Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Syndicate content
Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Six Years Post-Quake and Not Much Change – Interview with Brian Concannon

January 12, 2016 - 12:42

Today, January 12, marks the sixth anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Despite billions pledged and spent in Haiti since then, there is not much to show for it. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon explains what went wrong, like not consulting Haitians on what their country needed and relying on expensive international experts.

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

Anger in Haiti over misspent aid, six years after the 2010 earthquake

Christopher Woolf, PRI’s The World
January 12, 2016

It’s six years since an earthquake devastated Haiti, and killed at least 200,000 people.

In the immediate aftermath, the world rallied and pledged enormous amounts of assistance and development aid. But in Haiti today there is anger about the promises that have fallen short.

The UN estimates that about $10 billion was pledged, and about half of that has been spent.

Much was well-spent, especially in the beginning, according to Brian Concannon, executive director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Concannon has worked in and for Haiti for more than 20 years.

Click HERE for the full text and audio.

Brother, I’m Being Deported: The Dominican Republic Deportation Crisis and What We Can Do About It

January 12, 2016 - 06:55


A unique technology-enabled discussion between human rights lawyer Brian Concannon and author Edwidge Danticat.

The forced departure of tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic is both a tragedy and an opportunity.

Edwidge and Brian will discuss the humanitarian crisis and its deep-rooted causes, as well as the promising movement – fueled by social media and new models of human rights advocacy– to address both the crisis and its underlying causes.

Brian Concannon, Jr.  is a lawyer who directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Mr. Concannon is an O’Donnell Visiting Educator this Spring

Edwidge Danticat is an author and human rights activist and was this year’s Summer Read author.

This event is sponsored by Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Endowed Chair in Global Studies and the President’s Office.


Olin Hall, Olin 130
920 E Isaacs
Walla Walla, WA


Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Click HERE for the original event post.

2016 Events Commemorating Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake

January 12, 2016 - 05:19

Tour de Quisqueya | January 9-18 | Port Salut, Haiti

Haiti Cultural Night – The Whistler | January 9 at 5:30 PM | St. Columba Catholic Church: 6401 San Pablo Ave. Oakland, CA 94608

Worship Service & Haiti Earthquake Commemoration | January 10 at 11am | 1313 Bristol Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Memoirs of the Diaspora Art & Cultural Exhibit | January 10 at 4pm | Queens Museum: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368

Protest outside the Clinton Foundation | January 12 at noon | 1271 6th Ave – Avenue of the Americas

Haiti Earthquake 6th Anniversary March and Vigil | January 12 at 4:30pm | N. Miami Avenue and 62 Street (in front of the statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture)

The Haitian Coalition January 12, 2016 Commemoration Vigil | January 12 at 5pm | Tufts University, Medford, MA

Community forum to remember the victims | January 12 at 6pm | I.S. 246 – Walt Whitman Junior High School: 72 Veronica Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11226

Ti Pil Ti Pil Fé Chaj: A commemoration on the 6th Anniversary since Haiti’s Earthquake to benefit Haitian midwifery education | January 12 at 6pm | Home Sweet Harlem: 1528 Amsterdam Avenue NYC 10031 (b/w 135th and 156th Streets)

Live earthquake commemoration television program | January 12 at 8:30pm | Boston, MA/online

6th Annual Save Haiti Bike Ride | January 16 at 7:45am | Moca Plaza, North Miami, FL

3rd Annual Haiti Clinic 5K Run/Walk | January 16 at 8am | South Beach Park in Vero Beach, FL

Haiti Earthquake 2010: 6 Years Later | January 17 at 5pm | Boston Foundation/Haiti Development Institute: 75 Arlington Street Boston, MA

IJDH Needs Legal Intern for Spring 2016

January 12, 2016 - 02:03

Are you a second- or third-year law student interested in human rights? Do you know any? If so, apply or tell them to apply to our Spring 2016 Legal Internship by January 20th!

The Legal Intern will work on our groundbreaking cholera case against the UN and gain valuable legal and advocacy experience. The Intern must have excellent oral and written communication skills and be available for at least ten hours a week.

Here’s more information on the internship and qualifications:

Celestin still adamant that he won’t participate in “electoral masquerade” as run-off approaches

January 11, 2016 - 19:08

Campaigning for the 2nd round of Haiti’s presidential elections has already started; despite the runner up to the first round claiming he will not be participating. Celestin refuses to campaign or run until an independent electoral commission follows up on the previous round which had him finishing 2nd.

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

Crisis looms as Haiti 2nd-round presidential campaigning kicks off

Amelie Baron, L’Agence France-Presse (AFP)

January 9, 2016

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Campaigning for the second round of Haiti’s presidential election opened Friday, with the opposition candidate refusing to participate without sweeping reforms to the process.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, has endured years of political crisis aggravated by its attempt to recover from the massive January 2010 earthquake that claimed some 200,000 lives.

Candidate Jude Celestin “will not launch his campaign and will not participate in the January 24 voting” until recommendations that an independent electoral commission presented earlier are fully implemented, his campaign spokesman Augustin Jinaud told AFP.

Click HERE for full text.


Haiti Faces Election Crisis as 6th Earthquake Anniversary Approaches

January 11, 2016 - 12:15

Without a functioning parliament since January 2015, Haiti prepares to inaugurate 14 new Senators and 92 Deputies. Unfortunately, the elections that chose these parliamentarians, and the ones that will chose Haiti’s next president have been deeply flawed. Instead of standing with Haitians in their demands for fair and legitimate elections, the international community is pushing the country to go forward with the fraud-filled results.

Part of the press release is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Is U.S. Facilitating Rigged Elections Process in Haiti?

Institute for Public Accuracy
January 11, 2016

The Miami Herald reports: “Now as Haiti prepares to mark another quake anniversary, it is also preparing to welcome back a functioning Senate and lower house after 14 new Senators and 92 Deputies were elected in the much-criticized Aug. 9 and Oct. 25 elections.

“While in theory Martelly’s one-man rule should be curbed, observers and critics say much will depend on the configuration of each of the chambers where no one political party enjoys a majority. …

“‘The constitution doesn’t give the president the power to take decrees. Every decree President Martelly has taken is illegal,’ said [Haitian Senator Jocelerme Privert].


Click HERE for the full text.

International intervention has contributed to broken politics in Haiti

January 11, 2016 - 09:07

With international actors meddling in Haiti’s political and economic affairs, many believe that it will lead to further downfall.

Haiti is broken because of intervention

Letters to the Editor, Washington Post

January 9, 2016

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

The Dec. 28 editorial “Haiti’s broken politics” concluded that, absent international intervention, Haiti will crumble into anarchy. In fact, Haiti’s crisis is, in large part, a consequence of U.S. and international intervention.

This country has been occupied by U.N. soldiers for more than a decade. And it was U.S. pressure that led to the 2010 elections, months after the earthquake and weeks after the eruption of a virulent cholera outbreak, introduced by those U.N. troops. Fewer than 23 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

President Michel Martelly has never had a democratic mandate. It was only after a nine-member team from the Organization of American States, controlled by the United States and its allies, reversed the first-round results — in an unprecedented maneuver and without justification — that Mr. Martelly even made it to the second round.

Click HERE for full text.

2 events in NYC to mark the 6th Anniversary of the 2010 Haiti earthquake

January 11, 2016 - 07:03

KOMOKODA, the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti encourages you to join them at 2 events to mark 6 years since the tragic 2010 earthquake which killed hundreds of thousands and devastated Haiti:


Protest outside the Clinton Foundation in Manhattan to denounce them for the $6 Billion recovery money they stole

January 12, 2016

1271 6th Ave – Avenue of the Americas
(Between 50th & 51st Streets)

Trains B, D, F, M to 47th-50th Rockefeller Center


Community Forum in Brooklyn to remember the victims and indict those who used this tragedy to pillage and plunder Haiti’s resources

January 12, 2016

I.S. 246 – Walt Whitman Junior High School
72 Veronica Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11226
Entrance on Snyder Ave Between Veronica Pl. & Bedford Ave.

Trains 2, 5 to Church Ave., B44, B49, B41

For more information:
347-730-3620; 718-440-6892

Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Institute Now Hiring

January 11, 2016 - 04:10

The Human Rights Institute is pleased to share a call for applications for a new position with the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative, based at the Law Center. The IMBR Initiative and HRI are seeking a program manager to establish and oversee a Secretariat to manage its work promoting the recognition and protection of the rights of migrants through research, education, and advocacy grounded in the IMBR – a comprehensive, coherent articulation of the legal rights of all international migrants. The program manager will join the growing Initiative at an exciting time and will be responsible for piloting a new advocacy campaign to promote the IMBR in the Americas and to expand its partnerships in the region. Applications are due by January 29, 2016.

The job posting can be found here.

More information about the IMBR Initiative can be found here.

Information about joining the Initiative’s civil society Network can be found here.

Legitimacy of January 24th run-off at stake with Celestin not participating

January 8, 2016 - 12:38

Celestin is opting not to participate on January 24th run off.  Without his participation, many already see run-off as being illegitimate.

Celestin says ‘No’ to Haiti presidential runoff

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 7, 2016

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

Haiti presidential candidate Jude Célestin says he will not be participating in this month’s runoff elections.

“The 24th is out of the question,” Célestin told the Miami Herald on Thursday. “[President Michel] Martelly will have to do an election with just one candidate.”

Célestin’s announcement came as two top U.S. envoys departed Haiti for Washington on Thursday after failing to convince him to run, and as the U.S. State Department issued a statement welcoming Martelly’s executive order scheduling the presidential and partial legislative runoff for Sunday, Jan. 24.

“We look forward to the completion of the electoral process and encourage all Haitians to participate peacefully and calmly in the vote,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. Meanwhile, the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States in Haiti called the establishment of a date a “step in the right direction,” while urging the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to factor into its preparations the recommendations of an elections evaluation commission to allow for a competitive process.

Click HERE for original article.

Rep. Hastings urges US to ensure truly fair Haiti election process

January 8, 2016 - 06:04

Citing “allegations of fraud and electoral misconduct,” U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings states in his January 8, 2016 letter to Secretary Kerry that, “though the push for truly free and fair elections in Haiti may be difficult, the United States must do all that it can to ensure that Haiti moves closer to such elections in the coming days and months.” Rep. Hastings’ letter joins Rep. Frederica Wilson’s December 14 letter, and December 13 and December 2 editorials by the editorial boards of The New York Times and Miami Herald respectively, which all support Haitian civil society’s demand for a Haitian-led, independent investigation into the serious allegations of fraud as prerequisite to any runoff.

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

January 8, 2016

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:
I write to you today as the current Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the former President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE’s) Parliamentary Assembly, to address the current democratic crises unfolding in Haiti.

With allegations of fraud and electoral misconduct coming from Haiti’s electorate in the aftermath of its October 25, 2015 elections, Haitians have once again been forced to contend with the seemingly Sisyphean task of establishing free adn fair elections in their country. The people of Haiti have struggled for decades to create legitimate democratic institutions for themselves and future generations, and though the push for truly free and fair elections in Haiti may be difficult, the United States must do all that it can to ensure that Haiti moves closer to such elections in the coming days and months, as the country works to hold a presidential runoff election.

The United States’ unyielding support for the establishment of strong democratic institutions in Haiti will help to cement confidence in such institutions and in the overall democratic process as it takes further root throughout Haiti.


Click HERE for the full text.

Remember Haiti 01/12/16

January 7, 2016 - 07:08


The anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti six year ago is on January 12, 2016. On that day, the Haitian Coalition will commemorate the memory of those who have lost their lives, and to thank the individuals that stood with us and our community over the years. It will also pay tribute to the survivors many whom are still struggling to find their bearings here in our city. The purpose of this FREE Remember Haiti 01/12/16 event is to help attendees understand the continuous effort that still needs to be done and to share the Haitian Coalition’s continuous involvement. There will be guest speaker panelist and individual survivor testimonies. Light refreshment will be provided.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

5 to 8pm


Tufts University

51 Winthrop Street

Medford, MA

If you have any questions please call 617-625-6400 or email

Click HERE for more info and to RSVP.

An official date has been given for Haiti’s presidential run off

January 7, 2016 - 07:05

After holding out on solidifying a run-off date, all parties have agreed on a January 24th date.  The run-off date, however, is dwarfed by the fact that the newly-elected parliament is to take office next Monday.

Part of the article is below. To view in full-text click HERE.

It’s official: Haiti presidential runoff in 17 days

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 7, 2015

Haiti President Michel Martelly issued a presidential order Wednesday officially scheduling the country’s postponed presidential and partial legislative runoffs for Jan. 24.

Martelly’s late night order came a day after the head of the Provisional Electoral Council reversed himself on the impossibility of staging the vote in time for Martelly’s Feb. 7 departure from office, and on the day that two top U.S. envoys arrived in Port-au-Prince to address an unraveling political crisis triggered by the Oct. 25 presidential and legislative elections.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon, counselor of the Department of State, and Haiti Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten, spent the first of two days meeting with key political actors including Martelly, Prime Minister Evans Paul and opposition candidate Jude Célestin. They had hoped to convince Célestin to participate in the runoff.

Click HERE for full text.

Luncheon Briefing on Gold-mining in Haiti

January 7, 2016 - 06:49


Join Oxfam America for a luncheon briefing on “The Risks of Gold-mining in Haiti.” Six years after the devastating earthquake, Haiti faces another potential disaster from large-scale gold-mining. Can Haiti avoid the “resource curse,” or will gold-mining contribute to even greater corruption, environmental damage and social conflict? Haiti has a unique opportunity now to hold a robust public debate about the risks of mining for the Haitian people, and to implement preventive measures to avoid future human rights abuses and environmental harms. This briefing will explore the potential risks of mining in Haiti and the role of the US government in helping ensure protection of human rights and the environment.

Tonny Joseph, Governance Program Manager, Oxfam Haiti
Camille Chalmers, Director, Haitian Advocacy Platform for Alternative Development (PAPDA) and Haiti Mining Justice Collective
Nikki Reisch, Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law

Keith Slack, Global Program Manager, Extractive Industries, Oxfam America, Washington, DC


B-339 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016



RSVP here.

How Haiti’s Elections Have Been Rigged

January 7, 2016 - 06:11

Haiti’s 2015-2016 elections have been marked by rampant fraud, voter suppression, and other problems. This cheeky “guide” breaks all of those problems down to explain how the current results don’t represent the popular will.

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

Haiti: A Beginner’s Guide to Fixing Elections

Haiti Support Group

January 7, 2016

It is not always possible to control the outcome of an election (remember 1990?!). The best thing is not
to hold them at all – this worked well for all concerned in the Duvalier era. But, if elections are absolutely unavoidable, read the following guide and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Guiding principle: minimise the turnout; the smaller the turnout, the easier it is to micromanage the result.

Preparation is everything
–Eliminate hundreds of thousands of citizens from the electoral register by failing to issue them
with valid National Identification Cards

–Pass a law reducing the number of members constituting a valid political party from 500 to 30:
the more ‘parties’ the better (see below).


Click HERE for the full text.

Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting, 02/05/2016

January 6, 2016 - 11:52


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a quarterly stakeholder meeting to receive updates from the Asylum Division and ask questions.


111 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20529


Friday, February 5, 2016
2 to 4 p.m. Eastern


To Register:

Please respond no later than Friday, Jan. 29, by emailing the Public Engagement Division at Please write “Asylum Quarterly RSVP” in the subject line and include your full name and the name of organization you represent in the body of the message.

Once they process your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details. On the day of the engagement, please bring government-issued photo identification and plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to pass through security.

Participation in this meeting is in-person only. You must RSVP in order to attend.

To Submit Questions or Agenda Items:

USCIS encourages you to submit questions and agenda items in advance by emailing Please submit all questions and agenda items by Monday, Jan. 11, and write “Asylum Quarterly Agenda Item” in the subject line.

Please email USCIS if you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you do not receive a confirmation email within two business days of registering.

Note to Media: This engagement is not for press purposes.  Please contact the USCIS Press Office at (202) 272-1200 for any media inquiries.

Invitation_Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder In person Meeting_Feb. 5 2016.pdf

Will Postponed Presidential Runoff Lead to Transitional Government?

January 5, 2016 - 13:39

Following a damning report on Haiti’s October 25 elections by the Electoral Evaluation Commission President Martelly established, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that it cannot hold the next round of elections by January 17. The CEP, the body in charge of elections, had previously said that the elections were set to go. Now, Haiti is on track to have  a transitional government and many questions remain about who will lead it, who will decide on its composition, and more.

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

Postponed Haiti runoff endangers presidential handover

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 5, 2016

The head of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council says it’s impossible to organize a presidential runoff in time for the country to meet a Feb. 7 constitutionally imposed deadline for the handover of power from one elected president to another.

Pierre-Louis Opont made the revelation Monday in a letter to President Michel Martelly, who had been told that Jan. 17 is the latest date a second round could be held in time to meet the constitutional deadline. The letter was issued hours after a five-member elections evaluation commission issued a damning report discrediting the council and raising questions about the integrity of the much criticized Oct. 25 presidential and legislative vote.

“Twelve days of preparation will not be sufficient to complete the process prior to the elections,” Opont wrote while noting that the council, known as the CEP, had yet to receive the report of the “Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission formed by the executive.”


Click HERE for the full text.

Taking a page from Arab Spring, Haitians use social media to disrupt flawed elections

January 5, 2016 - 11:31

Following suit from the Arab Spring, Haitians have taken to social media to record the discrepancies in this years elections.  The results showed that social media is connecting Haitians to share their ideas and values like never before.

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

How Haitians Used Social Media to Upset Haiti’s Elections Like an 1804 Boss

Daniella Bien-Aime, Bien-Aime Post

January 3, 2016

Quick, quick—here is a short history quiz for you.

Name one common event about the Arab Spring in the Middle East.

Umm, let me think—wait, wait, I know! There were several social uprisings that took place in Tehran, Egypt and Libya, among others.


Since you’re so good at this, I have one more for you.

What were some of the main tools those masses used to bring about these social revolutions?

Social technologies.

You rock!

Well, guess what?

Haitians have borrowed a page from the Arab Spring social revolutions to upset Haiti’s latest elections. And so far, the Haitian masses, activists, social media influencers and well-informed objective journalists have helped the poor score a win.

Click HERE for the full text.

Will Haiti avoid transitional government with new presidential runoff date?

January 5, 2016 - 06:32

Following a damning report on Haiti’s October 25 elections by the Electoral Evaluation Commission President Martelly established, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that it cannot hold the next round of elections by January 17. The next day, the CEP, the body in charge of elections, said that elections can be held January 24. It remains unclear whether this new date will be in time for a new president to take power on the constitutionally-mandated deadline of February 7th. Many still believe Haiti is heading towards a transitional government and many questions remain about who would lead it, who would decide on its composition, and more.

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

Haiti elections officials pick Jan. 24 for presidential runoff

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 5, 2015

Haiti’s postponed presidential and legislative runoffs and elections for local offices will take place on Jan. 24, the head of the Provisional Electoral Council announced Tuesday.

Pierre-Louis Opont disclosed the date in a letter to President Michel Martelly after a meeting of the nine-member council. Twenty-four hours earlier, Opont had informed Martelly that it was impossible to organize the elections for Jan. 17 — the final date, he said, voting could be staged to guarantee the handover of power from one elected president to another in time to meet the constitutionally imposed Feb. 7 deadline.

He now says it can be done.


Click HERE for the full text.

Disability Rights Fund Seeks Director of Development

January 4, 2016 - 11:52
The Disability Rights Fund (DRF), located in Boston, MA, is seeking a Director of Development.  DRF utilizes an e-office structure with employees living across the globe. The Director of Development position will be based in the U.S. and must have the willingness and capacity to work independently from a home location with travel to Boston on an as-needed basis.The Director of Development will be responsible for developing and implementing a multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign and communications program that will help grow DRF and diversify funding. The Director of Development serves as an advisor to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors on all matters related to fund development and messaging, leading efforts to provide DRF with significant opportunities to present its work to foundations, governments, corporations and major/individual donors.  She/he will strengthen fund development across the organization, working collaboratively with program and other staff, in the areas of fund development and communications.This is a great opportunity for a seasoned fundraiser with a passion for human rights and working to promote those rights for persons with disabilities in developing countries.See full Position Description HERE.