Celebration of the International Human Rights Day, on December 10, 2023, Défenseurs Plus calls for concrete actions from the Haitian government
Défenseurs Plus is dismayed by the serious, systematic violations of human rights in Haiti in recent years. The Haitian state has been unable, due to a lack of resources and/or will, to respect, protect, and implement human rights in the country in accordance with the provisions of national and international legal frameworks dealing with human rights. For the past three years, the Haitian population has been at the mercy of armed groups that have been imposing their rule in the cities and villages without being challenged. This further complicates the realization of social, economic, and cultural rights, and leads to a regression of the civil and political rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Despite the significant role that Haiti played in the drafting of this declaration, the Haitian government is struggling to comply with the various principles set out in it.
In recent years, the Défenseurs Plus has observed that the situation is getting worse; human rights violations are increasing under the passive gaze of the state authorities. The armed violence that once prevailed in the big cities is now spreading to remote areas of the country, violating the rights to life and security of the entire Haitian population. Both police officers and civilians are not spared from violence. Faced with the inaction of the government of the Republic, the population resorts to mob justice. This chaotic situation in the country is one of the causes of mass emigration of young people. We are witnessing a brain drain due to the lack of respect for human rights in Haiti. The political, economic, and intellectual elites seem not to be concerned about this brain drain that threatens the very existence of the Haitian nation.
The rights to food, education, health, housing and work, guaranteed by the Haitian constitution of 1987 and international conventions ratified by Haiti, are constantly violated. Physical insecurity and food insecurity are two major concerns of the Haitian people in 2023. According to a report published in March 2023, the National Coordination of Food Security indicates that 4,900,000 Haitians are affected by food insecurity.
Regarding specific human rights, despite the special provisions reserved for children in the legal frameworks, this vulnerable category is a victim of the chaotic situation in the country. They face kidnappings, food insecurity, the alarming health situation and other human rights problems in the country. People living with disabilities face, in addition to problems of integration into society and discrimination, social and cultural obstacles preventing them from enjoying their most basic rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments ratified by the Haitian State. Being a marginalized category, women are exposed to violence and discrimination in education, health and justice. Violence against women and girls constitutes one of the most widespread forms of violence in the world, and Haiti is not exempt. Violence against women and girls is increasing with the rise in insecurity in the country under the reign of the de facto government, led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry since July 2021, following the villainous assassination of the President Jovenel MOISE.
Faced with this chaotic situation where we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Défenseurs Plus asks the Haitian State to respect national and international legal instruments that protect human rights. These rights must be guaranteed to all without distinction in accordance with the said declaration. The Haitian population has the right to live in decent living conditions essential to their dignity. Défenseurs Plus demands concrete actions from the Haitian state for the enjoyment of human rights in the country as required by article 19 of the constitution and international conventions in order to contribute to the establishment of an inclusive society in Haiti.
Port-au-Prince, December 10, 2023
Tel: (509) 37641393