Conseil de sécurité qui définit les termes de cette mission, en Haïti, il n’en est pas ainsi. Il fallait, selon toute vraisemblance, laver les souillures de cette mission qui a endeuillé les familles haïtiennes à travers l’épidémie de choléra qui continue de faire des victimes au sein des couches les plus défavorisées, avant de parvenir à la transition vers une nouvelle mission.

Comment le Conseil de sécurité peut-il prévoir un engagement à long terme de la MINUJUSTH, par la mise en place d’un budget incluant ses besoins de fonctionnement sous toutes ses formes, tandis que rien n’est prévu à court terme pour dédommager les victimes de l’épidémie de choléra ainsi que l’aménagement des structures d’assainissement et le renforcement du système d’adduction d’eau potable pour éviter la propagation du choléra dans les zones marginalisées ?

Read the full editorial HERE in French.


U.N. Will have to Deal with ‘Legal Challenges and Public Relations Nightmares’ Until it Delivers on its Promises

June 27, 2017 - 09:37

Following the United Nations Security Council’s visit to Haiti last week, public pressure on the U.N. to fund cholera elimination efforts has risen sharply. Yesterday, The New York Times published a piece chronicling the organization’s failure to fund cholera eradication efforts. Beatrice Lindstrom, an IJDH staff lawyer, summed up the U.N.’s current predicament: “Until the U.N. makes good on its promise to fund cholera elimination and remedies for victims, it will keep having to contend with legal challenges and public relations nightmares.”

Tell the U.N. it’s time to deliver. Join our Time2Deliver campaign and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

U.N. Brought Cholera to Haiti. Now It Is Fumbling Effort to Atone.

Rick Gladstone, The New York Times

June 26, 2017

Even as the United Nations expresses growing alarm over a cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen, the organization is increasingly worried about the fallout from a stubborn cholera scourge in Haiti that was caused by its own peacekeepers more than six years ago.

A $400 million voluntary trust fund for Haiti to battle cholera was created last year by Ban Ki-moon, then the secretary general, when he apologized for the United Nations’ role after having repeatedly denied any responsibility. But the fund, meant in part to compensate cholera victims, garnered only a few million dollars and is now nearly empty.

Entreaties by Mr. Ban’s successor, António Guterres, for charitable contributions have gone unanswered. Moreover, a proposal announced on June 14 by Mr. Guterres’s office to repurpose $40.5 million in leftover money from the soon-to-be disbanded peacekeeping mission in Haiti for use in the cholera fight has faced strong resistance from other countries.

Without an immediate infusion of funds, warned his deputy secretary general, Amina J. Mohammed, “the intensified cholera response and control efforts cannot be sustained through 2017 and 2018.”

Click HERE for the full article.

Broken Promise for Individual Reparations to Cholera Victims Continues U.N. Injustices

June 26, 2017 - 09:36

For six years, the United Nations denied responsibility for the devastating cholera outbreak that has killed +10,000 Haitians. The organization ignored victims, rejected scientific reports, hid behind a broad immunity clause and, until the very end of 2016, refused to admit moral or legal responsibility. Then-Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s acknowledgement of the U.N.’s role in the epidemic, and subsequent announcement of the “New Approach” for cholera remedies and prevention in Haiti, sparked hope that it would finally take steps to remedy past injustices.  As the cholera death toll continues to rise and victims struggle to overcome significant financial burdens, Haiti cannot afford for the U.N. to stall, deflect and distract from its broken promises. It is #time2deliver.

Tell U.N. it’s time to deliver. Join our Time2Deliver campaign and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

UN is breaking its promise to people of Haiti (Opinion)

Stephen Lewis, CNN

June 25, 2017

For years the United Nations denied bringing to Haiti a devastating cholera epidemic that has killed more than 11,000 people and left more than 880,000 infected. Now, after admitting its mistake and vowing to make amends, the UN has betrayed the people of Haiti once again.

This week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres toyed with accuracy when he said that none of the $400 million aid package promised to Haiti was ever intended for victims’ families. In remarks Tuesday, he claimed the two-part package was “not devised for individuals, but for communities.”

 This simply doesn’t mesh with the clear and indisputable facts. The UN’s plan, released in 2016, promised to “provide material assistance and support to those Haitians most directly affected by cholera. These efforts must include, as a central focus, the victims of the disease and their families.”

Guterres is retreating on an absolute commitment that is his job to fulfill. Perhaps it is unintentional, but he’s adding insult to grave injury for the people of Haiti, who continue to die from cholera at a rate of one person per day. 

The United Nations’ first betrayal came in 2010, when Nepalese peacekeepers stationed in Haiti were not tested for cholera — an outbreak in Nepal was underway — before reaching the island. This, along with negligence in the disposal of the peacekeepers’ untreated fecal waste flowing into a river used for preparing food, washing clothes, and drinking, caused the fatal outbreak.

Suddenly, in a country where for more than a century there had been no cholera, the disease was running rampant.

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L’ONU doit  aider Haïti avec l’épidémie de choléra qu’elle a introduite

June 26, 2017 - 06:16

Par Les lauréats du Prix Nobel de la Paix: Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum et Betty Williams

Sept ans après que ses soldats aient déclenché la pire épidémie de choléra en Haïti, l’ONU se prépare à terminer sa mission de maintien de la paix, MINUSTAH. En tant que Prix Nobel de la Paix, engagés dans l´idéal des droits universels de l’homme proclamé par les Nations Unies, nous sommes profondément préoccupés pour les victimes des actions catastrophiques de la MINUSTAH, qui continuent sans justice et sans réparations, malgré les promesses faites par les Nations Unies de réparer les dommages qu’elle a causé.

Pendant que le Conseil de Sécurité visite Haïti cette semaine, pour initier la fermeture de la Mission, il faut s’assurer à ce que l’ONU s’arrange sa dette au peuple haïtien avant le départ de la MINUSTAH – pour le bien de ce peuple, ainsi que celui des Nations Unies, dont l’héritage en Haïti risque d’être défini par le scandale, et dont la crédibilité et les idéaux sont remis en cause.

Lorsque les soldats de la MINUSTAH ont déchargé des déchets contaminés dans la fleuve de l’Artibonite en 2010, provoquant une épidémie massive de choléra, l’ONU a nié activement son rôle dans la tragédie, défiant les preuves accablantes et les obligations de l’organisation.

Le déni de l’ONU est un affront à la justice – et une trahison non seulement au peuple haïtien à qui elle était censé servir, mais aux peuples du monde entier qui composent les Nations Unies et qui espèrent la voir honorer ses plus hauts idéaux. Alors que l’ONU ignorait les victimes du choléra, au moins 10.000 Haïtiens sont morts de la maladie (malgré l’ONU a rapporté que le nombre peut être trois fois plus élevé). Aujourd’hui, le choléra continue à faire des ravages sur le peuple d’Haïti et la crise a affaibli la crédibilité de l’organisation en tant que défenseur des droits de l’homme.

En Décembre 2016, après six années de déni, Ban Ki-moon, Secrétaire général de l’ONU, présente des excuses tardives. Ban a reconnu que l’ONU avait une « responsabilité morale » de lutter contre le choléra et a annoncé « une nouvelle approche » sous la forme d’un fonds de 400 millions de dollars pour lutter contre la maladie et fournir des réparations aux familles et aux communautés qui ont été victimes de l´insouciance de la MINUSTAH.

Ce fonds pourrait grandement contribuer à réparer les dommages fait a Haïti a l’image et à la capacité des Nations Unies pour travailler en Haïti et a travers le monde. Mais jusqu’à présent, la nouvelle approche n´a pas apporté du fruit; seulement dix millions des 400 millions de dollars promis ont été recueillis. Ce n´est pas que 400 millions dollars pour aider les victimes et faire réparation à Haïti est une somme trop grande. En fait, durant les années écoulées après l´introduction du choléra -la moitié du séjour de la Mission, l’ONU a dépensé 4 milliards de dollars pour la MINUSTAH. Mais c´est dans d’hypocrisie, qu´une poignée de pays puissants ont veillé à ce que le financement de la soit disant Mission de maintien de la Paix en Haïti se réalise à travers des apports obligatoires alors que les réparations pour les immenses dommages qu’elle a causés doivent se faire par des contributions volontaires.

La MINUSTAH se retirera d’Haïti en Octobre, mais l’épidémie de choléra que la mission a causé restera et en même temps l’impunité qu’elle a créée. Fermer la mission sans réparer les dommages qu’elle a causé, n´est rien d’autre qu’une invitation à la pire catastrophe et paralysie de la crédibilité de toute prochaine mission dès le départ. Beaucoup en Haïti et en Amérique Latine ont vu depuis longtemps la MINUSTAH comme une force d’occupation qui bafoue la souveraineté haïtienne et le droit à l’autodétermination. Ils sont méfiant des lors que le Conseil de Sécurité a approuvé l’envoi d’une autre mission, soi-disant pour promouvoir la justice et la règle du droit. Pourrait-on espérer aux Haïtiens de l’accepter si la MINUSTAH quitte le pays avec une épidémie en cours, impuni pour  ses propres violations et une promesse non tenue de 400 millions dollars ?

À l’approche de la date de retrait de la MINUSTAH, le Secrétaire Général Guterres et le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU fait face à un défi critique. Si Guterres exerce un leadership efficace et exhorte les Etats Membres à financer le plan de 400 millions de dollars avant le mois d’octobre, l’ONU récupérera une grande partie de sa crédibilité qu’elle a perdu en refusant de prendre sa responsabilité pour l’épidémie et de répondre pour les dommages causés à la vie du peuple haïtien. Si elle ne le fait pas tantôt, Haïti comme l’ONU souffriront. La prochaine visite du Conseil de Sécurité en Haïti est également une occasion unique pour que cet organisme commence à payer sa dette et à établir les bases d’une nouvelle relation avec Haïti. Nous appelons à l´ONU et au Gouvernement Haïtien à faire preuve de leur leadership pour trouver une solution à la hauteur des circonstances, et de le faire rapidement. C´est seulement à travers l´accomplissement des obligations réelles de l’organisation et la résolution de cette catastrophe en Haïti, qu´il sera possible de récupérer les principes et les valeurs qui fondent l´existence de l’ONU.

Article d’opinion publié le 21 Juin 2017 dans le Miami Herald,

Versión espagnole ici :

Haitians to U.N. Security Council: Justice for the Victims of Cholera, Child Support for Peacekeepers’ Abandoned Children

June 24, 2017 - 07:37

The United Nations Security Council ended a three-day visit to Haiti on Saturday, after hearing a variety of concerns during the meetings  with President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian lawmakers,  Haitian civil society and cholera advocates. Among the issues Haitians raised were the compensation for the cholera victims, child support for the abandoned children fathered by U.N. peacekeeping soldiers and the desire for a new, smaller mission to be Haiti’s last.

On cholera, the Security Council delegation reaffirmed its support for the new efforts undertaken by the UN.

Tell U.N. it’s time to deliver. Join our Time2Deliver campaign and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund.

Click HERE for the full article.

Cholera, babies left by U.N. peacekeepers top list of Haiti’s woes

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

June 24, 2017


The 15-member United Nations Security Council ended a visit to Haiti Saturday, promising to review what it heard during two days of meetings with a cross-section of Haitians as it prepares to permanently withdraw its blue helmet peacekeepers after 13 years.

Members heard a variety of concerns during the discussions, which began with President Jovenel Moïse on Thursday and concluded late Friday with members of the judiciary and the heads of national accountability institutions, including Haiti’s Central Financial Intelligence Unit chief Jean-Francois Sonel. Sonel has come under fire after he forwarded a money-laundering investigation on the president’s finances to an investigative judge ahead of Moïse’s Feb. 7 swearing in.

Among the issues Haitians raised: the lack of independence of the judiciary; the need for the U.N. to compensate victims of cholera and the abandoned children of peacekeepers; and the desire for a new, smaller mission to be Haiti’s last.

Click HERE for the full article.