The Situation of Human Rights in Haiti

Saturday, October 1, 1994
Intern-American Comission on Human Rights, Organization of American States

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has monitored the general human rights situation in Haiti for over forty years. For much of this period, the people of Haiti have faced many hardships, including deep-rooted poverty, political instability, violence and serious human rights abuses, with devastating consequences for the country's social, political and economic development. The purpose of this report is to highlight the alarming situation of violence and discrimination against women, who constitute more than half of the Haitian population, as a fundamental human rights issue.

This report provides an assessment of the situation of discrimination and violence against women in Haiti and the current legislative, institutional and judicial response to these problems. The conclusions and recommendations offered in this report are based on an examination of the general human rights situation in the Republic of Haiti, and the particular effects of recent events in the country on the rights of women. Furthermore, they are based on the international human rights commitments undertaken by the Haitian State, including the rights and obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "American Convention"), and in particular, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (hereinafter "Convention of Belém do Pará"). The Commission hopes that the findings and recommendations in this report will assist the present government in the process of identifying appropriate and effective solutions to the structural and complex problems of violence and discrimination against women in Haitian society pursuant to its international human rights obligations.

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