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"We've Been Forgotten"- IJDH new report on conditions in Haiti camps 8 months after the earthquake

The following comes from our friends at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

Haiti's Earthquake Victims: "We've Been Forgotten"

Human rights investigation finds desperate conditions in Haiti's tent cities

September 20, 2010; Boston, MA - Eight months after Haiti's devastating earthquake, more than 1.3 million Haitians continue to live in makeshift tent camps without adequate shelter, food or sanitation, according to a report released today by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The report, titled "We've Been Forgotten": Conditions in Haiti's Displacement Camps Eight Months After the Earthquake documents continuing desperation in Haiti's camps and recommends a rights-based approach to relief and reconstruction.

Despite the international community's historic generosity following the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the support has not been translated into effective assistance for the residents of approximately 1, 300 makeshift tent camps, where conditions for some are getting worse, not better. "The basic needs of residents must be prioritized immediately. While the Government of Haiti bears the primary duty to protect the economic and social rights of its citizens, donor states and relief agencies must also meet certain standards in carrying out assistance to Haiti. This obligation arises from international law but also from the significant role the international community assumed in providing relief services in Haiti, " said Nicole Phillips, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney and the lead editor and coordinator of the report.

The findings presented in the report show that living conditions in the camps continue to violate basic human dignity. In 75% of families surveyed, at least one family member went an entire day without eating in the past week.

September 24, 2010