Representing the OHCHR in Haiti, the Human Rights Section (HRS) continued to monitor the work of police, judicial and prison officials, reported and advocated with the responsible state agencies on human rights violations. It worked closely with the Haitian National Police General Inspection, in concert with UNPOL, to improve investigation of cases of excessive use of force, illegal arrest, abuse of power and cruel and inhuman treatment.
The HRS’s capacity building activities were focused on the Office de la Protection du Citoyen, Haiti's national human rights institution (NHRI), which was awarded recognition as such before the ICC in 2013, but continues to evolve and grow as an institution; the Inter-ministerial Committee on Human Rights (CIDP), created in 2013 to coordinate government efforts to bring laws and policies in line with Haiti's international treaty obligations, to lead on human rights reporting and ratifications, and the Office of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Disabled Persons. It also conducted trainings and awareness raising sessions with civil society organizations and human rights NGOs.
In the aftermath of the 2012 earthquake, the HRS continued to lead the Protection Cluster, composed of State representatives, national and international NGOs, United Nations agencies and international organizations. The Cluster concentrated on issues related to persons living in camps (79,397 at end of 2014 according to the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix), but also persons living in extreme poverty, in particular women, children and persons with disabilities. The pressure to evict IDPs from private lands where these settled after the earthquake had diminished but remained significant. The HRS was increasingly working on human rights mainstreaming in recovery and development, as opposed to humanitarian emergency.
The year 2014 saw continued political wrangling and delay over local and legislative elections, now four years overdue. Opposition to the Government intensified, so that in the fourth quarter of the year, there were more than 50 anti-government demonstrations, half of them involving violence. Politically motivated arrests, often correlated with illegal activities, increased, as did calls to free "political prisoners."
Impunity remained rampant: most crimes were not investigated by the police and justice systems and most perpetrators, especially if well-connected, were not prosecuted.
Research conducted by the HRS has shown that perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence enjoy almost complete impunity, mainly due to dysfunction of the justice system and, to a lesser extent, police.
During 2013 and 2014, Haiti’s cooperation with international human rights mechanisms increased: Haiti ratified the ICESCR on October 2013, as well as the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption on 16 December 2013. It signed the Convention against Torture (CAT) on 16 August 2013 and the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers on 5 December 2013. Haiti submitted the ratification instrument to the two optional protocols to the CRC on 9 September 2014.
It further submitted its periodic report to the CRC committee in December 2013, the initial report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March 2014, and the UPR mid-term report in July 2014. Haiti appeared for the first time before the UN Human Rights Committee in its 112th session in October 2014, having in 2012 submitted its first report on compliance with the ICCPR (ratified in 1991). The HRS provided support to the government and to NGOs on all reports and welcomed Haiti’s acceptance of the visit by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation of IDPs (29 June to 5 July 2014) and a second visit by the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti in 2013.