International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Defenseurs Plus Collective invites the police and judicial authorities to act
In Haiti, cases of violence against women and girls are repetitive and actions to stop them are struggling to come from the state authorities. Women and girls are victims of violence by relatives, armed gangs and sometimes even by state authorities. It has become a satisfaction of armed gangs to be able to practice sexual violence on women and girls. Without any constraint, rapes are committed everywhere on the national territory. Sometimes state and religious authorities are indexed and denounced, but impunity reigns supreme.
The penalties provided by the Haitian penal code are not applied for the perpetrators of sexual assault and other physical violence. Arrests and legal proceedings are slow to manifest themselves in favor of women and girls who are victims of violence. A report entitled “Sexual violence in Port-au-Prince: a weapon used by gangs to spread fear”, published on October 14, 2022 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), documents the violence girls and women especially by armed gangs. Children and old women are not spared from sexual violence, including gang rape. Impunity has lasted too long, Defenseurs Plus invites the police and judicial authorities to act to put an end to this shameful practice.
Indeed, Defenseurs Plus wishes to remind state authorities that under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ratified by Haiti in 1981; and that under the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, commonly known as the Convention of Belém Do Parà, which the country ratified in 1997, the Haitian State has an obligation to work for the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Defenseurs Plus points out that the United Nations (UN) has chosen to officially proclaim November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1999. The theme “violence against women was defined as “any act of violence directed against the female sex, and causing or likely to cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including the threat of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty , whether in public or private life. On this international day, awareness-raising operations are carried out by governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to combat violence against women in different parts of the world.
Defenseurs Plus has noted a decline in the disregard for the rights of women and girls in society for several decades. Thus, he reminds the authorities that impunity increases cases of violence against women and girls. He takes advantage of this day to call on the authorities concerned to make serious commitments to eliminate violence against women and girls. The Collective Defenseurs Plus is among the Haitian organizations that are launching once again this year, the 16 days of activists under the theme “All together against violence against women and girls”. The activities run from November 25 to December 10, which will mark International Human Rights Day. It is in order not only to support victims of gender-based violence, but also to raise awareness among the population to form a common front in the fight against violence against women and girls. Violence against women and girls is a serious violation of human rights and must be combated.
Made in Port-au-Prince on November 25, 2022
Wilkenson F.J. JN DENIS
Head of Legal Affairs
(509) 3195 14 75