June 29, 2023
Cited article by Evens Sanon and Danica Coto, AP News
HRRC is concerned by the growing threats to civilians' lives in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. We support the United Nations human rights expert on Haiti in pushing for international intervention to prevent increases in gang violence. While this intervention may be necessary, the protection and safety of civilians must be upheld by both local and international forces.
UN human rights expert on Haiti, William O’Neill stated that specialized international forces and a weapons embargo must be implemented to halt the severe gang violence in Haiti. O'Neill noted that the government's absence in affairs within the country has affected access to water, food, health, education, and housing. The lack of government support also has affected staffing and resourcing for local police.
Following the assassination of Haiti's president in 2021, the country's capital is now 80% under control of warring gangs. The ongoing gang violence has led to starvation, keeping residents trapped in their homes, and restricting goods from entering or leaving the area. Since April 2023, nearly 200 civilians have been killed due to gang violence.
The advisement states that any international force deployed should work alongside Haitian police and have expertise in dealing with gangs and organized crime.