Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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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.

Click HERE for the full article.

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.

Haiti: Cholera Victims Press for Justice and Individual Compensation

June 23, 2017 - 06:48

The United Nations Security Council is visiting Haiti, which could be its last time before the closure of the U.N.’s 13-year peacekeeping mission in Haiti know as MINUSTAH, and it has no plan to meet with the cholera victims. Several hundred cholera victims protested in front of the MINUSTAH office in Port-Au-Prince to demand that the U.N. respect its promises.

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

Read the original article HERE in French.

Les victimes de choléra réclament justice et réparation

Par Le National, 22 Juin 2017

Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont manifesté pacifiquement ce jeudi 22 juin 2017, devant la plus grande base de la mission des Nations-Unies pour la stabilité en Haïti, à Clercine, pour demander au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU de prendre clairement position en faveur du dédommagement des victimes de la pandémie du choléra en Haïti, dont les chiffres atteignent les 850 000 personnes touchées, dont 10 000 décès.

Occupant pendant toute la matinée l’entrée principale du Log base, et scandant des propos hostiles à la MINUSTAH, responsable de l’introduction en 2010, de l’épidémie en Haïti, les manifestants, sous les directives de leur avocat, Mario Joseph, entendaient également exiger de la part de l’ONU le traitement des dossiers des personnes frappées par cette maladie, et une compensation, ce, de manière individuelle. Ils en ont profité aussi pour réclamer le départ des forces onusiennes du pays, affirmant profiter de la présence du Conseil de sécurité en visite dans le pays du 22 au 24 juin, pour faire entendre encore une fois leur voix.

Ces manifestations ont eu lieu, tandis que le dossier de la lutte pour l’éradication de la maladie dans le pays, et de l’indemnisation des victimes vient de connaître un nouveau rebondissement avec la nomination par les Nations unies, d’une envoyée spéciale pour Haïti, en la personne de Josette Sheeran.

Read the original article HERE in French

The U.N. Has not Done Enough to Provide for Victims of Sexual Abuse

June 23, 2017 - 06:20

The United Nations will end its 13-year peacekeeping mission in Haiti on October 16, but its legacy is on the line. The mission has been plagued by a series of controversies, ranging from sex scandals to the cholera outbreak. Failing to address the above issues, the U.N. risks tarnishing its global image and undermining its credibility around the world.

Click HERE for the full article.

Haitian minors claim UN peacekeepers fathered their children

CGTN, June 21, 2017

For more than a decade, the United Nations has established a peacekeeping mission in the country, one of the longest-running in the world. In October, that will come to an end.

Their presence has been controversial because U.N. peacekeepers face accusations of sexual abuse.

Some of those claims come from teenagers who will bear a great burden long after the U.N. troops are gone.

CGTN’s John Zarrella spoke with one of those alleged victims.

Meet Rosemina. She asked us to conceal her identity. She is scared people will think less of her because the father of her child is a soldier who was attached to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Rosemina was 16 years old, a minor, when she said she had a romantic relationship with the man.

“We were lovers. We were together but sometimes he used to force me to have sex with him,” said Rosemina.

The soldier, from Uruguay and nearly three times her age, she said, gave her many gifts and made many promises.

“Yes, he promised me a house when I’d deliver. He’d take care of the baby and everything,” recounts Rosemina. “But it’s just two months after I’ve delivered I realized all that was lies.”

Click HERE for the full article.

ATTENTION HAITIAN FAMILIES: You are invited to a special information session on Temporary Protective Status (TPS)

June 22, 2017 - 06:24

Join us on Thursday, June 29 at 6:00PM for a special information session on TPS at IFSI-USA/ TBC (Tabernacle Baptist Congregation) located at 575 American Legion Highway, Boston, MA 02131. This event is sponsored by:

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office – USCIS (United States

Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices- True Alliance

Center – St. Mark’s Community Education Center – Gilbert Albert

Community Center -Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSIUSA)

– Massachusetts Association of Haitian Parents -New

England AILA (American Immigration Lawyer Association) – PAIR

(Political Asylum/Immigration Representation) Project –

Immigration Impact Unit- HAU (Haitian American United)

For more  information, please contact True Alliance at (617) 799-7009 & (617) 288-8515 and/or BMBCc, Inc : 617-756-4413. You can also download the announce HERE.

Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti

June 21, 2017 - 13:52


Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston):, +1-617-652-0876

Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince):, +509-3701-9879

Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti

Call on UN to Deliver on Promised Response by MINUSTAH Withdrawal

Wednesday, June 21, Boston, Port-au-Prince—Haitian cholera victims and their advocates called on the UN Security Council to deliver on the promise of a new, victim-centered approach to cholera during its visit to Haiti this week, by meeting directly with victims and committing to funding the $400 million initiative before MINUSTAH –the peacekeeping mission that caused the cholera epidemic—pulls out in October.

“The UN’s apology and promises were promising in December,“ said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) that has led the fight for justice for cholera victims. “But seven months later, with only a pittance raised for the so-called ‘New Approach’ and not a single promised consultation with the cholera victims, they look like empty public relations gestures. It is time for the UN to deliver.”

The 15-member Security Council is in Haiti from June 22-24 to finalize the transition from MINUSTAH to a new mission focused on supporting justice that will be known as MINUJUSTH. The BAI announced two protests during the visit: one at the UN logistics base in Haiti on Thursday at 11 am, and a second one in Champs de Mars on Friday at 11. Advocates at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) simultaneously launched an international campaign calling on Member States to contribute their fair share to the New Approach by MINUSTAH’s closure. The campaign was launched on

“The UN Member States brought MINUSTAH to Haiti, and they have a collective responsibility to pay for the damage caused by its peacekeeping operations,” said Sienna Merope-Synge, IJDH Staff Attorney. “They must either contribute their fair share, or agree to draw funds from the UN’s budget by MINUSTAH’s withdrawal.”

To date, the UN has raised only 2% of the $400 million promised to implement its New Approach to Cholera in Haiti — a plan intended to eliminate cholera and provide remedies to the hundreds of thousands who have suffered from the epidemic.  As a result of the funding shortfall, implementation has stalled, and the UN has refused to begin even consulting with victims about the plan.

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General appointed a new high-level special envoy, Josette Sheeran, to lead the fundraising efforts. Ms. Sheeran has a strong record of leadership, including as the former head of the World Food Program, and has previously raised billions of dollars for UN humanitarian efforts. But she is the third senior official to be assigned to the cholera issue. Her two predecessors did not succeed at raising any substantial funds.

“Ms. Sheeran’s nomination is a welcome acknowledgement of the UN’s predicament, of launching a justice support mission while the organization continues to disdain its well-documented legal obligations to Haiti’s cholera victims,” said Brian Concannon, Executive Director of IJDH. “But her efforts and experience will bear no results unless the Secretary-General and Security Council Members provide leadership. They led enough to find $7 billion for MINUSTAH peacekeepers in a country that had no war, they now need to lead enough to find $400 million for a real cholera epidemic their troops introduced.”

“Promoting rule of law requires abiding by the rule of law. The UN cannot succeed in its mission unless it sheds its double standard and complies with its obligations to repair the harms it caused,” said Beatrice Lindstrom, IJDH Staff Attorney.

Cholera continues to take a grave toll in Haiti, infecting thousands each month, and killing at a rate of one Haitian each day. The UN estimates 30,000 Haitians will contract the disease this year, and the country remains vulnerable to a resurgence of deaths, with few improvements to water, sanitation and health care since the height of the epidemic. For the thousands of families who lost loved ones and livelihoods, the financial and emotional consequences of cholera continue to impose a crushing burden long after the disease has passed.


Stephen Lewis: U.N.’s Cholera Response “A Betrayal”

June 21, 2017 - 07:45

Stephen Lewis, co-director of AIDS-Free World, spent his weekly update condemning the United Nations’ refusal to honor Ban Ki-Moon’s commitment to make amends for cholera through the UN’s New Approach. Only 2.7 million of the $400 million Ban promised has been raised. U.N. has moved away from Track 2 (individual compensation) to focus on “community projects,” a reversal of the U.N.’s previous position. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has proposed using MINUSTAH’s underspend (about $40 million leftover from the mission) to fund the U.N.s New Approach to cholera in Haiti, but even this has been met with resistance from member states. Stephen Lewis finds this a blatant betrayal of the Haitian people.

Visit the IJDH’s Cholera Accountability web page for more information on cholera justice.

Nobel Peace Laureates Urge the U.N. to Keep its Promises

June 21, 2017 - 07:33

Five Nobel Peace Laureates called on the United Nations (U.N.) to keep the promises it made to cholera victims not even a year ago. They urge the members of U.N. Security Council to make reparations to Haitian people a priority during their two-day visit to Haiti this week. Such gestures, according to them, will not only comfort Haiti, but also restore the U.N.’s credibility by showing its determination to correct its wrongs.IJDH has  launched a campaign to urge

IJDH has launched a campaign to urge the U.N. member states to donate to the $400 million cholera fund promised by the U.N. Click HERE for the campaign website.

Click HERE for the full article

The U.N. owes Haiti relief from cholera epidemic it introduced

By Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Betty Williams, Op-ed, Miami Herald

June 21, 2017

Seven years after its soldiers sparked the world’s worst cholera epidemic in Haiti, the United Nations is finally preparing to close its MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission there. As Nobel Peace laureates committed to the U.N.’s ideal of universal human rights, we are deeply concerned that the victims of MINUSTAH’s catastrophic actions remain without justice and reparations, despite U.N. promises to repair the harm it has caused.

As the Security Council visits Haiti this week to wind up the mission, it must ensure that the U.N. settles its debt to the Haitian people before MINUSTAH leaves — for their sake, but also for the sake of the United Nations itself, whose legacy in Haiti risks being defined by scandal, and whose credibility and very ideals are on the line.

When MINUSTAH soldiers discharged contaminated waste into the Artibonite River in 2010, sparking a massive cholera outbreak, the U.N. denied its role in the tragedy, in defiance of overwhelming evidence and the organization’s own obligations.

The U.N.’s denial was an affront to justice — and a betrayal not only of the Haitian people it was purportedly there to serve, but of all the peoples worldwide who constitute the United Nations and hope to see it fulfill its highest ideals. While the U.N. ignored cholera’s victims, at least 10,000 Haitians died from the disease (though the U.N. has reported that the number may be three times as high). Today, cholera continues to wreak havoc on the people of Haiti, and the crisis has weakened the organization’s credibility as a human rights defender.

Click HERE for the full article

U.N. Picks New Envoy for Haiti Cholera Fundraising Efforts

June 21, 2017 - 06:37

The United Nations announced its third official to lead cholera fundraising efforts, a position which has so far produced drastically underwhelming results. There is a growing urgency in Haiti for cholera prevention, relief and compensations for those affected. But the next fundraising chair, Josette Sheeran, faces a significant shortage of donor funds and a resistant international community. Despite promising $400 million to fight cholera in Haiti, the U.N. has only raised $2.7 million, and currently only $183,000 remains in the fund. However, while some may give excuses for the U.N.’s fundraising shortages, one thing is certain: the U.N. is responsible for the deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti, and its victims deserve justice as promised.

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

With little money to combat cholera in Haiti, U.N. names new fundraising chief

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

June 20, 2017

A former top State Department official and head of the United Nations’ World Food Program has been tapped to develop a comprehensive fund-raising strategy to finance the U.N.’s plan to clean up cholera in Haiti — a disease introduced there by U.N. peacekeepers.

Josette Sheeran’s appointment as a high-level envoy for Haiti cholera was announced Tuesday by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The announcement comes two days before a planned U.N. Security Council visit to the country on Thursday so members can see first-hand how the 13-year U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is continuing its withdrawal of peacekeeping battalions and foreign police units ahead of the mission’s permanent closure in October.

Named as one of the world’s most powerful women by Forbes’ magazine when she was head of the World Food Program from 2007 to 2012, Sheeran is the third senior U.N. official chosen to help the world body raise funds to rid Haiti of the epidemic.

Scientific studies have traced the introduction of cholera in Haiti to Nepalese soldiers stationed near a river in the rural town of Mirebalais in the Central Plateau region after the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. Since October of that year, more than 800,000 Haitians have been sickened by cholera and more than 9,000 killed, according to the country’s health ministry.

Click HERE for the full article.

UN Killed 10,000 in Haiti, After Mass Arrests in 2004, ICP To Return to Scene of the Crime with UNSC

June 20, 2017 - 12:13

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
June 20, 2017

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 – While in some places the UN system may be doing good work, its killing of more and 10,000 Haitians with cholera, and its years of denial, have been a low point. Now with the UN Security Council slated to visit Haiti from June 22 and 24 — Inner City Press will cover it — the strange and some say shameful history of the UN’s MINUSTAH mission comes to the fore.

After the UN Security Council on April 30, 2004 approved the deployment of MINUSTAH, by September 30, 2004 protesters were being killed, then further protesters arrested and loaded into UN Armored Personnel Carriers. Particularly given the position of CARICOM and the African Union, this was a low for the UN. But it would go lower still. On June 20, 2017 the departing MINUSTAH mission will hold a ceremony to close its regional bureau in the south, again bragging of spending $48 million. But given the reneging on much larger sums for bringing cholera, advocates slammed the “statement delivered by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in a briefing to the General Assembly appealing for member state funding and reporting on the UN’s progress in implementing the New Approach.

Ms. Mohammed announced that the UN proposes taking a ‘community approach and establish[ing] priorities for projects in consultation with victims and their families and communities.’ The statement reverses the UN’s previous position, which committed to assessing the feasibility of individual victim payments before making any decision, including through ‘consultations on the ground with victims and their communities.’

Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux said that ‘Powerful governments’ refusal to allocate even MINUSTAH’s leftovers to save lives from the cholera outbreak it caused demonstrates their lack of commitment to Haiti, to UN accountability and to the rule of law. Since the cholera epidemic started in 2010, these governments have found $4 billion to maintain soldiers in a country that has not had a war in anyone’s lifetime, and want to continue spending money on an unwanted peacekeeper presence, but they cannot find 1% of that amount to fight the worst cholera epidemic in modern times.” This is a pattern on which we’ll have more.

After then-President Aristide was forced into exile in, echoing today, the Central African Republic, the UN Security Council on April 30, 2004 dutifully created a mission to take over from the US, French and Canadian troops who has deployed during Guy Philippe’s force’s killing spree. Promoting it was then French Ambassador de la Sabliere, self-described father of the UN’s since-questioned (at least on Yemen) Children and Armed Conflict mandate. Given today’s Security Council splits, particularly on regime change, one marvels that Resolution 1542 was passed unanimously. Already in the mix was, for example, Haitian rights attorney Mario Joseph, now an astute critic of the UN’s total evasion of responsibility for killing over 10,000 Haitians with cholera. We’ll have more on this.

On June 14, 2017 the new (well, 162 day old) UN presented what it called a new approach on cholera – not long after Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ delayed approach to the UN’s lead poisoning victims in Kosovo was criticized. Inner City Press asked the UN about it on June 16, in the run-up to the UN Security Council’s visit to Haiti next week (we will cover that).

Click HERE for original article.

Advocates Denounce UN Breaking Promise of Compensation for Cholera Victims

June 15, 2017 - 12:03


Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston):, +617-652- 0876

Advocates Denounce UN Breaking Promise of Compensation for Cholera Victims

Call on governments to fulfill UN’s promises to right wrongs in Haiti

Wednesday, June 15, Boston — Human rights advocates denounced yesterday’s UN announcement that it will unilaterally replace compensation for victims of the UN-caused cholera outbreak in Haiti with “community projects,” in violation of its promise to involve victims in that decision. Since announcing a “New Approach” to cholera in Haiti last August, the UN has repeatedly pledged to place victims at the center of the process and consult with them on the elaboration of its promised material assistance package. Ten months later, without holding a single consultation session with the victims, the UN made the decision to abandon the compensation that the UN’s own human rights experts acknowledge the victims are entitled to.

“Consulting victims after the important decisions have been made is not a ‘New Approach’,” said Beatrice Lindstrom, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), which has sought justice for victims through the UN’s claims process and in US courts. “It is a continuation of seven years of ignoring the rights and the dignity of the cholera victims, and all Haitians.” In October, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty Phillip Alston characterized the UN response to date as “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible … politically self-defeating [and] entirely unnecessary.”

Yesterday’s statement was delivered by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in a briefing to the General Assembly appealing for member state funding and reporting on the UN’s progress in implementing the New Approach. Ms. Mohammed announced that the UN proposes taking a “community approach and establish[ing] priorities for projects in consultation with victims and their families and communities.”  The statement reverses the UN’s previous position, which committed to assessing the feasibility of individual victim payments before making any decision, including through “consultations on the ground with victims and their communities.”

Cholera has killed more than 9,600 Haitians and sickened more than 800,000 since it was introduced to Haiti through reckless disposal of human waste at a UN military base. It continues to kill at the rate of one Haitian every day, and the country remains vulnerable to a new wave of infections with the return of hurricane season. Tens of thousands of already-impoverished families have had to go into debt to pay transportation, healthcare and burial costs from cholera. Children forced to leave school because of family cholera expenses are faced with generational poverty. “In focus groups, victims repeatedly explain that they need money to pay off the crippling debts that the UN’s cholera epidemic imposed on them and get their kids into school” said Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Executive Director of IJDH. “As a matter of decency, of common sense, and of international law, they should be compensated.”

Advocates also expressed outrage to opposition by the United States and other large donors to viable initiatives to fund the New Approach, including to a proposal presented by the Deputy Secretary-General to reallocate the $40 million left over in MINUSTAH’s budget to urgently-needed cholera control efforts. Earlier this month, the US and France reportedly blocked a UN plan to require the funds to be reallocated, leaving the Secretariat to ask governments to voluntarily waive their shares. The US stated yesterday that it would not allow its share to be used for cholera. Meanwhile, the United States has also refused to make a separate contribution to the New Approach.

“Powerful governments’ refusal to allocate even MINUSTAH’s leftovers to save lives from the cholera outbreak it caused demonstrates their lack of commitment to Haiti, to UN accountability and to the rule of law,” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and Haiti’s lead lawyer for cholera victims. “Since the cholera epidemic started in 2010, these governments have found $4 billion to maintain soldiers in a country that has not had a war in anyone’s lifetime, and want to continue spending money on an unwanted peacekeeper presence, but they cannot find 1% of that amount to fight the worst cholera epidemic in modern times.”

Reallocating the unspent funds left over in MINUSTAH’s budget would serve as a stop-gap measure to address the most urgent humanitarian needs. While not a long-term solution, it would relieve the funding shortage that currently threatens to reverse progress made this year to control the epidemic.

Several other governments declared their support for reallocating the underspend, notably governments from the global south such as the CARICOM bloc, India and Senegal.



Cholera Justice: U.N.’s Proposal to Transfer MINUSTAH’s Underspent Dollars to the Cholera Fund Meets with Resistance  

June 14, 2017 - 07:21

The United Nations’ (U.N.) proposal to use MINSUTAH’s leftover dollars to fund its New Approach to cholera in Haiti is “the least U.N. can do” for the victims. In four months and one day, MINUSTAH will end its 13-year-old controversial mission in Haiti. But the U.N.’s legacy is in the line. Failure to fulfill its promises to Haitian people could tarnish U.N. global image and undermine its credibility around the world.

Visit the IJDH’s Cholera Accountability web page for more information on cholera justice.

Read the full article HERE

U.N. pushes to finance Haiti’s Cholera Cleanup with Leftover Peacekeeping Dollars

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

June 14, 2017

With most U.N. member nations, including the United States, refusing to contribute toward a $400 million trust fund to eliminate an imported cholera epidemic from Haiti, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has cobbled together another way to get the money.

Guterres wants member countries to voluntarily turn over $40.5 million that will be left over when the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti ends in October.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed touted the unusual proposal during a public hearing on cholera at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday. It comes as UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization face a $15 million funding shortage for this year. That shortfall, she said, threatens to reverse the progress the U.N. has made in controlling the cholera outbreak in Haiti, which was caused by U.N. peacekeepers.

“PAHO/WHO no longer has resources available for the medical and health aspects of the intensified cholera response as a result of the withdrawal of donor funding,” according to the Secretary-General’s latest report on incidences of suspected cholera and the U.N.’s new approach to the disease in Haiti.

Without the money, “it is very likely that the outbreak will intensify and potentially spread to other parts of the country, causing further suffering among the population and a significant setback in the elimination plans,” the report said.

The report was presented to member countries ahead of Mohammed’s speech. She told member states that while the new approach is helping Haiti reach its lowest level of cholera cases since 2014, “without your political will and financial support, we have only good intentions and words.”

But not all member nations are on board with the new plan. Japan’s permanent representative, Hiroshi Minami, promised to “seriously consider your proposal.” Egypt’s representative was much more blunt: “Any resources remaining should be given back to the states.”

U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Michele Sison told fellow ambassadors that they could contribute to the trust fund or waive their peacekeeping refund — but don’t count on the U.S. doing the same.

Saying that the U.S. “is not in a position to contribute in this way,” Sison reminded the group that in the last six years, the country has “provided over $100 million dollars to prevent, detect and respond to cholera, working side-by-side with the government of Haiti and other partners.”

Luis Alberto Moreno, the head of the Inter-American Development Bank, which is investing millions of dollars in water and sanitation in Haiti, said “it’s a shame” that U.N. members are not doing their part. “There’s a responsibility from the U.N., and they should be able to find the money.”

Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom, who represents cholera victims in U.S. courts, agreed: “The U.N. is breaking its promises to Haiti not because of a shortage of money, but a shortage of political will.”

She criticized the U.S. specifically. “The Trump administration holds itself out as a champion for U.N. accountability, but when it’s time to act, the U.S.’s only contribution is obstruction. Governments who truly believe in an accountable U.N. must stand up to the U.S.’ inhumane approach.”

A consequence of the funding shortage is that the U.N. also lacks the money to compensate the more than 800,000 who have been sickened by cholera and more than 9,000 killed by it, and their families and communities.

Of the $400 million the U.N. has asked for, only 3 percent or about $2.7 million has been raised, with most of it already spent.

Read the full article HERE

Central American and Haitian Advocates Team Up for TPS Extension

June 12, 2017 - 11:31

Haiti isn’t the only country facing a potential termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the coming months— TPS-holders from Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua are also at risk of losing their TPS designations. Central American and Haitians activists have banded together to advocate for TPS extension. They’ve scheduled meetings with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala in hopes of gaining their support in the fight for TPS extension.

Visit our immigration page for more information about TPS extension.

Read the full article HERE

Haitians, Central Americans unite to fight deportation orders

By Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald

June 7, 2017

Banding together for the first time, activists from Haiti and three Central American countries announced Wednesday they’ll meet next week with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to try to enlist their aid in persuading the Trump administration to halt plans to ship several hundred thousand immigrants back to Central America.

The newly allied activists also invited immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, or TPS — a Department of Homeland Security designation that allows otherwise undocumented immigrants to live and work in the United States — to an open meeting Thursday night to help plan strategy against deportations.

“Together, we think we can achieve this,” said Francisco Portillo, head of the Francisco Morazan Honduran Organization. “Unity is the name of the game,” agreed Marleine Bastien, from the Haitian Women of Miami group.

Read the full article HERE