The UN should guarantee rights protection and development in Haiti

UN Watch Statement
Human Rights Council, 28th Session
Agenda item 10: ID with the IE on Haiti
24 March 2015
Delivered by Sarah Firestone


Thank you, Mr. President.
UN Watch is concerned about continuing violations of basic rights, and barriers to long-term development in Haiti. We agree with the Independent Expert that these issues are interlinked with the deep inequalities present in Haitian society. As such, the extension of the mandate of MINUSTAH through October 2015 by the Security Council is warranted.
UN Watch is further concerned, as documented in the report, that unacceptable human rights violations and inequalities persist. UN Watch is alarmed by an illiteracy rate that plagues more than half of the population, low gender equality, widespread gender violence, inhumane and cruel treatment of prisoners, overcrowding in jails and prolonged pretrial detentions, the continued use of child workers, and a deplorable situation for IDPs.
Though the adoption of legislation to address many of these issues is commendable, there is sharp disparity between legislation and practice.
UN Watch agrees with the Independent Expert that despite their complexity, these issues are not insuperable. However, in addition to the shock treatment suggested to immediately address concerning violations of basic human rights, UN Watch wishes to highlight the importance too, of long-term policies and enforced legislation such as strengthening: education, the rule of law and accountability. This two-prong approach would best serve to minimize human rights violations in the short-term, and guarantee stability and development in Haiti in the long-term.
Accordingly, UN Watch wishes to ask the Independent Expert two questions:
1) Have you considered evaluating best practices from other states in transition to combat the very high percentage of illiteracy in Haiti?
2) What tangible and effective measures can be implemented to empower women and combat the widespread gender inequality and violence?
I thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch