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Haiti - UN : Gravity of the situation of the human rights in Haiti
05/04/2019 10:02:32

Haiti - UN : Gravity of the situation of the human rights in Haiti
On Wednesday, April 3, the United Nations Security Council, considered the report on Haiti, submitted by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. This report was presented by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet among others, at the invitation of the Council, commented on the human rights situation in Haiti.

In her speech, Michelle Bachelet, underlined the seriousness of the human rights situation in Haiti, particularly in terms of poverty, criminal activities and weaknesses of the judicial system, pointing out that with nearly 60% of the population living below the poverty line, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas. She explained that social grievances, corruption and weak institutions constituted major obstacles to the realization of human rights in Haiti, adding that many basic services such as health care, water electricity and education were out of reach.

She recalled that Haiti was facing considerable economic and social difficulties, that the majority of Haitians did not have access to basic services such as health care https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-26383-haiti-health-all-about-the-haitian-health-system.html , water and sanitation https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-26819-haiti-politic-access-to-drinking-water-and-sanitation-far-from-reality-in-the-country.html , electricity https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-23305-haiti-flash-haiti-3rd-worst-country-in-the-world-in-terms-of-access-to-electricity.html and education and that job opportunities were very limited especially for young people.

Bachelet mentioned that Haiti's vulnerability to major natural hazards aggravated the humanitarian situation, stating that "each earthquake and hurricane hampered development and intensified the already precarious living conditions of many Haitians"

Regarding the security aspect, Bachelet said that in "deprived areas" of the capital, armed gangs took advantage of the limited presence of the state and that armed conflicts between rival gangs caused deaths, violence and destruction and looting of houses. She said that the social-political unrest had been increasing in Haiti since July 2018, and that they had killed at least 60 people, including members of the Haitian National Police, and injured many more people.

On the weakness of the Haitian judicial system, Bachelet said that more than 75% of detainees were in custody on average for nearly 3 years, well beyond the limit set by national legislation (Haiti first country in the region out of 24, in number of pre-trial detention https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-25697-haiti-justice-haiti-tops-the-list-of-people-imprisoned-without-conviction.html ). Temporary detention which contributes to extreme overcrowding and practices that amount to degrading and inhuman treatment. https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-26336-haiti-justice-the-government-recognizes-that-the-prison-situation-is-chaotic.html

Concluding "Today, as Haiti stands at the crossroads of development and peacekeeping, we must recognize progress. We must also continue to take advantage of it, otherwise we risk losing it. I encourage this Council to provide the people of Haiti with the support they need to strengthen institutions, combat impunity and promote and protect human rights as a foundation for stability and development."

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