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A New UN: Independent Tribunal as a Solution to Immunity Abuse

June 26, 2016 - 06:25

With the issue of widespread peacekeeper sexual abuse arising amidst cases such as cholera in Haiti, the United Nations must take steps to stop the misuse of its immunity.  In this opinion piece, Danny Bradlow explores the establishment of an independent tribunal within the UN as a potential solution to the general lack of accountability. He maintains the necessity of an independent justice mechanism, putting it into the context of the upcoming 2017 appointment of the new Secretary General.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

…..

What can be done to stop the United Nations abusing its immunity

Danny Bradlow, The Conversation

26 May, 2016

The passage of time can play cruel tricks on noble intentions. The person selected as the new United Nations (UN) Secretary-General later this year should keep this in mind as he or she evaluates how effectively the UN is responding to the challenges of the 21st century.

When the UN and its specialised agencies were created after the Second World War, their founders were concerned that they would not be able to perform their assigned functions – to promote peace and security, international economic and social cooperation, economic development and human rights – if they were vulnerable to legal pressure from their member states. For example, the organisations would not be able to perform their assigned functions if a member state could threaten to arrest the officials of these organisations or to confiscate the materials they had collected when they were on official missions to the state.

…..

Click HERE for the full article.

Reyinyon ki gen rapò ak imigrasyon | Haitian Community Meeting on Immigration

June 24, 2016 - 12:00

Vinn patisipe nan yon reyinyon ki gen rapò ak imigrasyon. | Participate in a special information session on immigration.

Ki lè | When: 

Wednesday, June 29 2016

5pm

Ki kote | Where: 

Kay Pam

6 Livingston Street

Dorchester, MA 02124

Klike ISI pou plis enfòmasyon. | Click HERE for more information.

DEA Fugitive Philippe Enters Political Alliance With Ambitions

June 23, 2016 - 06:32

As President Privert’s mandate expires, Guy Philippe, a notorious paramilitary leader who led attacks in 2004 prior to the coup d’état, has joined a political alliance. Alongside former president Martelly and his political allies, they are lobbying for the removal of Privert in what many perceive as a move vying for the presidency.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Martelly Bloc Formalizes Alliance with DEA Fugitive Guy Philippe

Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch

June 23, 2016

Days before the June 14 end of provisional president Jocelerme Privert’s mandate, a coalition of political parties close to former president Michel Martelly formalized an alliance and began advocating for Privert’s removal. Led by former de facto prime minister under Marelly, Evans Paul, the “Entente Democratique” (ED) or “democratic agreement” as they have called themselves, have denounced the “totalitarian tendencies” of Privert and categorized the possible extension of his mandate as an illegal power grab.

Haitian parliamentarians were expected to vote earlier this week on extending or replacing Privert, who was appointed provisional president in early February after Martelly’s term ended with no elected replacement. The vote was delayed, as it has been previously.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

 

Exposing the Cause of Cholera in Haiti

June 22, 2016 - 06:50

Dr. Renaud Piarroux looked into exposing the true cause behind the cholera outbreak in Haiti. There had been rumours that the disease was brought over by Nepalese peacekeepers, but Piarroux’s investigations were to confirm if this was really the case. Piarroux was suspicious because UN agencies seemed uninterested in finding the cause of the outbreak. In fact, both US and UN authorities both tried to attribute the spread of cholera to bacteria that already existed in the environment. Before leaving Haiti, Piarroux received a secret document from the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population that confirmed the source of outbreak as the Nepali MINUSTAH camp. Officials had known all this time and yet, tried to cover-up the wrongdoing. As article author Crawford Killian’s words, “they sacrificed Haiti simply to escape political embarrassment”.

Click HERE for the full article.

Cholera in Haiti: A True-Crime Medical Thriller

 

Crawford Killian, The Tyee 

June 22nd, 2016

In October 2010, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, a French epidemiologist, was invited by the government of Haiti to investigate the unexpected appearance of cholera in towns and villages along the Artibonite River, the country’s largest. Piarroux had extensive cholera experience, notably with a serious outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The outbreak had startled everyone: cholera had never been known in Haiti before, and within days of its first known case on Oct. 14, it had infected thousands and killed scores.

Like any good epidemiologist, Piarroux knew that finding the source of an epidemic is critical — especially in a country as poor as Haiti, which had scarcely recovered from the earthquake of January 2010 that had killed a couple hundred thousand people. (The death toll has been a subject of controversy.)

His search — and shocking discoveries — are at the centre of Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti by Ralph R. Frerichs.

Rumours blamed sewage from a camp of Nepali peacekeepers. Jonathan Katz, an American journalist, had documented those suspicions, but they were far from proven. The United Nations peacekeeping force, known as MINUSTAH, had been installed in Haiti after the 2004 ouster of democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. But instead of keeping hostile armed forces from attacking one another, the peacekeepers were a kind of heavy-handed police force.

Click HERE for the full article.

Une existence menacé pour les Haïtiens au RD

June 21, 2016 - 14:12

La loi dominicaine, crée en 2013 et visant aux étrangers dans le pays, spécifiquement les haïtiens, ont eu le résultat des expulsions en masse. De juin 2015 à mai 2016, 106,000 haïtiens ont été expulsé ou ont quitté, maintenant beaucoup d’autres sont menacés avec cette possibilité.

Une part de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Plus de 130,000 Haïtiens menacés d’expulsion de République dominicaine

FranceTV

le 21 juin 2016

En un an, de juin 2015 à mai 2016, 106.000 Haïtiens ont déjà été expulsés ou ont quitté la République dominicaine. Les relations entre deux pays qui se partagent l’île caribéenne d’Hispaniola ont toujours été difficiles, envenimées par l’immigration illégale d’Haïtiens en République dominicaine.Face au tollé provoqué par une décision de la Haute cour de justice dominicaine qui, fin 2013, a retiré la nationalité dominicaine aux citoyens d’origine étrangère nés après 1929, le gouvernement dominicain a commencé à régulariser les Haïtiens nés sur son sol et les migrants illégaux. Ce plan national de régularisation des étrangers (PNRE) a permis à plus de 130.000 Haïtiens d’obtenir une carte de séjour mais d’une validité de seulement un an.

…Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Red Cross used donations meant for Haiti on own expenses

June 21, 2016 - 07:36
A recent report released by the office of Iowa senator Chuck Grassley found that the American Red Cross used approximately one quarter of the donations it received to aide Haiti (about $125 million) to cover its own internal expenses. The report also found that the charity impeded government efforts to obtain information on the Red Cross program in Haiti, and understaffed and underfunded its own internal investigation unit, which is responsible for looking into incidences of misconduct and abuse within the organization.

Red Cross mismanaged money meant for earthquake relief in Haiti

RT America

6/21/2016

 

Click HERE for the original video.

REDRESS Report: How the UN Should Address Cholera

June 20, 2016 - 11:56

REDRESS has recently published a report the provides concrete options for responding to the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The organization is an international human rights non-profit that seeks to obtain justice for victims of harm and suffering. This report provides several channels to combat the outbreak including compensation of losses, victim rehabilitation, environmental remediation to eliminate the disease, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, and guarantees of non-repetition.

Click HERE for the full report.

Responding to the Introduction of Cholera to Haiti: Policy Options

REDRESS

June 21st, 2016

I. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to provide concrete options for responses to the introduction of cholera to Haiti, which reflect international law and standards on reparations applicable to the current context. The paper seeks to draw attention to comparative case studies and best practice approaches that may be helpful to those engaged in finding appropriate responses.

REDRESS is an international human rights organisation with a mandate to assist survivors of torture and related international crimes to obtain justice and other forms of reparation for the harm suffered.1 REDRESS is contributing this analysis on the basis of its expertise in devising and analysing redress mechanisms in a variety of contexts in different parts of the world and its understanding of the range of procedural and other practical challenges associated with developing, agreeing to and implementing complex reparations programmes involving numerous victims and other stakeholders.

The bulk of the paper explains the principles which should guide the policy and other responses and explains in detail the most crucial aspects of a comprehensive response. Each of these aspects is explained in turn, considering the rationale, the operational challenges and providing where applicable, examples of past practice.

The paper is not intended to serve as a blueprint for a reparations framework. In contrast, the overarching purpose is to assist those engaging in discussions to have a better understanding on the relevant concepts and challenges so that such discussions are as practical as possible. The paper also helps identify certain processual steps, such as how to progress consultations with victims and the wider affected communities on remedies and related justice responses and areas which may warrant further data collection to determine the full extent of economic losses.

II. Background

Click HERE for the full report.

 

UN Whistleblower Speaks Out: “Why I Resigned From the UN”

June 17, 2016 - 08:51

Anders Kompass leaked information from the UN about peacekeepers’s sexual abuse and exploitation of children. For this, he was asked to resign and put under investigation. Although he was exonerated, he believes the only reason this happened was because internal UN employees leaked information about his investigation, forcing the UN to act ethically. If it were up to the UN the truth would be buried forever. Kompass says that the United Nations rarely holds its employees accountable for their unethical actions, and they punish those who choose to take the ethical but unpopular stance. In his own words, “the UN promotes an atmosphere of fear and marginalises individuals seen as not toeing the line.” The international justice system is extremely flawed, yet there has been no effort to improve the system. Anders Kompass says he resigned because he could not continue to fight for human rights while working within the structure of the United Nations.

Click HERE for the full article.

EXCLUSIVE: The ethical failure – Why I resigned from the UN

Anders Kompass, Irin News

June 17th, 2016

By the time I reported the sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers in Central African Republic in 2014, I had worked for the UN for nearly 20 years.

There is no hierarchy in the horror and brutality I witnessed during those two decades – massacres, torture, killings, the displacement of populations – but an eight-year-old boy describing in detail his sexual abuse by the peacekeepers meant to protect him is the kind of account I wish I’d never had to read.

I’d also seen a lot of the UN’s dysfunction over the years, but I wasn’t prepared for how the organisation would deal with these events, with the ensuing scandal – and with me.

Cholera in Haiti, corruption in Kosovo, murder in Rwanda, cover-up of war crimes in Darfur: on too many occasions the UN is failing to uphold the principles and standards set out in its Charter, rules and regulations. Sadly, we seem to be witnessing more and more UN staff less concerned with abiding by the ethical standards of the international civil service than with doing whatever is most convenient – or least likely to cause problems – for themselves or for member states.

Click HERE for the full article.

 

After Haiti Earthquake Donation Misuse, Red Cross Needs to Win Back Trust

June 17, 2016 - 07:50

The American Red Cross needs to “make every effort to win [donors’] confidence” back after reports have revealed gross mis-spending of the money donated after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. For example, 25% of the donations were spent on administrative costs and fundraising though those are usually reported at 9%. Senator Charles Grassley has been investigating this issue since a 2015 report by ProPublica and NPR called attention to it.

Trust Deficit at the Red Cross

Editorial, The New York Times

June 17, 2016

After calamities, people donate millions of dollars to the American Red Cross, believing it is uniquely equipped to provide prompt humanitarian aid. The latest evidence that their faith has been misplaced came this week in a report by Senator Charles Grassley about the charity’s poor response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The earthquake killed an estimated 160,000 people and left much of the already impoverished island in ruins. The Red Cross provided food, medical care and emergency shelter in the immediate aftermath of the quake, and it has since funded dozens of projects to improve schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

But Senate investigators found that the Red Cross spent about 25 percent of the $488 million raised for Haiti relief on administrative costs and fund­raising. That is unusually high; the charity has previously said it typically sets aside about 9 percent of donations for administrative costs. In one notable example, investigators found that the Red Cross earmarked $2 million to manage a $4.3 million contract it had awarded to the International Federation of the Red Cross, a partner organization.

The report also criticized the organization for downsizing its ethics office, which acts as a watchdog, from 65 employees a decade ago to just three.

“People who give generously to any charitable cause expect transparency and the careful use of every dollar,” Mr. Grassley said. “That’s especially true for the Red Cross, as an organization we all rely on for disaster relief.”

Mr. Grassley’s investigation began after a 2015 report by ProPublica and National Public Radio found that the Red Cross had managed to build only six permanent homes in what had been billed as one of its landmark reconstruction projects in Haiti. That report quoted a former Red Cross official who said the charity came to see the Haiti disaster as a “spectacular fund­raising opportunity.”

The Red Cross was criticized after its state chapters kept money that had been donated for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was assailed for its chaotic and slow response.

Established by congressional charter, the Red Cross is a nonprofit that does not receive federal funds for its operating budget, although it gets money from the federal and state agencies that it works with on individual projects.

It is understandable that the charity would set aside money for future crises, but it should be absolutely transparent with donors when it does so. It should also significantly beef up its oversight and accounting operations and provide detailed, timely information about how it spends and accounts for relief funding. Early this month, it took a step in the right direction by releasing a breakdown of the money it had spent on Haiti relief.

It would be unfortunate if Americans were hesitant to donate after the next catastrophe. The Red Cross should make every effort to win their confidence.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

Owning Our Future – Haitian Perspectives in Film [Event]

June 17, 2016 - 06:48

Join the Irish International Immigrant Center for a screening and discussion of short films made by Haitians during a training and production process led by Boston-based Community Supported Film. Haitian documentary filmmakers, with backgrounds in journalism, theater and poetry, provide a unique opportunity to experience Haiti as it is lived by street vendors, business women, artists, farmers and more. Their stories nourish an understanding of Haiti that goes beyond the western media’s focus on crises and disasters.

WHEN: 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
6-8:30pm

WHERE: 

Irish International Immigrant Center
100 Franklin Street, Lower Level
Boston, MA 02110
(Door on 201 Devonshire Street)

 

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Sarah Chapple-Sokol at 617-542-7654 extension 36 or sarahcs@iiicenter.org.

Senator’s Investigation Reveals Problematic Spending of Haiti Earthquake Donations

June 16, 2016 - 13:31

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has lead an investigation into the American Red Cross use of donations in the 2010 Haiti earthquake campaign. Receiving little to no feedback or answers to his questions, Senator Grassley has had a hard time finding information about the internal spending even though American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has claimed to work with the investigation. Though met with subpar communication, Grassley found that the organization has spent around 25 percent of the Haiti donations on internal expenses with ambiguous and unfounded titles such as ‘program expenses,’ a discovery that stands in direct violation of McGovern’s claim that all but 9 percent of donations go to humanitarian aid. The lack of support for internal policing mechanisms by the organization may hold a piece of the blame.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

Report: Red Cross Spent 25 Percent Of Haiti Donations On Internal Expenses

Laura Sullivan, NPR

June 16th, 2016

The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The report also says the charity’s top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes “there are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization.”

The report follows a nearly yearlong investigation by the Iowa Republican and his staff, launched after coverage by NPR and ProPublica of the Red Cross’ Haiti response. The venerated charity raised nearly $500 million after the disaster, more than any other nonprofit, but an ambitious plan to build housing resulted in just six permanent homes, NPR and ProPublica found.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

Help End Cholera in Haiti – Call Congress Today!

June 14, 2016 - 11:30

Help put us over the top! As of Tuesday morning, 96 U.S. Representatives in Congress, including no less than 14 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and six Republicans, had already endorsed a bi-partisan letter to Secretary John Kerry urging UN accountability on Haiti’s cholera epidemic! The letter, co-sponsored by Democrat John Conyers and Republican Mia Love, remains open through the close of business this Thursday, June 16, and we want to break the record for congressional sign-on letters — 104 members signing in 2012 on another cholera letter. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO DO SO! Please call your Representative today to ask if they’ve ALREADY SIGNED the Dear Colleague letter on Haiti’s cholera letter, THANK THEM if they have, and ask them to PLEASE JOIN 93 of their colleagues by this Thursday if they haven’t already signed on! Just dial 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. (If you don’t know your Rep., just give your zip code.) Once connected with the Rep’s receptionist, ask to speak with the Staff member who handles international issues. If that Staffer is unavailable, leave a message.

No Decision Made on Privert’s Term: Unrest Continues

June 14, 2016 - 11:00

June 14th was supposed to be the day that Jocelerme Privert ended his 120 day transitional government, but parliament has not yet come to a conclusion on his term. Had elections gone successfully, there would have been a new president in place by now. However, the verification commission found widespread fraud in the elections so Haiti is still without an elected president. Haiti’s national assembly needs to vote on whether or not to prolong Privert’s presidency despite the February accord’s deadline. Anti-Privert protests are being planned, as well as Pro-Privert marches, and it is clear that parliament needs to make a decision.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

More uncertainty for Haiti as parliament fails to decide on Privert

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

June 15th, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE

An upbeat and smiling Jocelerme Privert walked into the waiting room of the presidential suite Tuesday offering pleasantries and looking like anything but a man at the end of a presidency.

While the day was supposed to be the end of a transitional government, capped at 120 days under a Feb. 5 political agreement, it was being treated like any other day by Privert. Last week, he met with different sectors of Haitian society discussing what he had done since his Feb. 14 election to the presidency by parliament, but this week he went back to presidential duties, dropping in on a radio station’s celebration, making a surprise visit to the general hospital where residents have been on strike for three months, and attending a celebration in the Grande Anse Department.

“I was born the first of February, and I regard today like the first of February,” Privert said in a Miami Herald interview. “I was elected provisional president the 14th of February, and I started my day today as if it were the 14th of February.”

Click HERE for the full article.

 

How the UN Can Save Its Image

June 13, 2016 - 08:49

Allan Rock, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, calls attention to the UN’s slipping image since its 1950s heyday. In current times, the UN fails to hold itself accountable when confronted by such issues as Peacekeepers’ sexual exploitation of vulnerable populations and the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Rock: We Must Fix the UN’s Culture of Coverups Around Peacekeeping

Allan Rock, Ottawa Citizen

June 13, 2016

Last weekend we marked the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Canada has always been closely associated with UN peacekeeping, and with good reason: It was invented by our former prime minister, Lester Pearson, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. And Canadian forces have made important contributions to many UN peacekeeping missions over the years, including Cyprus, where we served with distinction for decades.

This subject has special significance for me.

My father spent his working life in the Canadian Army. He joined in 1939. He served overseas during the Second World War. He remained in the army on his return. He retired as a staff sergeant after 26 years in uniform.

 

Click HERE for the original article

The Lancet Journal Calls for UN Accountability

June 10, 2016 - 07:55

The Lancet Medical Journal published and open letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, asking him to take accountability for the Haiti cholera epidemic. The letter cites more than 30,000 Haitians dead and 2 million affected by the outbreak, with no signs of improvement in the past 6 years. Despite over 2,000 letters sent to the United Nations from Haitians struggling with this disease, the UN has continued to claim immunity. The Lancet concludes by urging Ban to “make this a final act in your celebrated career as Secretary General”.

Click HERE for the full letter.

Dear Mr Ban Ki-moon

Joe Raedle The Lancet

June 10th, 2016

We have greatly admired your leadership as Secretary-General of the UN. Over your 10 years heading the world’s most important international organisation, you have played an exemplary part in strengthening the global health agenda—championing awareness of women’s and children’s health, global warming, and humanitarianism. But there is one issue that concerns us deeply.

In 2010, UN soldiers from Nepal were deployed to help after Haiti’s devastating earthquake and cholera contaminated sewage was discarded from their camp into the country’s major river. This triggered the largest cholera outbreak in the world, leaving more than 30 000 Haitians dead and more than 2 million affected.

6 years later a cholera epidemic still rages—14 000 new cases and 150 deaths are reported this year alone. The UN has yet to accept responsibility for introducing cholera into Haiti, despite two investigations establishing these facts.

Click HERE for the full article.

 

Free Haitian Dance Workshop June 13

June 9, 2016 - 09:11

WHAT:

Lakou Ayiti: A Haitian Dance Workshop with Jean Appolon

WHERE:

Irish International Immigrant Center
100 Franklin Street, Lower Level
Boston, MA 02110
(Door on 201 Devonshire Street)

WHEN:

Monday, June 13, 2016
6-8:30pm

 

RSVPs required because space is limited. Please RSVP to Sarah at sarahcs@iicenter.org

 

Click HERE for more information.

Concern from E.U. and U.S. Over Election Rerun

June 8, 2016 - 14:05

Both the E.U. and the U.S. have expressed concern with the decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council to rerun the country’s presidential elections, while the OAS has supported it. In reaction to the decision, the E.U. closed its observer mission in Haiti, while the U.S. State Department announced its “regret” that the election will be prolonged even further. How the reactions of the E.U. and U.S. will affect the funding for the elections remains uncertain, but the OAS has pledged to continue to play a “positive role in the electoral process”.

Part of the article is below, click HERE for the full text.

U.S., EU criticize Haiti presidential elections rerun

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

6/8/2016

 

Haiti’s decision to rerun its disputed first-round presidential vote continued to ripple through the international community Wednesday as the European Union and the United States criticized the move, and the Organization of American States announced its continued support for the process.

All three donors had contributed to last year’s $100 million elections price tag and had praised the Oct. 25 presidential vote that pitted government-backed candidate Jovenel Moïse against Jude Célestin of the opposition.

“Despite a certain number of flaws and irregularities that were observed, they were not however of the nature to alter the results,” the EU’s Electoral Observer Mission said as it announced the closure of the mission while attacking the findings of the special verification commission.

The commission audited 25 percent of the roughly 13,000 tally sheets from polling stations, and found among problems, that there were 628,000 untraceable or “Zombie” votes.

Click HERE for the full article

Where Did $33 Million Spent on Haiti’s Elections Go?

June 7, 2016 - 13:20

Haiti’s recent elections that were marred by fraud cost more than $100 million to finance. Most of this funding came from international donors, and the United States contributed $33 million to the process. Now, US officials are balking to finance yet another election in the fall — but it’s important to note where that $33 million actually went.

For one, US money did not go to electoral authorities, but rather to US programs in support of elections. Money was given to the DC-based Consortium for Elections and Political Processes, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the National Democratic Institute. Over $19 million was given to different United Nations agencies rather than to financing the actual election itself ($9.7 million to UNDP, $7.57 million on UNOPS, and an additional $1.77 million when they threatened to pull out).

So while the United States did indeed spend $33 million on Haiti’s elections, much of the money did not go to the elections, or even to groups that wisely supported the elections.

Click HERE for the full article.

The US Spent $33 Million on Haiti’s Scrapped Elections — Here is Where it Went

CEPR

June 7th, 2016

Haiti’s electoral council announced yesterday that new first-round presidential elections would be held in October after a commission found widespread fraud and irregularities in the previous vote. The prospect of the new vote — to be held alongside dozens of parliamentary seats still up for grabs, has raised questions about how it could be funded. The previous elections — determined to be too marred by fraud and violence to count — cost upward of $100 million, with the bulk of the funding coming from international donors.

But now, donors are balking. Last week the State Department’s Haiti Special Coordinator Ken Merten said that if elections are redone “from scratch” than it would put U.S. assistance in jeopardy. It “could also call into question whether the U.S. will be able to continue to support financially Haiti’s electoral process,” Merten added. In a separate interview, Merten explained:

We still do not know what position we will adopt regarding our financial support. U.S. taxpayers have already spent more than $33 million and that is a lot. We can ask ourselves what was done with the money or what guarantees there are that the same thing will not happen again.

So, what was done with the money? Could the same thing happen again?

Click HERE for the full article.

New Dates Set for Haiti’s Elections

June 7, 2016 - 08:01

Haiti’s verification commission has determined that the elections held last October were illegitimate and contained fraudulent activity. The Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) is about to set out a new electoral timetable.  Presidential elections will occur on October 9th, and a second round will occur on January 8th, 2017 if no candidate obtains enough ballots to win in the first elections.

Jude Celestin, the runner-up in this past round of elections, agrees with the council’s timeline. Jovenel Moise on the other hand, candidate from the PHTK party, has rejected the verification report entirely.

Click HERE for the full article.

Haitian elections officials say new presidential vote to take place in October

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

June 7, 2016 

Haiti election officials are poised to accept the recommendations of a special verification commission calling for last year’s disputed first round presidential elections to be re-run in October.

In a meeting Saturday with representatives of major political parties, the nine-member Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) said it’s prepared to publish an electoral timetable calling for the presidential balloting to occur on Oct. 9. If a candidate doesn’t get the required votes to win, the second round would occur on Jan. 8, 2017, with the final election results published on Jan. 30, two political party representatives confirmed to the Miami Herald.

The October elections would also include balloting for one-third of the Senate . Still unclear, elections officials said, is what to do about the commission’s findings concerning legislative candidates who were defrauded out of their seats by alleged payoffs and bad decisions by the electoral courts.

Click HERE for the full article.

New Round of Haitian Family Reunification Invites Going Out

June 6, 2016 - 13:42

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a third round of invitations for people to apply for Haitian Family Reunification on behalf of their family members in Haiti. The program was officially launched in early 2015, after years of advocacy by IJDH, members of Congress and other allies.

USCIS Message: Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program

USCIS

June 6, 2016

Dear Stakeholder, 

We are pleased to share with you an important update regarding the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program.

On Friday June 3, with the help of the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued the third round of invitations to apply for the HFRP Program

The HFRP Program allows certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions approved on or before Dec. 18, 2014, to be paroled into the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current. Once paroled into the United States, these beneficiaries will be able to apply for work permits while waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. Once their visa is available, they can apply for lawful permanent resident status. 

The invitations that were sent to eligible petitioners provide instructions on how to apply to the program and also include important information petitioners should consider as they determine if the program is right for them and their eligible family members. Only individuals who receive an invitation will be eligible to apply for the HFRP Program on behalf of their family members. For additional information on the invitation process, please seeuscis.gov/HFRP

If you believe that you may be eligible for this program, please ensure that the NVC has your most current mailing and email address. You may update your mailing address by emailing the NVC at asknvc@state.gov or by completing the Public Inquiry Form on the NVC’s website at travel.state.gov

Kind regards, 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  

Public Engagement Division

 

Click HERE to learn more about the Haitian Family Reunification program.