General Conditions in Haiti

Created April 13, 2011

Sources describing the general country conditions in Haiti. Most recent reports are listed first.

April 8, 2011
U.S. State Department

At 1: “Human rights problems included allegations of extrajudicial killings by Haitian National Police (HNP) officers, findings of excessive use of force against prisoners, overcrowding and poor sanitation in prisons, prolonged pretrial detention, an inefficient judiciary subject to significant influence by the executive and legislative branches, severe corruption in all branches of government, violence and societal discrimination against women, child abuse, human trafficking....”1

25 March, 2011
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

At 1: “[H]eightened vigilance is of paramount importance to identify any localized outbreak which can emerge during the upcoming rainy season.”2

4 February, 2011
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

 “According to information the Commission has received, the government announced on  December 9, 2010, that it would lift the moratorium on deportations, and the media reported that deportations of Haitians with criminal records resumed on January 20, 2011.

“The deportation of seriously ill persons to Haiti could jeopardize their lives, considering the humanitarian crisis that persists in the country, especially the detention conditions in jails and prisons...

“In light of these circumstances, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights urges the United States to suspend the deportation of Haitians who are seriously ill or who have family ties in the United States.”3

1 February, 2011
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

“On February 1, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Gary Resil, Harry Mocombe, Roland Joseph, Evel Camelien, and Pierre Louis, in the United States. The request for precautionary measure alleges that the lives and health of these individuals could be at grave risk if they were to be deported to Haiti, given that once they arrived in the country they would probably remain in custody, without access to food, drinking water, and adequate medical treatment. It also indicates that these individuals have their immediate families in the United States and that most of their family members in Haiti had died in the January 2010 earthquake. The Inter-American Commission asked that the United States suspend the deportation process in the case of the five beneficiaries until such time as: (1) Haiti is able to guarantee that detention conditions and access to medical care for persons in custody comply with applicable minimum standards, and (2) the procedures in place to decide upon and review the deportation of the five beneficiaries adequately take into account their right to family life and their family ties in the United States.”4

20 January, 2011
U.S. State Department

“This notice replaces the Travel Warning dated December 9, 2010 to reflect the critical crime level, cholera outbreak, frequent and violent disturbances in Port-au-Prince and in provincial cities, lack of adequate medical facilities, and limited police protection.

“The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Haiti unless essential and only if travel is fully supported by organizations with solid infrastructure, evacuation options, and medical support systems in place.”5

10 January, 2011
U.S. State Department

 “[C]holera will be a longer-term issue in Haiti, placing a strain on an already weak medical structure. Accessing clean water and sanitation; improving Haiti’s decrepit and damaged medical infrastructure... and ensuring Haitians have basic medical care will present ongoing challenges for years to come... Security has been an ongoing concern, with reports that looting and violence, particularly against women, have increased... The Haiti earthquake was an almost unprecedented urban disaster in the Western Hemisphere, striking a crowded city already struggling against crime, gangs, and other typical urban social problems. These pre-existing urban challenges will continue to complicate recovery efforts.”6

Jan. 6, 2011
Amnesty International

“More than 250 cases of rape in several camps were reported in the first 150 days after January’s earthquake ...One year on, rape survivors continue to arrive at the office of a local women’s support group almost every other day.”7

23 November 2010
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

At 5:10: “We need to plan for enough supplies to treat as many as 400,000 cholera cases occurring over the next twelve months. We need to plan for up to have of those cases occurring over the next three months because of the explosive nature of this epidemic.”8

18 November 2010
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

“According to information received by the Inter-American Commission, the extremely precarious conditions and lack of security in the camps for internally displaced persons (IDP camps) is generating a situation of extreme vulnerability for the women and girls who live in them... The IACHR also received information regarding forced evictions.”9

October/November 2010
Amnesty International,

At 2: “Displaced Haitians are waiting for some sign of reconstruction and recovery. More than eight months after the earthquake, the lives of 1.3 million people remain on hold.

Every day is another struggle for survival in tent cities that offer little protection.”10

31 May, 2010
UN Human Rights Council

At 1: “In the present addendum the independent expert reports on the visit which he made to Haiti between 21 April and 1 May 2010. The chief purpose of this visit was to update the information and recommendations contained in his main report. The independent expert recalls and describes in greater detail the threats hanging over the people, more particularly those most vulnerable in natural disasters...

At 4: “... [The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, “MINUSTAH”] and the agencies of the United Nations system having been working without respite and in sometimes difficult physical conditions to respond to the emergencies, which are proliferating and can on occasions concertina into one another. The human rights section ought to be one of the cornerstones of MINUSTAH because of the human rights crisis which the country is enduring...”11

3 May, 2010
UN Human Rights Council

At 1: “Summary: The independent expert starts by describing the situation of human rights in Haiti before the earthquake of 12 January 2010. He then analyses the earthquake’s impact on people’s rights. ...In view of the persisting humanitarian crisis, he stresses the need to suspend all forced returns to Haiti.”12

22 April 2010
U.N. Security Council

At 1: “The present report covers major developments since my report of 1 September 2009 (S/2009/439) until 15 April 2010, with a focus on the period since the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010.”13

Endnotes

1 U.S. State Department, 2010 Human Rights Report: Haiti, April 8, 2011. Cited as “DOS 2010 Report: Haiti.”
Available at: //www.state.gov/documents/organization/160458.pdf

2 Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Health Cluster Bulletin–Cholera Outbreak and Post-Earthquake Response #22., 25 March 2011.
Cited as “PAHO, Health Cluster Bulletin.”
Available at //new.paho.org/blogs/haiti/.

3 IACHR Press Release, “IACHR Urges United States to Suspend Deportations to Haiti,” 4 February, 2011.
Cited as “IACHR Press Release: Suspend Deportations.”
Available at: //www.cidh.oas.org/Comunicados/English/2011/6-11eng.htm

4 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Precautionary Measure 5/11, 1 February 2011.
Cited as “IACHR, PM 5/11.”
Available at //www.cidh.oas.org/medidas/2011.eng.htm

5 U.S. State Department, Travel Warning for Haiti, 20 January, 2011, Cited as “DOS, Travel Warning for Haiti.”
Available at: //travel.state.gov/travel/cis pa tw/tw/tw 523 9.html

6 U.S. State Department, Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator,“Haiti: One Year Later” 10 January, 2011.
Cited as “DOS, Haiti: One Year Later.”
Available at //www.state.gov/s/hsc/rls/154255.htm.

7 Amnesty International, “Haiti: Sexual Violence Against Women Increasing,” Jan. 6, 2011.
Cited as AI, Haiti: Sexual Violence.”
Available at: //www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report abstract

8 PAHO,“Cholera Outbreak in Haiti - Press Briefing by Dr. Jon Andrus, PAHO Deputy Director,” 23 November 2010.
Cited as “PAHO, Cholera Press Briefing.”
Available (video format) at: //new.paho.org/blogs/haiti/?p=1364

9 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Press Release 114/10, 18 November 2010 Cited as “IACHR PR 114/10.”Available at: //www.cidh.oas.org/Comunicados/English/2010/115-10eng.htm

10 Amnesty International, “What Hope for Haiti?,” The Wire, Vol. 40, Issue 5, October/November 2010.
Cited as “AI, What Hope for Haiti?”
Available at //www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/NWS21/005/2010/en

11 UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Michael Forst: Annex: ...On his Visit to Haiti (21 April to 1 May 2010), 31 May 2010, A/HRC/14/44/Add.1.
Cited as “UNHRC Report on Haiti, Annex.”
Available at //www.universalhumanrightsindex.org

12 UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Michael Forst A/HRC/14/44, 3 May 2010.
Cited as “UNHRC Report on Haiti.”
Available at //www.universalhumanrightsindex.org

13 U.N. Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, S/2010/200, 22 April 2010. Cited as “MINUSTAH Report.”
Available at //www.un.org/Docs/sc/sgrep10.htm

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