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Useful Information

Calendar of Events

Publications

OHCHR report 2013 OHCHR Report 2013
OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017 OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017
Brochure: Human Rights in action Human Rights in Action (PDF)
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

OHCHR in Haiti


Background

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was originally set up by Security Council resolution 1542 of 30 April 2004. The Human Rights Section of MINUSTAH was deployed to Haiti in early 2005.
Human rights are an essential component of the Mission’s mandate. The Human Rights Section (HRS) is responsible for the implementation of MINUSTAH’s human rights mandate by:

  • Supporting the Government, State and other institutions and organisations of Haitian human rights defenders, in their efforts to promote and support human rights
  • Monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in Haiti

As in any peacekeeping mission, the head of the Human Rights Section represents the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Human Rights Section covers the entire Haitian territory, with eight regional offices and four other units based in Port–au-Prince.
The thematic priorities of OHCHR in Haiti are:

  • the protection of human rights in development and in the economic sphere;
  • countering discrimination;
  • combating impunity, strengthening accountability and the rule of law;
  • early warning and protection of human rights in the context of conflict, violence and insecurity; and
  • strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development on international human rights law.

Activities

The various activities led by the Human Rights Section include both monitoring and analysis of the human rights situation as well as the elaboration of internal and public reports. The HRS conducts advocacy and follows up human rights cases and provides technical support and capacity-building to Government agencies and human rights organizations. In addition, the HRS organizes awareness-raising and human rights promotion campaigns.
The activities of the Human Rights Section are based on three pillars:

1. Human rights and administration of justice

  • Detention: Staff of the Human Rights Section visit detention centres on a regular basis to analyse if people are legally detained and conditions of detention. Identified cases and situations of concern are referred to the authorities and reported in the internal and public reports of the Section. The Human Rights Section participates, with other Sections of MINUSTAH (Justice, Corrections), in the Commités de suivi de la détention, responsible for following up on detention, which focus mainly on prolonged pre-trial detention.

  • Police: The Human Rights Section investigates allegations of human rights violations committed by the police (including excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions), reports the outcomes of its investigations to the concerned authorities and most specifically to the General Inspection of the National Haitian Police, and makes recommendations to prevent repetition of violations.

  • Justice: The HRS monitors the functioning of the judiciary, and supports building the capacity of the Judiciary on the use and application of international human rights standards.

  • Sexual and gender-based violence: Specific attention is paid to the response of police and judicial authorities in cases of sexual and gender-based violations of human rights, with particular attention to the prosecution of perpetrators of rape and support to victims.

  • Lynching: Similarly, cases of lynching or attempted lynching are investigated, and the HRS advocates with the authorities to increase prevention efforts, as well as to raise awareness of the issue through outreach activities and media campaigns.   

2. Human rights in the field of public policies and capacity-building

  • Office of the Ombudsman (Office de la Protection du Citoyen) and Haitian Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations: The Human Rights Section works closely with the Office of the Ombudsman (OPC) and non-governmental human rights organizations (NGOs). The HRS conducts training programmes to strengthen the capacity of the OPC and Haitian NGOs to monitor and support the protection and promotion of human rights.


  • International human rights protection mechanisms: The HRS supports the Haitian State to strengthen its interaction with international protection mechanisms through the ratification of international human rights treaties and the submission of reports to different mechanisms. In particular, the Human Rights Section is closely monitoring the implementation of recommendations endorsed by the Haitian government in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review.


  • Economic, Social and Cultural rights: The HRS works with Haitian civil society to support their analysis and advocacy on effective access to economic, social and cultural rights including the right to education, health, water and sanitation, food, housing, a healthy environment and an adequate standard of living. The aim is that effective access to these rights is taken into account in the development of public policies and state and local governments’ budgets.

3. Human rights in the fields of humanitarian action and development

  • Protection of persons and vulnerable groups: Since the January 2010 earthquake, the Human Rights Section has led the Protection Cluster. The Cluster is composed of State representatives, national and international NGOs, United Nations agencies and international organizations. The Cluster concentrates on issues related to persons living in camps, but also persons living in extreme poverty, in particular women, children and persons with disabilities.

  • Emergency preparedness and response:  The Human Rights Section works to guide and coordinate the preparation and response to humanitarian disasters by ensuring respect of peoples’ human rights, dignity and security and that the most vulnerable persons (including children, women, older persons, disabled persons or people living in extreme poverty) do not suffer from discrimination.

    Contact Information

    Headquarters

    Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
    Contact is in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Americas Section
    Tel. + 41 22 928 9167

    Field

    United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
    Tel. +509 37 02 65 or +509 22 44 20 50, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
    Email: ricci@un.org

    Links

    External Links

    Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.

    OHCHR in the field

    Map of OHCHR field presences

    Regional Offices

    Country Offices

    Human Rights Components of Peace Missions

    Human Rights Advisors

    Action 2

    Technical Cooperation Programme

    National Human Rights Institutions