Annual Report: Haiti 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Haiti 2011

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  • KOFAVIV, a grassroots organization of rape survivors, documented more than 250 cases of sexual violence in 15 camps during the first five months following the earthquake. The organization also reported sexual abuse of unaccompanied girls in exchange for food or shelter in camps.

Internally displaced people

At the end of the year, more than a million people were still living in appalling conditions in both formal and informal camps. The vast majority of displaced people did not have access to adequate shelter. Construction of transitional shelters was slow, hampered by the fact that suitable land was not made available by the authorities. There was a lack of clear information on the government’s plans and policies for the relocation of displaced people into adequate longer-term housing.

Forced evictions

Displaced people occupying private land were forcibly evicted by landowners, on most occasions with the assistance of the police or armed men. In April, the government announced a six-week freeze on forced evictions of displaced people, but it lacked the capacity to enforce the measure.

  • In March, nearly 10,000 displaced people were evicted from Sylvio Cator stadium by Haitian police officers. The expulsion took place without a court order and without any information or alternatives being offered to the earthquake survivors. Police officers entered the stadium at night and started pulling down shelters and forced survivors to leave the premises.

Children’s rights - trafficking in human beings

Trafficking of children remained a source of concern and efforts to prevent it were stepped up. The Minors Protection Brigade, a specialized Haitian police unit, deployed officers at crossing points with the Dominican Republic to prevent children being trafficked.

The Haitian government increased scrutiny of international adoption applications as a measure to prevent trafficking.

  • In January, 33 children aged between two months and 12 years were intercepted at the border by Haitian authorities. A group of missionaries was attempting to take the children into the Dominican Republic without documentation. The missionaries were charged with "kidnapping" the children and "association to commit a crime"; the crime of trafficking is not on Haiti’s statute books. The 10 missionaries were released in February and allowed to leave the country pending investigation

Extrajudicial execution of prisoners

  • On 19 January, an uprising and breakout took place in Les Cayes prison, and Haitian National Police officers were called to assist prison guards. The operation resulted in the killing of 12 unarmed inmates; 14 others were injured. A joint Haitian-UN investigation panel into the incident was reported to have concluded that most of the dead were "summarily executed" and that police officers opened fire "deliberately and without justification". Fourteen police officers and prison officers were detained pending investigation. At the end of the year, no further information was available on the investigation.