IACHR Sets Recommendations for Haitian Government to Address Sexual Violence in IDP Camps
Posted on: Thursday, January 6, 2011
MADRE: Rights, Resources, and Results for Women Worldwide
CONTACT: Stephanie Küng, MADRE (212) 627-0444, email@example.com; Jen Nessel, CCR (212) 614-6449, firstname.lastname@example.org; Annie Gell, BAI Port-au-Prince, Haiti +509-3610-2882; Brian Concannon, IJDH (617)-652-0876
Inter-American Human Rights Commission Sets Unprecedented Recommendations for Haitian Government to Address Wave of Sexual Violence in Displacement Camps
January 4, 2011, New York, NY — Issuing unprecedented recommendations to the Haitian government, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has granted a legal request submitted in October by a group of advocates and attorneys for displaced Haitian women including MADRE, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and CUNY School of Law. The IACHR’s groundbreaking recommendations request that the Haitian government take immediate measures to prevent sexual violence against women and girls in displacement camps.
“Conditions in the displacement camps, following the January 12 earthquake, have exacerbated women’s vulnerability to rape,” said Malya Villard-Apollon, a founding member of the women’s grassroots advocacy organization KOFAVIV (Commission of Women Victims for Victims). “Women and girls live in constant fear for their safety.”
Said Lisa Davis, MADRE’s Human Rights Advocacy Director and CUNY Law Professor, “The IACHR set an important precedent in taking decisive steps to set concrete recommendations before the Haitian government: increase security patrols, improve lighting in the camps, provide medical care and ensure legal accountability. These measures have become more urgent than ever.”
In addition to calling for increased security and lighting, the IACHR’s sweeping recommendations advise the Haitian government to provide medical care, including emergency contraception, for rape survivors in displacement camps. In response to the request, the IACHR has also recommended that the Haitian government ensure the full participation and leadership of grassroots women’s groups in anti-violence policies and practices in the camps.
“The IACHR ruling is an important and powerful tool in the fight against gender-based violence in Haiti,” said Annie Gell, the BAI’s Rape Accountability and Prevention Project Coordinator. “The Haitian government and non-governmental organizations must heed the IACHR’s concrete and practical recommendations to protect and empower Haitian women and girls who continue to suffer shocking levels of violence and terror.”
“The IACHR decision is a big much needed step towards providing safety for all women,” said CCR Legal Director Bill Quigley. “It is time for the US, the UN and the international community to support the courageous women of Haiti who are providing for families in the most trying conditions. Talk is fine, but only a tiny percentage of the money promised by the US for the rebuilding effort has made it to Haiti. It is time for action.”
Erica Richards, an attorney with Morrison & Foerster LLP, said, “We commend the IACHR for listening to the calls of displaced Haitian women whose lives are daily jeopardized by the abject lack of security in the camps. Nearly one year has passed since the earthquake, and these recommendations arrive not a moment too soon. They must now be brought to life.”
Meanwhile, evidence has mounted that recent political instability has drastically undermined women’s safety in the camps. KOFAVIV reports that women lined up at its women’s center for days after the November presidential election. They recounted incidents of rapes and beatings, including cases in which armed men entered some of the camps and shot people at random.
As part of international advocacy efforts demanding accountability and security for women living in the camps, the petitioners to the IACHR denounce the continuing and escalating threat of rape and calls for immediate security measures to be implemented to end the violence.
To read the request, click here:
Available for interviews:
Lisa Davis, Esq. (MADRE and the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law) was the primary author of the request for precautionary measures and currently serves as the Coordinator for the Lawyers' Earthquake Response Network (LERN) Gender Working Group. She is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee and the National Lawyers’ Guild Haiti Subcommittee. Lisa is an Adjunct Professor of Law for the International Women's Human Rights Clinic at CUNY Law School. (Contact: Stephanie Küng 212-627-0444)
Annie Gell, Esq. (Legal Fellow at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux) is a human rights attorney and the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP) coordinator at the BAI in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
(Contact: Annie Gell +509-3610-2882)
Katherine Romero (Women’s Link Worldwide) directs Women's Link’s technical assistance projects in Latin America.
(Contact: Katherine Romero email@example.com)
Archives"Press Room" Home December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
Kaitlyn Soligan, Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
MADRE Makes News
Los derechos de las mujeres empiezan en nuestra union (El Diario, July 30, 2013)
Women Organising To Survive: Syria's Civil War And Beyond (AWID Friday File, July 5, 2013)
Des sages-femmes israéliennes et palestiniennes unies pour sauver des vies (Opinion Internationale, June 28, 2013)
Preparándonos para otro huracán (El Diario, June 24, 2013)
Change, and I mean it (Huffington Post, June 24, 2013)