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UN Human Rights annual report highlights human rights advances and challenges in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE/GENEVA (5 July 2017) -The Human Rights Section of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the UN Human Rights Office released on 4 July their last annual report on the situation of human rights in Haiti before a new mission is established in the country, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), as per Security Council resolution 2350.

The annual report, https://minustah.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/haiti-annual_report_2015-2016_en.pdf which covers the period between 1 July 2015 and 31 December 2016, acknowledges progress made in cooperation and compliance with international human rights mechanisms and obligations, but also highlights a number of shortcomings – in particular  the lack of implementation of crucial recommendations made by a number of international and regional bodies, as well as UN experts, including the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti – recommendations which were made to the Haitian Government with a view to ensuring respect for human rights in the country.

“The return to constitutional order following the 2015-2017 presidential, legislative and local elections is a clear achievement for Haiti and provides a unique opportunity to address long-standing human rights challenges,” said  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, adding that “the cruel and inhuman conditions in prisons are particularly disturbing. More efforts need to be made to address the root causes of overcrowding, including the amendment of relevant legal framework and the reform of the judiciary.”

The report also highlights the lack of accountability as a crosscutting concern that fuels impunity, citing in particular the lack of systematic investigations into the use of force and widespread illegal or arbitrary arrests by police. In addition, the report analyses the critical situation of economic and social rights as well as the vulnerable situation of women, children, LGBTI individuals, people with disabilities and people of Haitian origin returned or deported to Haiti. 

“Following the discontinuation of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, this annual report provides important guidance to the authorities on the practical steps needed to work towards the improvement of the human rights situation in Haiti,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “We call on Haitian authorities to redouble their efforts to implement these recommendations and we stand ready to assist.”

The UN Human Rights Office is represented in Haiti by the Human Rights Section of the MINUSTAH, whose role is to support the Haitian authorities, the national human rights institution, and civil society to promote and protect human rights.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Ariane Quentier - MINUSTAH spokesperson - +509 3702 6522 / quentier@un.org
Giuseppe Calandruccio - Chief of the Human rights Section of MINUSTAH : gcalandruccio@un.org