Urgent Action Needed in Haiti
August 17, 2023
Cited article by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
HRRC joins Human Rights Watch in urgently calling on the international community to address Haiti's escalating security crisis. With violence gripping neighborhoods and police officers falling, HRRC emphasizes the need for swift support, a new transitional government, and robust human rights safeguards to guide Haiti toward stability, democracy, and an end to cycles of violence.
Amidst rising gang violence in Port-au-Prince, Human Rights Watch urges swift international intervention to aid Haiti in overcoming its security crisis and facilitating a transition toward democracy. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres readies to present strategies to the Security Council to combat Haitian criminal groups, and Kenya contemplates leading a multinational force, residents of metropolitan Port-au-Prince endure continued killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence by armed groups. The call for urgent action emphasizes the need for a new transitional government and robust human rights safeguards.
Furthermore, a recent report titled "Living a Nightmare: Haiti Needs an Urgent Rights-Based Response to Escalating Crisis" published by Human Rights Watch exposes the grim reality of criminal abuses and government inaction. The report emphasizes the absence of prosecutions or convictions for crimes committed since the beginning of 2023. It highlights the urgent necessity for the administration of Prime Minister Ariel Henry to address the crisis within the judicial system and collaborate with a diverse group of Haitian stakeholders to find a solution. As violence escalates, the report underscores the imperative for international engagement, advocating for establishing a transitional government to restore security and uphold fundamental human rights, while urging other countries to cease supporting the allegedly corrupt government led by Prime Minister Henry. Citing data from the U.N.'s Integrated Office in Haiti, the report reveals a 125% increase in killings by criminal groups and over 1,015 kidnappings between January and June of the current year.