Press Releases

Award Presented for International Ruling on Sexual Violence in Haiti

Posted on: Thursday, June 2, 2011

Keywords: Haiti, Latin America and Caribbean, Human Rights Advocacy, Combating Violence Against Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MADRE: Rights, Resources and Results for Women Worldwide
CONTACT: Stephanie Küng, MADRE (212) 627-0444, media@madre.org

Gender Justice Award Presented for International Ruling on Sexual Violence in Haiti


Thursday, June 2, 2011—New York, NY—Today, as the winners of the annual Gender Justice Uncovered Awards were announced, the People’s Choice Award was presented for a landmark decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to demand action to end sexual violence in Haiti’s displacement camps.

MADRE today expressed its honor to join the group of advocates and attorneys accepting this award, the result of a successful joint international human rights campaign.

Each year the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards identify the best and worst judicial decisions or statements related to gender and human rights. This decision won the Gavel Award in the People’s Choice category for best judicial achievement of the year.

In a petition to the IACHR, MADRE and our partners demanded immediate and concrete action from the Haitian government to protect the lives of women and girls facing an epidemic of rape in the displacement camps in Haiti. The IACHR’s resulting decision was the first ever to recognize that Haiti, like all states, has a responsibility to prevent violence against women, including violations perpetrated by private actors. Moreover, the decision furnished a list of concrete steps to protect women and girls against rape, such as installing lighting in the camps and increasing security patrols.

Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRE, said today, “People around the world have taken a stand against the rape epidemic in Haiti’s displacement camps. Their vote for this decision in the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards demonstrates a global commitment to end sexual violence against women in Haiti. We are honored to join our partners in accepting this award, and we will use it to amplify our call for the Haitian government and the international community to take steps to protect the lives of women and girls.”

To read more about the petition to the IACHR, including a list of petitioners, click here.

For more information about MADRE’s work in Haiti, click here.

For more information about the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, click here.

The following people are available for comment:

Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization. Yifat has worked closely with Haitian women’s human rights activists before and since the earthquake to create programs in their communities to address violence against women. She also recently accompanied leaders of MADRE’s sister organization KOFAVIV as they testified in Washington, DC before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


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