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Haiti - UN : 42% increase in homicides in Haiti (2019)
20/02/2020 10:08:45

Haiti - UN : 42% increase in homicides in Haiti (2019)
As part of the implementation of resolution 2476 (2019), by which the Security Council established the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) for an initial period of 12 months, UN Secretary General António Guterres, submitted to the Security Council its periodic report (every 120 days). This report presents the main developments since the previous report on Haiti and provides an update on the establishment of the Office and describes progress made in integrating the activities of the Office and the United Nations country team.

III. Community violence reduction (benchmark 2) :

"[...] Haiti continues to face high and rising levels of violence, including common criminality, kidnappings, hijackings, robberies and violent attacks by heavily armed gang members. The number of reported intentional homicides increased by 42 per cent in 2019, compared with the previous year, with 910 recorded cases involving 1,081 victims (including 61 women), a ratio of 9.34 per 100,000 citizens, up from 6.67 for 2018 and 7.91 for 2017. Two thirds of those of those homicides were recorded in West Department, where criminality is traditionally more prevalent. In addition, 42 police officers were killed in 2019, a 147 per cent increase, compared with 17 in 2018, and the highest number since the inception of the Haitian National Police in 1995. Moreover, 31 of 348 police stations were vandalized countrywide (including 8 facilities set ablaze), compared with 7 recorded incidents in 2018. In most cases, the damage was caused by angry mobs in retaliation for alleged police wrongdoing. During the reporting period, 16 criminal incidents affected United Nations personnel, resulting in no casualties. In addition, one BINUH independent contractor was shot and killed on 1 December while leaving a bank in Port-au-Prince.

Sexual and gender-based violence remains prevalent but underreported. In 2019, 227 cases were reported to the police, compared with 418 in 2018. This 45 per cent decrease is attributable to severe underreporting due to heightened stigma and risk of retaliation against victims, in particular in the current security and political context. To raise awareness of the situation, the United Nations supported activities organized by national counterparts in the context of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign launched in November. In addition, the national police sex crimes unit is developing a database of sexual assault complaints that would improve case processing and provide easier access to countrywide statistics.

The political crisis added another layer of complexity to the security situation. Between 1 September and 30 November 2019, the United Nations documented at least 1,341 demonstrations, roadblocks and barricades. At the height of the mobilization in late September, protests turned violent and the presence of heavily armed individuals was observed in the streets, especially in the urban centres of West, Artibonite, South and North Departments. Those developments led to significant restrictions on movement for the United Nations, hampering operations throughout the country. Attesting to the challenges of maintaining public order, the national police reported, during a press conference held on 19 December, having carried out 2,536 interventions to clear roads between 1 September and 30 November. [...]"

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