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13 Members of Congress Demand Cholera Justice and UN Apology

November 19, 2016 - 12:40

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and twelve other Congresspersons wrote to the United Nations Secretary General and encouraged the US to allocate resources to the UN’s cholera response. The Congresspersons also urged an apology for the UN-caused epidemic, saying that “Each day that passes without a formal apology and remediation efforts further erodes trust in the UN and affiliated peacekeeping missions.”

Part of the letter is below. Click HERE for the full letter.

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November 18, 2016

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

It has been six years since UN peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti, which was already reeling from deadly and devastating January 2010 earthquake. As a direct result of their negligence, nearly 800,000 people have been infected with cholera and upwards of 9,500 people have died.1

In 2014, we wrote to you expressing grave concern over the UN’s response to the epidemic. Despite overwhelming evidence that cholera was introduced in Haiti when soldiers serving in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) contaminated the country’s largest river system with raw sewage, the UN took nearly six years to acknowledge their role in the outbreak.

Click HERE for the full letter.

Canada announces disaster relief and long-term aid package

November 18, 2016 - 12:44

Canada has recently announced that it will be giving $54 million for disaster relief and long-term aid in Haiti. The majority of the money will go towards developing long-term projects in the agricultural sector. About $2.6 million will go to helping those directly impacted by Matthew, and $1.4 million will go towards Sunday’s Haiti elections.

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

Canada announces $54M for Haiti disaster relief and long-term aid

Vicky Fragasso-Marquis, The Canadian Press

November 18, 2016

Roofs are seen ripped open following the passing of Hurricane Matthew Thursday, November 17, 2016 in Les Cayes, Haiti. (Photo from original article)

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Canada will give $54 million to Haiti over the next five years, including more than $2 million in immediate aid, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Friday.

The funding announcement came on the final day of Bibeau’s three-day trip to the country, where she is seeing first-hand how Canadian aid money is being used in areas decimated last month by hurricane Matthew…

 

Click HERE for the full article.

Uncertainty over New UN Cholera Plan Results in Donors’ Hesitation

November 18, 2016 - 12:35

It’s been almost a month since the United Nations announced a new cholera plan that includes a package of “material assistance” for Haiti’s cholera victims. Almost no donors have committed to funding this plan. “Material assistance” sounds like the compensation that victims and advocates have been demanding, but the UN’s avoidance of the word “compensation” has created more uncertainty. The UN also has yet to claim responsibility for causing the epidemic, and time is running out for Ban Ki-moon to remove that stain from his legacy as UN Secretary-General.

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

Ban Ki-moon’s UN legacy clouded by cholera

Samuel Oakford, IRIN

November 18, 2016

Nearly a month after UN officials announced the idea of a special $400 million package to deal with cholera in Haiti, almost no donors have agreed to fund assistance for its victims. UN peacekeepers imported the disease from Nepal to the Caribbean nation in October 2010. Cholera has since killed 9,100 Haitians and the UN has only recently started to acknowledge its responsibility.

The idea of a package of “material assistance” for victims and survivors was floated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the publication of a searing report on the crisis by a human rights advisor. Philip Alston, a professor of Law at New York University and the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, called the organisation’s years of denials that it brought cholera to Haiti “a disgrace”.

However the aid package itself is not off to a promising start: “It is really hard to advance this plan for material assistance without having some certainty that there will be money,” said Ban’s Haiti cholera point man David Nabarro. “At the same time it is hard to have certainty that there will be money without clarity on what the actual material assistance might look like.”

 

Click HERE for the full text.

International Teams to Witness Haiti’s Elections in Hurricane-Devastated Southern Departments

November 18, 2016 - 09:24

   

 

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 18, 2016

Contacts :
Vilés Alizar, Program Director, Reseau National des Droits Humains, +509 3704 6506 (French, Kreyol)
Marie Yolène Gilles Colas, Assistant Program Director, Reseau National des Droits Humains, +509 3728 8466 (French, Kreyol)
Pierre Esperance, Executive Director, Reseau National des Droits Humains, +509 3776 2110 (French, Kreyol)
Jessica Hsu, foreign observer with Reseau National des Droits Humains, +509 4451 5563, jesseshoe@gmail.com (English, Kreyol)
Jake Johnston, Research Associate, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), +509 3494 2879, johnston@cepr.net (English, Spanish)
Nicole Phillips, Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), nicole@ijdh.org, +509 4645 2888 (English, French, Kreyol)

International Teams to Witness Haiti’s Elections in Hurricane-Devastated Southern Departments

Members of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), National Human Rights Network (Reseau National des Droits Humains or RNDDH), and National Lawyers Guild will be observing the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in Haiti on Sunday, November 20. The delegation is likely to include some of the only international presence to witness events in the southern departments on election day, despite the challenges to voting that southern residents are facing in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Official international observation missions are not expected to travel to the southern departments.

The coalition will observe polling places throughout country, with a focus on the South and Grand’Anse Departments, which were devastated by Hurricane Matthew on October 3-4. Over 280 polling stations and several access roads were destroyed by the hurricane, calling into question whether voters in these regions will be able to exercise their right to vote as protected by Haitian and international law.

Haiti’s electoral process began in 2015, but was repeatedly delayed after the first two rounds were marred by fraud, irregularities and violence. An interim government was established in March 2016 to restore confidence in the electoral process and hold new elections. IJDH and CEPR have produced a series of election primers profiling the major candidates, key events, and the role of the international community.

CEPR, IJDH and RNDDH staff and volunteers will provide a constant flow of updates on election day via Twitter and the Haiti Elections Blog, and will be available for interviews.

Twitter accounts: @HaitiVoteBlog ● @ijdh ● @JakobJohnston (Jake Johnston) ● @BuddhistLawyer (Nicole Phillips)

 

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Parliamentary vacancies – What this means for Sunday’s election

November 17, 2016 - 13:12

For Sunday’s election, many legislative seats are up for grabs, including more than half of the Senate. With so many vacancies, it is important to stay up to date and informed about Parliamentary candidates. Learn more by reading and clicking on the article below.

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

Haiti Election Primer, Part 3: The Parliament

Jake Johnston, The Center for Economic and Policy Research

November 17, 2016

 

Read Part 1: Timeline of Key Events, here

Read Part 2: Presidential Candidates and Their Parties, here

Often lost in the discussion of Haiti’s presidential race is the fact that many legislative seats are up for grabs as well, including more than half of the Senate. Currently, the parliament is pretty evenly split between political factions but with such a high number of seats left to be decided the balance of power could shift dramatically this weekend. Control of the legislative body is especially important in Haiti’s political system, where it is parliament that approves the new prime minister and government program.

The presidential election was scheduled to coincide with the expiration of one-third of the Senate. Ten Senators had been elected to six-year terms in 2010, so ten first-round races for senate seats will be conducted on November 20. Six second-round Senate races and two dozen second-round races for Deputy will be held as well. The second-round races are the continuation of last year’s fraud- and violence-plagued elections…

 

Click HERE for the full article.

 

A look at Haiti Presidential Candidates and Their Parties

November 16, 2016 - 12:50

Take a look at Haiti’s presidential candidates and their parties. The article gives background on Jovenel Moïse, Jude Celestin, Moïse Jean-Charles, and Maryse Narcisse.

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

Haiti Elections Primer, Part 2: Presidential Candidates and Their Parties

Jake Johnston, Center for Economic and Policy Research

November 16, 2016

 

In a crowded field of 54 presidential candidates, the top two finishers in last year’s elections were Jovenel Moïse (PHTK) and Jude Celestin (LAPEH). Third and fourth were Moïse Jean-Charles (Platfom Pitit Dessalines) and Maryse Narcisse (Fanmi Lavalas). Although the earlier vote was plagued by fraud and irregularities and the results were eventually discarded, the top four finishers on October 25, 2015 are expected to lead the pack of 27 candidates participating on Sunday, November 20. Here is a closer look at the principal candidates heading into this weekend’s election:

Jovenel Moïse is PHTK’s candidate. Prior to the 2015 elections when former President Martelly selected Moïse as his successor, the lanky agricultural businessman from the North was a political unknown. Moïse’s company Agritrans runs a banana plantation primarily for export in Trou-du-Nord and was set up with government financing under Martelly’s administration. During the campaign, Moïse has branded himself as “The Banana Man” (Nèg Bannann Nan). He promises to revitalize Haiti’s neglected agriculture and to remobilize Haiti’s military, which was disbanded in 1995…

 

Click HERE for the full article.

Rethinking methods for effective aid and partnerships in Haiti

November 16, 2016 - 12:13

Following Hurricane Matthew’s destruction, there has been much conversation about how NGOs and outside groups can give effective aid. In the article below, Devex explains a strategy for giving specific, and therefore effective, aid to Haitians on the ground, and the importance in building a relationship with Haitian institutions.

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

Q&A: Rethinking effective aid and partnerships in Haiti

Amy Lieberman, Devex

November 16, 2016

Hurricane Matthew destroyed an estimated 90 percent of homes in Haiti’s Grand’Anse. (Photo from original article)

 

American Jewish World Service is giving $800,000 to Haiti this year, on a “slow and steady spend-down” from its annual $2 million funding level in 2010 that followed the devastating earthquake that hit that year.

The international nonprofit supports 450 local human rights and poverty-fighting groups worldwide with a unique funding approach that is deliberately light on direct oversight, says Amber Lynn Munger, an AJWS senior program officer overseeing grant-making work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Devex spoke with Munger on the sidelines of the third Annual Haiti Funders Conference in New York. The event brought together Haitian diaspora, politicians, local civil society and international development workers to talk sustainable development after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti in early October. The U.N.’s $120 million emergency flash appeal to deal with the disaster remains unfunded by more than $76 million…

 

Click HERE for the full article.

Real UN Cholera Accountability and Ban Ki-moon’s Legacy

November 15, 2016 - 07:50

For years, the United Nations has hidden behind immunity to dodge accountability for bringing cholera to Haiti. After Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti and exacerbated the cholera problem, WHO/PAHO approved a request from the Haitian Ministry of Health for 1 million doses of cholera vaccine. Meanwhile, the UN continues to struggle to raise funds for its planned package of “material assistance and support” for the cholera victims. The UN and its Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon also have yet to apologize for causing the loss of so many lives and livelihoods through the epidemic. Will Ban finally do so in his last two months as Secretary-General or leave the cholera mess for the next Secretary-General, António Guterres, to clean up?

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

The UN in Haiti: an adulterated vision of accountability

Editorial, The Lancet Global Health

November 15, 2016

This week, an emergency cholera vaccination campaign was set to begin in one of the world’s most beleaguered countries. Its meagre fortunes laid waste by an earthquake of unimaginable destructive force in 2010, Haiti has continued to suffer a barrage of insults no one population should have to bear.

The earthquake killed more than 200 000 people, left 2 million homeless, and devastated infrastructure including roads, schools, government buildings, and what limited improved water and sanitation facilities existed. Intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations rushed to assist, yet poor collaboration with each other and precious little consultation with the Haitian Government and its people hardly led to the sort of coordinated, strategic, and sustainable response that was so desperately needed. Worse still, the evidence points to one organisation’s representatives as the origin of a disease previously unrecorded in the country—one whose spread is closely linked to unsanitary conditions and poverty, both of which are all too prevalent in Haiti.

Cholera has affected around 800 000 people in Haiti and killed more than 9000 since the outbreak began in October, 2010, yet the UN has stubbornly maintained its position that it is constitutionally immune from any legal responsibility for the effects of a disease that was almost certainly brought in by its peacekeeping staff from Nepal and unleashed on a prostrate population by careless effluent disposal and lack of screening. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has refused to apologise, consider direct compensation, or institute a specific remedy, preferring—under advice from the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs—to talk of having a “moral responsibility to the people of Haiti” and of developing “a package that would provide material assistance and support”.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Timeline of Key Events in 2016 Haiti Elections

November 15, 2016 - 07:07

Below is part of the Center for Economic & Policy Research’s timeline for Haitian elections. It provides some important background information for understanding the elections scheduled for Sunday, November 20.

Read the full article HERE.

Haiti Election Primer, Part 1: Timeline of Key Events

Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research

November 15th, 2016

Less than a week from now, on November 20, Haiti heads to the polls to choose a new president as well as dozens of legislative seats. The electoral process started in 2015 but has been repeatedly delayed and postponed due to post-election protests, candidates’ boycotts, and more recently Hurricane Matthew. The results of last October’s first-round presidential election were thrown out on the recommendation of an independent investigative commission that identified significant levels of fraud and other irregularities. Below is a timeline that traces the major events of Haiti’s extended electoral saga:

December 2014 – January 2015: Protests force Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to step down as the terms of many parliamentarians expire. President Michel Martelly’s government had not held elections for its first four years in office, allowing the president to begin ruling by decree. A new Prime Minister and CEP are appointed, tasked with organizing the legislative and presidential votes.

August 9, 2015: First-round legislative elections are so marred by violence and fraud that many races cannot be completed and must be re-run again in about a quarter of constituencies.

October 25, 2015: The first-round presidential election is held, alongside legislative reruns as well as legislative second-round elections in some localities. The elections are rejected by a growing opposition movement that alleges widespread fraud on behalf of the ruling party and its candidate, Jovenel Moise of the Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (PHTK), who came in first according to the official results.

 

Click HERE for the full article.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Info Sessions at Boston Public Libraries

November 15, 2016 - 06:11

If you need information about immigration benefits, forms or low-cost legal services, don’t miss one of USCIS’ information sessions at the Boston Public Library branches through January 20, 2017. There are several at the Copley Branch and a few more at branches in Dorchester, Mattapan, East Boston and Fields Corner.

 

Click HERE for the neighborhood branches flyer.

Click HERE for the Copley flyer.

 

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies Seeks a Staff Attorney

November 14, 2016 - 06:09

CENTER FOR GENDER AND REFUGEE STUDIES

The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), based at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, one of the nation’s leading refugee advocacy organizations, works to advance the human rights of women, children, LGBT and other refugees who flee persecution, both in the United States and internationally. We provide nationally recognized expert consultation, including trainings, resource development and legal advice, in thousands of asylum cases each year, many of which result in grants of protection. CGRS also shapes asylum law through involvement in key cases with potential to set precedent, and ensures government accountability through groundbreaking and original research that analyzes adjudication trends. We improve conditions on the ground to prevent refugee flight by presenting the results of international human rights fact-finding, analyzing implementation of existing laws, and collaborating with grassroots movements to advocate for law reform and other justice measures. For more information about CGRS, visit http://cgrs.uchastings.edu/.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Typical duties and responsibilities consist of, but are not limited to, the following:

 Respond to attorney requests for expert consultation including by consulting on legal strategy, reviewing and providing feedback on legal documents – such as briefs, decisions, motions, and asylum applications;

 Assist with provision of front line consultation to attorneys, including sending template, and tailored materials where necessary, as well as creating and updating templates;

 Develop expert consultation and training materials including, for example, country conditions research and practice advisories;

 Work with expert witnesses to prepare general declarations to support asylum cases;

 Conduct trainings, webinars, and other presentations for attorneys and other advocates;

 Monitor progress of cases that we consult on, track outcomes, and identify trends for advocacy and potential litigation;

 Write periodic reports summarizing relevant BIA and federal court decisions, as well as other agency decisions and outcomes obtained through tracking and monitoring of cases;

 Research and write on key legal issues;

 Participate in the various stages of appellate advocacy;

 Participate in implementation of national policy and advocacy strategies;

 Create content for the CGRS website and social media;

 Engage in international human rights research and advocacy;

 Participate in other projects and duties on an as-needed basis.

THE HIRING PROCESS

To apply, go to: http://hrnetlogin.net/uchastings/app/app.cgi?positionsdesiredtext=Staff%20Attorney%20- %20CGRS%20Oct2016

Failure to provide the information as required on the application form including attaching a cover letter and a resume shall immediately disqualify an applicant from employment consideration.

 

Click HERE for the full job posting.

 

Major Food Crisis after Hurricane Matthew-Jocelerme Privert

November 11, 2016 - 06:56

Interim President Jocelerme Privert, Haiti, asks the international community to work together to raise funds for the most vulnerable victims of Hurricane Matthew. The government of Haiti estimates 1.5 million people need immediate assistance, including more than 140,000 people who are living in temporary shelters.

“I don’t want Haitian citizens to die because of the inability of international assistance,” Privert said.

Read the full article from The Independent below.

Haiti faces ‘major food crisis’ after Hurricane Matthew and needs more global donations, says interim presidentGabriel Samuels, The IndependentNovember 11th, 2016

Jocelerme Privert makes impassioned plea for more fundraising from abroad

Haiti is facing a “major food crisis” and the international community is falling short of helping it to recover from Hurricane Matthew, the country’s interim president has said. Jocelerme Privert said Haitians were suffering from higher levels of malnutrition and were unable to take action during the upcoming winter planting season due to the scale of the damage.

“I don’t want Haitian citizens to die because of the inability of international assistance,” Mr Privert told BBC News. “But I want the world to understand that we Haitians want to get back to work.

“Let’s take the winter planting season which looms and for which we need to begin to have mobilised this month. There needs to be somewhere between $25 million and $30 million dollars in order to do that.

“Right now we have only been able to come up with about $2.5m of aid. If we don’t manage to relaunch agriculture then in two, three, four months we will find ourselves before a major food crisis.”

Mr Privert urged the international community to help more with the recovery effort, as 2.1 million people were affected by the hurricane and a large portion of the country was devastated by high winds.

The government of Haiti estimates 1.5 million people need immediate assistance, including more than 140,000 people who are living in temporary shelters.

Politicians said around $2 billion (£1.5 billion) of structural damage was caused – equivalent to Haiti’s entire national budget – by the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade.

As well as the initial impact of the storm, the aftermath saw outbreaks of cholera due to storm flooding of sewage systems in October.

In early November, the US government announced it was beginning to send people back to Haiti after pausing deportation. Around 900 Haitian citizens were killed during the devastating storm.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

Press release: Congresswoman Wilson on resumption of deportation flights to Haiti

November 10, 2016 - 17:16

For Immediate Release                                               For More Information Contact:

November 10, 2016                                                       Joyce Jones, Communications Director
202.225.4506 (office)
202.578.0634 (mobile)

 

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Responds to the
Resumption of Deportation Flights to Haiti

 

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson today released the following statement in response to the resumption of deportation flights to Haiti:

“It is very disheartening to learn that the Department of Homeland Security has resumed deportation flights to Haiti. Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wisely put a hold on these flights to give the battered nation time to begin its recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew.

“I visited Haiti on October 29 and can unequivocally say that little has changed in the five weeks since the Category 4 storm hit an already vulnerable nation. More than a million people are in yet another fight for their lives in the aftermath of yet another natural disaster that has compounded the damage caused by the 2010 earthquake.

“The people DHS will remove are not criminals and are in fact hard-working people who are contributing to the economies of both Haiti and the United States. The bottom line, however, is that Haiti is not equipped to care for the planned biweekly arrival of deportees or to provide the resources they will need to rebuild their lives.

“Last month, I led more than 50 House Democrats and Republicans in a letter to President Obama urging him to delay the deportations and to also hold full and fair asylum hearings, effective counsel and other forms of relief. I also have urged the administration to redesignate Haiti’s temporary protective status that will expire next July to include Haitians already in the United States and to expand the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which promotes safe and legal migration to the U.S.

“I plan to work with my congressional colleagues and advocates once again to further engage the administration on these critical issues. As Secretary Johnson stated when he initially suspended the deportation flights, Haiti still needs our sympathies and support.”

 

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Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a third-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and is the Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

 

US congresswoman Clarke calls on White House to halt deportations of Haitians

November 10, 2016 - 07:42

US Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke, of the 9th congressional district of Brooklyn, New York, has urged President Obama to halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians, and to redesignate Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals. Clarke has also signed and promoted a petition created by two major Haiti Diaspora groups in New York that, on receiving 100,000 signatures, would require an official response from the White House.

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

US congresswoman calls on Obama administration to halt deportation of Haitians

Jamaica Observer

November 10, 2016

US Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke (Photo from original article).

 

NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — US Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke has urged the Obama administration to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians.

“Earlier today (Wednesday), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed that removal proceedings have resumed for Haitian nationals in the United States who lack Temporary Protected Status (TPS),” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).“The majority of the people DHS intends to remove have not been accused of any crime”.

According to Clarke, the deportations will “return thousands of Haitians to a country that continues to struggle with the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the recent outbreak of cholera that was introduced by international aid workers responding to the 2010 earthquake”…

 

Click HERE for the full article.

Congresswoman Clarke: Deportations will “exacerbate the difficulties of rebuilding Haiti”

November 9, 2016 - 10:34

Congresswoman Clarke is speaking out against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s decision to resume non-criminal deportations to Haiti. On September 22, DHS announced that it would resume deporting Haitians who were not charged with a crime. After Hurricane Matthew hit, DHS Secretary Johnson was forced to pause the deportations because of the devastation wrought by the storm. The debris isn’t yet cleared and the cholera epidemic has worsened but DHS has decided to resume these deportations again, planning to send two plane-loads of people to Haiti each week. Congresswoman Clarke noted that “In this period of turmoil, the forced removal of Haitian nationals will only exacerbate the difficulties of rebuilding Haiti and deny families access to remittances from relatives in the United States.”

Click HERE for the original article.

US starts sending people back to Haiti again after pausing deportation flights during Hurricane Matthew

Rachael Revesz, The Independent

November 9, 2016

The US is about to begin amping up its program to deport Haitians shortly after a cholera outbreak and Hurricane Matthew ravaged the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has scheduled two flights per week to deport around 60 people back to Haiti every seven days.

The deportation program was temporarily suspended on 12 October while one of the poorest countries in the world was dealing with the immediate after effect of Hurricane Matthew, which killed more than 1,000 people and put thousands of pregnant women at risk, wiping out hospitals, infrastructure, crops and livestock.

Thousands of Haitians ended up sleeping in homeless shelters in towns along the Mexican border as they had to wait for weeks to get an appointment with an immigration official before entering the US.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke said she was “deeply saddened” by the news that deportations have resumed.

“The majority of the people DHS intends to remove have not been accused of any crime. These deportations will return thousands of Haitians to a country that continues to struggle with the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the recent outbreak of cholera that was introduced by international aid workers responding to the 2010 earthquake,” she said.

“In this period of turmoil, the forced removal of Haitian nationals will only exacerbate the difficulties of rebuilding Haiti and deny families access to remittances from relatives in the United States.”

Haitians mostly came to the US via the Mexican border. Any immigrant who has not received the Temporary Protected Status is vulnerable to be deported under president Barack Obama.

It is not possible to apply for TPS as the application process is now closed and existing TPS statuses will expire next July.

That is as long as president-elect Donald Trump does not issue an executive order before then to shut down the program altogether.

In 2010 after the earthquake, Haitians were given a special immigration arrangement which meant they could stay in the US. The government stopped deportations as they said it was dangerous to send Haitians back to such an unstable country.

The next year, only those Haitians with criminal convictions were deported. On 22 September 2011, DHS secretary Jeh Johnson reversed that decision and ordered widespread deportations.

Many Haitians have stayed in Brazil as they were worried about being deported, but when the economy slumped they traveled hundreds of miles through central America and Mexico in search of work.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

Al Jazeera Features Haiti Cholera in Its Anniversary Celebration

November 8, 2016 - 10:41

Al Jazeera English is celebrating its ten-year anniversary by giving updates on its most memorable documentaries in a series called REWIND. One of those REWIND features is Haiti in a Time of Cholera, which was filmed in 2013 and won an Emmy award in 2014. To update the story, Al Jazeera interviewed IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom, who is also leading the cholera case and advocacy against the United Nations’ lack of accountability.

Some excerpts are below. Click HERE for the full feature.

Rewind: Haiti in a Time of Cholera

Al Jazeera English

November 8, 2016

What was your reaction when the UN secretary-general finally acknowledged the UN’s role in August 2016?

How effective has the UN’s response been for eradicating cholera in Haiti?

So far, the UN’s response to cholera has been completely underwhelming. Cholera is a tremendous emergency. The number of people who have died from cholera in Haiti is similar to the number of people who died in the recent Ebola epidemic in Africa.

Click HERE for the full feature.

US Gov. quietly resumes deportations to Haiti

November 8, 2016 - 08:50

While the U.S. government transitions between administrations, the Department of Homeland Security continues to deport people of Haitian heritage. Steve Forester of IJDH said, “It’s completely outrageous given the devastation Hurricane Matthew caused and the inability of Haiti to receive deportees…The only thing that has changed in Haiti is that the vast devastation affecting two million people in Haiti is no longer in the headlines; that’s the only thing that has changed since they suspended deportations.”

Steve Forester is an activist in Miami. Activists in San Diego also condemn the deportations. Pierre Esperance, executive director of the National Network Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).

Esperance said, “These are not criminal deportees but people who went to Brazil and transited through Mexico to San Diego, California.”

Below is a portion of the Miami Herald article. Click HERE for the full article.

U.S. government quietly resumes deportations to Haiti

by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

November 8th, 2016

…Haitian activists in Florida and California, who had been pressing the Obama administration into Tuesday’s U.S. presidential elections to reverse the Sept. 22 deportation policy for Haitians and to allow newly arriving undocumented Haitians the opportunity to work in the United States without the fear of deportation, were for the most part taken by surprise.Several activists received an email from a San Diego activist over the weekend saying that “DHS has resumed deportations to Haiti,” and there could be two flights a week.“It’s completely outrageous given the devastation Hurricane Matthew caused and the inability of Haiti to receive deportees,” said Steven Forester, a longtime activist in South Florida’s Haitian community. “The only thing that has changed in Haiti is that the vast devastation affecting two million people in Haiti is no longer in the headlines; that’s the only thing that has changed since they suspended deportations.”Attorney Randy McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services, said he and other activists believed that they had assurances from Homeland Security officials that they would not resume deportations without notice.“No matter which way they do it, it’s wrong and goes against every humanitarian impulse that we as Americans share,” he said. “ It’s very shameful that they would would wait only a month after one of the most devastating natural disasters in the Caribbean since the earthquake and to do it secretly without asking for any feedback from Haitian advocates. It is outrageous.”Click HERE for the full article.

Haitians Stranded by Policy after Hurricane Matthew

November 8, 2016 - 08:00

The following report from News Deeply describes how Brazil first deterred Haitian refugees, then the US shifted its policy to return folks to post-hurricane conditions; the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) increased its number of detentions and deportations, and people of faith have banded together to build a community-based response to the crisis.

Read the full article HERE.

 

Humanitarian Crisis on U.S. Border: Haitians Stranded by Policy

by Sally Kantar, News Deeply

November 8th, 2016

Over the past year, more than 5,000 Haitians entered the United States legally through the Tijuana-San Ysidro border crossing between Mexico and San Diego, California, after making a 7,000-mile (11,000km) overland trek from Brazil.

Their journeys can be traced back to the 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti, initially displacing 1.5 million people, claiming more than 200,000 lives, and laying the groundwork for a cholera epidemic that affected hundreds of thousands more.

Now, an estimated 5,000 further Haitians who traveled from Brazil are stranded in Tijuana on the Mexican border. With the number of Haitian arrivals growing, they often wait weeks for interviews with U.Sborder officials.

Migrant outreach centers in the border city are at full capacity, and tents serve as makeshift shelters. It looks, said Sam Jean-Francois, a San Diego-based Haitian-American volunteer, like a “refugee camp.”

What faces them on the other side of the border is no less concerning – detention and possible deportation.

 

Click HERE to read the full article.

Taking the UN and the World Bank to Court [EVENT]

November 8, 2016 - 07:11

Taking the UN and the World Bank to Court: The Human Rights Impact of Immunity for International Organizations

Lawsuits seeking to hold the United Nations liable for the devastating cholera outbreak in Haiti and to compel the International Finance Corporation to redress health problems and lost livelihoods caused by a coal plant it funded in India have faced dismissal on grounds of immunity. The UN’s refusal to acknowledge its legal responsibility for the epidemic and the IFC’s reluctance to own up to its role in social and environmental harms have called into question the justifications for insulating these institutions from judicial process, particularly in absence of adequate, alternative remedies. These cases also have spurred creative thinking about what non-judicial remedies might look like and prompted debates about the role of alternative grievance procedures, such as the accountability mechanism at the IFC, in ensuring effective reparation and prevention of human rights harms. The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice invites you to join a roundtable discussion about the consequences of international organization immunity for access to justice and the right to a remedy.

This event is open to the public and light lunch will be served.

Bring an ID to access the building.

 

WHERE:

Furman Hall 310
NYU School of Law
245 Sullivan Street
New York, NY

WHEN:

Monday, November 14, 2016
12:45 – 2:00pm

 

Click HERE to RSVP.

Haiti Before the Human Rights Council in Geneva

November 7, 2016 - 11:02

Haiti is undergoing the 2016 Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. On November 7, other Member States of the UN made a range of recommendations to the Government of Haiti to improve Haiti’s human rights situation. Some of the key recommendations that BAI’s and IJDH are advocating for Haiti to accept include:

  • -Taking measures to combat violence against women, including gender based violence and in particular updating the legislative framework to reform definitions of rape, criminalize marital rape and gender-based violence and address sexual harassment (multiple countries)
  • -Ensuring identity documents are provided to Haitians, including those living in the Dominican Republic (multiple countries)
  • -Taking measures to address threats and violence against human rights defenders and journalists (Austria, France) and excessive police force at peaceful protests (Costa Rica)
  • -Taking measures to eliminate discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation (Uruguay)
  • -Improving women’s participation in public life (Costa Rica)
  • -Improving access to water and sanitation, including to address cholera (Mexico, Portugal, Serbia)

More information on these topics can be found below. The one-pagers were written by BAI and IJDH. The full reports are either written (indicated if otherwise) or supported by BAI and local partners.
BAI and IJDH also participated in the 2011 review of Haiti, whose reports can be found HERE.

More information on the UPR in general is available HERE.

One-Pagers

Rights of Haitian Women
Voting Rights
Access to Justice
LGBT Rights
Rights of Workers
Cholera
Hurricane Matthew

Videos

Mario Joseph rapport sur l’ouragan Matthew
Peterson du Kolektif Jistis Min sur l’exploitation minière et droits humains
Mario Joseph bay rezime evalyasyon ayiti a
Sienna Merope gives summary of Haiti’s review
 

Full Reports

Droits de voter et assembler by MOLEGHAF and MELA
Violence and Discrimination against Women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People in Haiti – by FASCDIS, SEROvie, MADRE, The Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, CUNY Law School, OutRight Action International
Violations des Droits des Personnes Lesbiennes, Gays, Bisexuelles, Transgenres et Intersexuées by Kouraj, APLCH, Gran Lakou
Sur les abus et exploitations sexuels faits aux Femmes, Filles, et Jeunes Hommes par les agents des Nations Unies, et les violations du droit á l’accès au recours – by KONAMAVID, OFARC
Rapport sur la situation des Droits de la femme Haïtienne by FEMCADH, KOFAVIV, MOFAS, Gender Action
Access to Judicial Remedies in Haiti by Boston College’s CHRIJ, and Alternative Chance (Français ici)
Droits a Sante, Alimentation et Education by GTDMi, PEC Mirebalais, RFFA, PEC Saut d’Eau, PEC Lachapelle
Droit du Travail by BAI, FAVILEK
Violations of human rights related to the ongoing cholera epidemic by IJDH, AID-Free World, HALEC, EJIH and HD3