OHCHR / HAITI HUMAN RIGHTS

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10-Oct-2023 00:04:10
UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif said, “I am deeply concerned by the continued and widespread deterioration of the human rights situation in Haiti and its impact on the region.” UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / HAITI HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 04:10
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations, Geneva

10 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, meeting room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
“I am deeply concerned by the continued and widespread deterioration of the human rights situation in Haiti and its impact on the region. The magnitude of armed violence, which has exacerbated since President Moïse’s assassination in July 2021, now affects all communes in the metropolitan area of ‎Port-au-Prince, including those considered safe until recently, spilling over into neighboring regions.”
4. Wide shot, meeting room
5. Soundbite (English)— Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
“Gangs are threatening the authority of the State at an unprecedented scale, having access to sophisticated high-calibre firearms and ammunition trafficked into Haiti, with brutal attacks committed against the population, including killings, mutilations, and kidnappings. This is happening with complete impunity, destroying any prospect for stability and undermining Haiti’s social fabric.”
6. Wide shot, meeting room
7. Soundbite (English)— Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
“Furthermore, gangs are increasingly using sexual and gender-based violence to instil fear among the population. Collective rape of women and girls is endemic, and limited if no progress has been made by the authorities to tackle the problem this year. To date, victims of sexual violence, mostly woman and girl survivors, continue to lack protection and access to adequate health care, psycho-social counselling, and economic support while impunity remains the norm.”
8. Wide shot, meeting room
9. Soundbite (English) Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
“I welcome this positive development. We need to ensure that all safeguards are in place for a successful mission, including its strict compliance with international human rights law and standards from planning to the conduct of operations through to deployment. We must guarantee that necessary oversight mechanisms are indeed in place to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse and other types of misconduct. In this context, our Office stands ready to work with the MSS mission in developing a human rights compliance mechanism.”
10. Wide shot, meeting room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
“While restoring security is a priority, any long-lasting change requires addressing the root causes of the crisis. The deployment of an MSS mission must be accompanied by measures supporting the rapid and sustainable re-establishment of State institutions, as well as a profound reform of the Judiciary and penitentiary system, in line with international human rights law and standards.”
12. Wide shot, meeting room
13. SOUNDBITE (French) Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
«La communauté internationale s'est enfin mobilisée pour répondre à l'urgence que la crise demande. La mise en place d’une dynamique de changement est impérative. La première pierre que l’on posera contribuera à construire l’édifice du futur. Nous ne pouvons pas répéter les erreurs du passé. La réponse devra être guidée par les droits humains. Ne perdons pas de vue l’objectif qui est le nôtre : soutenir une population qui a trop souffert».
English translation ["The international community has finally mobilized to respond to the urgency demanded by the crisis. It is imperative that we establish a dynamic for change. The first stone we lay will help build the edifice of the future. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. The response must be guided by human rights. Let's not lose sight of our objective: to support a population that has suffered too much".]
14. Wide shot, meeting room
15. SOUNDBITE (French) Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):
«Par là même, je demande instamment au gouvernement de démontrer qu'il est au service de son peuple en déployant tous ses efforts pour remédier aux défis auxquels il fait face avec détermination, comme le garantissent les instruments internationaux ratifiés par l'État d'Haïti.»
English translation [At the same time, I urge the government to demonstrate that it is at the service of its people by making every effort to remedy the challenges it faces with determination, as guaranteed by the international instruments ratified by the State of Haiti.]
16. Wide shot, meeting room
17. Wide shot, meeting room William O’Neil, OHCHR Designated Expert


STORYLINE:

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif today (10 Oct) said, “I am deeply concerned by the continued and widespread deterioration of the human rights situation in Haiti and its impact on the region.”

She told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, “the magnitude of armed violence, which has exacerbated since President Moïse’s assassination in July 2021, now affects all communes in the metropolitan area of ‎Port-au-Prince, including those considered safe until recently, spilling over into neighboring regions.”

“Gangs are threatening the authority of the State at an unprecedented scale, having access to sophisticated high-calibre firearms and ammunition trafficked into Haiti, with brutal attacks committed against the population, including killings, mutilations, and kidnappings. This is happening with complete impunity, destroying any prospect for stability and undermining Haiti’s social fabric,” she stated.

Between 1 January and 30 September 2023, the Un Human Rights Office has recorded 5,599 cases of gang-related violence, including 3,156 killings, 1,159 injuries, and 1,284 kidnappings, a sharp increase compared to the same period last year.

Individuals accused of petty crime or suspected of association with gangs, continue to be lynched to death, or burned alive by members of the population or so-called “self-defence brigades” as part of the vigilante justice Bwa Kale movement. This year, the UN Human Rights Office in Haiti has recorded at least 420 cases of lynching, with most cases of the cases happening in the capital. Bwa Kalé is a symbol of the failure of the State to respond to the violence and further weakens the rule of law.

“Furthermore, gangs are increasingly using sexual and gender-based violence to instil fear among the population. Collective rape of women and girls is endemic, and limited if no progress has been made by the authorities to tackle the problem this year. To date, victims of sexual violence, mostly woman and girl survivors, continue to lack protection and access to adequate health care, psycho-social counselling, and economic support while impunity remains the norm,” Al-Nashif said.

Another issue raised by the Deputy High commissioner is the sharply deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground, with widespread insecurity impeding access to basic services, including education and health. Staggering levels of violence have also forced people to flee their homes, with almost 200,000 registered internally displaced people, a tenfold increase in two years. The recent closure of the border by the Dominican Republic already has a deleterious impact on heath care centers in Haiti. Several hospitals have raised concerns as they are running out of essential medicines and other health products, previously imported from the Dominican Republic.

Increased rates of attrition continue to hinder efforts to expand the capacities of the Haitian National Police. Security is desperately needed. The recent adoption of resolution 2699 (2023) authorizing member states to deploy a Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission to Haiti to help re-establish security in the country, offers a glimpse of hope in this very grim landscape.

“I welcome this positive development. We need to ensure that all safeguards are in place for a successful mission, including its strict compliance with international human rights law and standards from planning to the conduct of operations through to deployment. We must guarantee that necessary oversight mechanisms are indeed in place to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse and other types of misconduct. In this context, our Office stands ready to work with the MSS mission in developing a human rights compliance mechanism,” Al-Nashif highlighted.

“While restoring security is a priority, any long-lasting change requires addressing the root causes of the crisis. The deployment of an MSS mission must be accompanied by measures supporting the rapid and sustainable re-establishment of State institutions, as well as a profound reform of the Judiciary and penitentiary system, in line with international human rights law and standards,” she said.

The Haitian Government, with the co-operation of the international community, must urgently invest in the socio-economic development to enable the people of Haiti, notably the most vulnerable who have disproportionately suffered from gang violence, to access better living conditions and ensure lasting stability and prosperity in Haiti.

The organization of elections will be crucial to restore faith in State institutions. There is no democratically elected representative in Haiti today. The legislative assembly has been inoperative since January 2020, when the terms of all delegates of the lower chamber and of most senators expired.

She also said, "The international community has finally mobilized to respond to the urgency demanded by the crisis. It is imperative that we establish a dynamic for change. The first stone we lay will help build the edifice of the future. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. The response must be guided by human rights. Let's not lose sight of our objective: to support a population that has suffered too much."

She concluded, "At the same time, I urge the government to demonstrate that it is at the service of its people by making every effort to remedy the challenges it faces with determination, as guaranteed by the international instruments ratified by the State of Haiti"
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