Haiti Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

Amnesty International is seriously concerned that Haiti is descending into a severe humanitarian and human rights crisis. After weeks of insurrection by the armed opposition, President Aristide left Haiti on February 29. Since his departure the situation has remained volatile as spontaneous clashes between Aristide's supporters and members of the armed opposition continue to erupt despite the presence of a multinational force authorized by the U.N. Security Council in Haiti. It is feared that continued violence will result in more deaths and mass exodus of refugees.

Civilians at Risk

Amnesty International is distressed by the number of killings and human rights abuses committed in the context of clashes between police, armed Aristide supporters, and the armed opposition. Fears remain that unlawful killings and lootings may wreak further havoc on the country if the rebels and Aristide supporters fail to disarm.

Humanitarian Catastrophe

Amnesty International is alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the violence in Haiti. Traffic through Haiti's main ports has been severely disrupted, blocking imports of food and water on which civilians rely, with petrol and other supplies running low. The poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti's political gridlock threatens to sweep the country into an appalling humanitarian crisis.


As the situation remains volatile, Haitians are likely to continue to seek asylum outside the country. Authorities of the neighboring Dominican Republic have announced that their border-crossings are closed, and US President George W. Bush has announced that "we will turn back any refugee that attempts to reach our shore." and set up a cordon of Coast Guard vessels off the Haitian coast to deter boat departures. So far, more than 1,000 Haitian boat people have been summarily returned. Turning refugees back to likely persecution is a violation of international refugee law.


Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Haitian judicial institutions have been further weakened by the recent political turmoil, making it difficult to hold authorities and armed opposition groups accountable for the deaths of hundreds of civilians since February 5. Furthermore, former military and paramilitary leaders responsible for serious human rights violations have taken up leadership positions within Haiti's armed opposition, and may demand impunity and a significant role in defining Haiti's future. If Haiti is to overcome the cycle of violence that has plagued the country the past decade, it must move quickly to ensure impunity does not take hold in the post-Aristide era.

Haiti Newsroom

October 28, 2021 • Report

Countries across the Americas are failing to provide protection for Haitians on the move

States across the Americas are failing to provide international protection and safety for Haitians on the move, exposing them to a range of human rights violations, including detentions and illegal pushbacks by authorities; extortion; anti-Black racial discrimination; abuses by armed groups, including gender-based violence; and lack of access to adequate housing, healthcare, and employment, said Amnesty International and Haitian Bridge Alliance in a new briefing published today.

September 30, 2021 • Press Release

Congress’ Passage of Continuing Resolution Is a Critical First Step in Supporting Afghan Refugees

Today, Congress passed a continuing resolution that includes funding to support Afghans arriving to the United States and ensures that Afghans arriving on humanitarian parole have access to refugee resettlement benefits.

September 24, 2021 • Press Release

Biden Administration Must Hold CBP Officers Accountable and Restore Access to Asylum for All Haitian Migrants

In response to the mass deportation of Haitian migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and horrific reports of Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inhumane treatment against Black asylum-seekers, Paul O’Brien, Executive Director at Amnesty International USA said: “The horrific conduct by CBP in Del Rio, Texas, including officers charging into crowds of Haitian asylum-seekers on horseback, violently dispersing them, taunting them, and forcing them away from safety, is reprehensible and underscores a deeper problem of systemic and racist treatment against Haitian and other Black migrants in the U.S. and at the southern border.

September 21, 2021 • Press Release

#WelcomeWithDignity Expresses Steadfast Solidarity with Haitians

Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign expressed its disgust with Customs and Border Protection’s treatment of Haitian people seeking asylum at Del Rio, Texas. The campaign joined dozens of other national organizations and expressed steadfast solidarity with Haitian …

February 27, 2020 • Report

Countries cracked down on asylum and the right to protest in the Americas in 2019

As millions took to the streets to protest rampant violence, inequality, corruption and impunity, or were forced to flee their countries in search of safety, states across the Americas clamped …

June 13, 2016 • Report

Where are We Going to Live?: Migration and Statelessness in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has unlawfully expelled hundreds of Dominicans to Haiti who have been caught in the middle of a wave of returns and deportations of more than 100,000 people in recent months, Amnesty International said in a new report a year after the Dominican Republic ended a moratorium on deportations on June 18, 2015.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

January 6, 2015 • Report

15 Minutes to Leave: Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti

Five years on from a devastating earthquake in Haiti, tens of thousands of people remain homeless as government policy failures, forced evictions and short-term solutions have failed many who lost everything in the disaster.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Haiti 2013

REPUBLIC OF HAITI Head of state Michel Joseph Martelly Head of government Laurent Lamothe More than 320,000 people made homeless by the January 2010 earthquake remained displaced during 2012. Thousands …