Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Updated: 2 hours 6 min ago

Protests and unrest continue as opposition candidates dispute first round results

8 hours 27 min ago

Opposition candidates from Haiti’s presidential elections are threatening  to force Haiti into a transition government unless changes are made for a runoff in December.  Candidates that oppose latest results have dubbed themselves the “G8″ and do not believe fair elections are not a possibility under Martelly regime.

Célestin and others issue elections ultimatum in Haiti

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

November 30, 2015

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

An alliance of Haitian opposition presidential candidates led by second-place finisher Jude Célestin is threatening to force Haiti into a transition government — unless changes are made in the country’s electoral council and police hierarchy ahead of next month’s planned presidential runoff.

The group of eight candidates, dubbed the G8, made its demands in a signed communique late Sunday, shortly before midnight. A transition government, it said, could last as long as 24 months during which time the priorities will be national dialogue, reforming the state, scripting a new constitution and organizing new elections.

“The G8 is convinced that honest, free, transparent and democratic elections cannot be obtained under the presidency of Joseph Michel Martelly without changes in the [Provisional Electoral Council], without changes in some units of the [Haiti National Police] and the command at departmental offices, and without the end of reprisals and repression by police against peaceful demonstrators,” the candidates wrote.

Two presidential candidates, participating in protests, were recently hurt when police fired on the crowd to disperse them. Protesters, meanwhile, have been complaining about arrests and intimidation by a specialized police unit.

Click HERE for the original article.


Queen’s University Discusses Cholera Accountability

November 24, 2015 - 12:41
UNaccountability: The Legal (and Moral) Responsibility of the United Nations in the Haitian Cholera Epidemic


Adam Houston, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and IJDH cholera team member discusses UN accountability at Queen’s University in Canada.

Until it was introduced into the country by UN Peacekeepers in 2010, cholera was unknown in Haiti. Since that time, close to 9000 people have died, and over 700,000 more have fallen ill. Despite conclusive evidence of the source of the epidemic, and its own obligations under international law, the UN has declined to compensate victims, to devote adequate resources to eradicating the disease, or even to apologize for the harms caused. By doing so, it refuses to be held to the same standards of good governance and the rule of law it promotes in Haiti and around the world.


Mackintosh-Corry Hall D214
Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada


Thursday, November 26, 2015


Click HERE for more information.

New Report Details Haiti Election Flaws and Need for Improvement

November 24, 2015 - 09:45

Though the international community has mostly deemed the October 25 round of elections acceptable, a new report from two international lawyers’ groups says otherwise. The report, from National Lawyers Guild and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, details the problems observed on October 25, including voter suppression and massive fraud. It also lays out recommendations for restoring Haitian voters’ confidence in the electoral process, which many say can only be remedied by the formation of an independent commission to investigate.

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

U.S. observers: Haiti’s presidential elections deeply flawed

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
November 24, 2015

A team of U.S.-based lawyers who witnessed last month’s Haitian elections say there is mounting evidence showing a clear pattern of systemic fraud, voter confusion and intimidation, and in some areas disenfranchisement.

The report paints a grim picture of a flawed, chaotic electoral process on Oct. 25. Not only were voting procedures inconsistently applied at poorly designed polling stations, the report notes, but the widespread use of observer and political party accreditation led to people voting multiple times and potentially accounts for as much as 60 percent of the 1.5 million votes cast.

“Without major corrective measures, these elections will represent a significant setback in Haiti’s long-struggle to consolidate democracy,” said the report based on the observations of a delegation of election monitors from the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers Delegation.


Click HERE for the full text.

NLG – IADL Press Release on October 25 Elections Report

November 24, 2015 - 07:27

Below is a press release from the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers on their new report on Haiti’s October 25 elections. The report highlights issues that the international community has largely overlooked, like fraud and voter suppression. It also includes recommendations for dealing with those issues.

Cliquez ICI pour la version française.




Contact:             Nicole Phillips, Esq., National Lawyers Guild Haiti Committee,,

+001 510 715 2855 (in U.S., speaks English and French)

International observers establish flaws in Haiti’s October 25 vote, call for independent investigation

(NEW YORK, November 24, 2015) – A new report by international election observers concludes that Haiti’s October 25, 2015 presidential and legislative elections fell far short of minimum standards for fair elections, and calls for an independent investigation to address widespread allegations of fraud. “Haiti’s next government will lack the democratic legitimacy necessary to govern if the deep flaws in Haiti’s October 25 elections are not corrected,” warns Nicole Phillips, one of the report’s authors.

The October 25 vote was less violent than the first round of legislative elections of August 9, 2015, but suffered from a number of serious problems, including low turnout, voting fraud and a lack of transparency in the vote tabulation process, according to the report. Observers witnessed the widespread use of observer and political party accreditations to cast multiple fraudulent votes, which potentially tainted election results. The international observers were part of a delegation from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), which spent two weeks in Haiti prior to the vote and observed the October 25 electoral process at 15 voting centers in the greater Port-au-Prince region.

“A thorough investigation into allegations of fraud by a credible and independent commission is essential to determining the scale of the fraud and restoring Haitians’ faith in the electoral process” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, based in Port-au-Prince, and a member of the IADL’s governing Bureau.  A recent survey by the Igarapé Institute found that nearly 90 percent of Haitian voters felt that the October 25 elections had been tainted by fraud.  According to Attorney Joseph, “the current government under President Michel Martelly is not capable of holding democratic elections.  A transitional government is necessary to properly investigate fraud allegations and hold new, fair elections.”

The report recommends that political parties, candidates and other individuals implicated in election-related violence and fraud be held accountable. Many perpetrators of electoral abuses on August 9 were never sanctioned and participated in the second-round legislative elections on October 25, the report documents. “The Haitian government must end the impunity for electoral abuses that currently reigns,” Joseph said. “Haitians will not accept a government that is the product of fraud, violence and intimidation at the polls.” Political parties and pro-democracy grassroots organizations have protested the tainted results since they were announced, through increasingly large demonstrations.

The report calls on the international community to support the Haitian people’s demands for fair and democratic elections, while refraining from interfering in ways that threaten Haiti’s sovereignty. “The international community has so far closed its eyes to the glaring instances of fraud that occurred on October 25,” Phillips said. “The Martelly government believes it can get away with fraud-tainted elections because it has the support of the international community.” The U.S. and the OAS quickly endorsed the elections after October 25 and called for the electoral process to go forward.

Phillips, a member of the NLG’s Haiti Subcommittee, urged the U.S. government, which has contributed $25 million to Haiti’s elections so far, to publicly link continued financial support to free and fair elections. International donors have committed $38 million to the electoral process and played a key role in organizing the vote.



Cliquez ICI pour la version française.

NLG – IADL Report on Haiti’s October 25 Elections

November 24, 2015 - 06:44

The international community praised Haiti’s October 25 round of elections because they were less violent that the August 9th round. Unfortunately, their praise completely overlooked the fraud, voter suppression and other issues that continued from the first round, through the second and the vote tabulation. This report from the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers describes these problems, their significance and what can be done to solve them.

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

Report of the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers Delegation on the October 25, 2015, Presidential and Legislative Elections in Haiti

November 2015

Executive Summary:

Haitian voters were called to the polls on October 25, 2015 to elect the country’s next President, two-thirds of the Senate, all 119 members of the House of Deputies and all local mayors. The October 25 elections were less violent than the first round of legislative elections of August 9, 2015, but they fell far short of minimum standards for fair elections. Haitians’ voting rights were violated through a combination of intimidation, irregularities and fraud that began before October 25 and continued through the publication of results. The vast majority of registered voters—over 70 percent—did not vote; many expressed fear or lost confidence in the electoral process. Ordinary voters faced intimidation, illegal influencing and privacy violations. A large percentage of ballots were cast using political party accreditations, which allow voting outside the rules applicable to regular voters, representing a major opportunity for fraud. A lack of transparency in the tabulation process has raised significant questions about whether votes have been properly counted and verified for fraud.

Without major corrective measures, these elections will represent a significant setback in Haiti’s long struggle to consolidate democracy.

Impact of the Turbulent August 9 Elections

The October 25 elections were built on the precarious foundation of Haiti’s August 9 legislative elections, which were marred by massive disorder, delays, and serious irregularities, including:

  • Incidents of violence, fraud and voter intimidation at 40 to 67.8 percent of voting centers, with 196 of 1508 centers (13 percent) forced to suspend voting due to such incidents;
  • The disenfranchisement of an estimated 315,000 voters, as a result of nearly a quarter of tally sheets (23 percent) from polling stations being destroyed, lost or excluded due to fraud and other detected irregularities; and
  • Low voter turnout, which was only 18 percent nationwide and dropped to 10 percent in the Ouest Department, home to over 40 percent of Haiti’s registered voters.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) made some improvements in terms of organization and security from August 9 to October 25, but those changes were not enough to prevent the massive irregularities and fraud of the previous election from spilling over into October 25.  The CEP largely failed to hold accountable candidates and parties that engaged in violence, voter intimidation and fraud on August 9, sending a message to perpetrators and voters alike that “crime pays.”  The climate of impunity fostered by the CEP eroded confidence in the CEP itself and in the electoral process more generally. Even more troubling, the integrity of the electoral results of the first-round legislative races was undermined by the fraud, calling into question the legitimacy of the second-round race.

Election Delegation Observations of October 25th

A delegation of election monitors from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) spent two weeks in Haiti prior to the vote and observed the October 25 electoral process at 15 voting centers in the greater Port-au-Prince region.

The observation team made the following observations:

  1. Low voter turnout. In what was a crucial election for Haiti’s political future, only 26.6 percent of registered voters cast a ballot on October 25. Many voters, anticipating a repeat of August 9, stayed away either due to a fear of violence at the polls or the expectation that voting was futile because the votes would not be counted. Turnout in previous presidential elections has been much higher, reaching 59.2 percent in 2006, 60.3 percent in 2000, and 50.2 percent in 1990. On October 25, turnout was comparable to that of 2010, when elections marred by widespread fraud were held after an earthquake and amid the beginning of a cholera crisis.
  1. A large number of the votes cast on October 25 were potentially fraudulent. Haitian observers documented the widespread use of observer and political party accreditations to cast multiple fraudulent votes. The CEP printed and distributed 915,675 accreditations for political party representatives (‘mandataires’) and several thousand more observer accreditations, which allow the possessor to vote in any polling station without being on the voter list. Such “off-list” votes potentially account for as much as 60 percent of the 1,538,393 votes cast in the presidential election. In the days before the election, a black market for these accreditations developed, with passes being sold for as little as $3. The delegation witnessed polling stations packed with mandataires, so much so that the October 25 election has been dubbed a “mandataire election.”
  1. Widespread irregularities due to lack of or inconsistent application of voting procedures. The observation team also witnessed a number of voting irregularities on October 25, including voter influencing and intimidation, inadequate assistance for confused voters, difficulties for voters in finding out where to vote, and insufficient privacy safeguards.

Protests have spread throughout Haiti since the publication of preliminary results placing the ruling party-backed presidential candidate Jovenel Moïse in first place and Jude Celestin in second place. The United States and its allies in the international community (“the Core Group”) have accepted the announced results and called on Haitians to do the same, emphasizing the need for political stability in order for the country to move forward.

Real stability in Haiti can only be achieved through free and fair elections. Unrest is likely to continue unless Haitian voters’ concerns about fraud are addressed and their faith in the electoral process is restored. If the problems observed on October 25 are not dealt with transparently and honestly, Haiti’s next government will lack the democratic legitimacy necessary to govern.


  1. Improved voter access, including through provision of: more neutral election observers to assist voters (orienteurs); standardized indelible ink procedures; more training for poll workers; improved voter registration processes; additional polling stations to allow convenient access to vote; improved voter privacy safeguards; and voter awareness campaigns.
  2. An independent and in-depth investigation into the fraud witnessed by election observers to determine its scale and impact on the October 25 election results, with particular attention paid to the issue of fraudulent multiple voting by mandataires and national observers. All elections should be re-run unless the investigation establishes that voters were able to vote freely, and that the results accurately reflect the voters’ choices.
  3. A thorough investigation of political parties, candidates and other individuals implicated in election-related violence and fraud to put an end to impunity and to determine the credibility of both the August 9 and October 25 electoral results. Where necessary, judicial proceedings must be initiated against perpetrators of election abuses.
  4. Coherence, consistency and transparency in all rulings and directives by the Provisional Electoral Council, as well as Departmental and National Offices of Electoral Litigation, the BCEN and BCED.
  5. Support from the international community for the Haitian people’s demands for fair and democratic elections, while refraining from interfering in ways that threaten Haiti’s sovereignty.


Click HERE for the full report.

Verification après échantillonage confirmerait des fraudes massives

November 23, 2015 - 19:48

Après une nouvelle évaluation, les résultats des élections, se sont révélés frauduleux.

Lisez une partie de l’article ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour l’article complet.

Haïti-Élections : Une vérification au centre de tabulation confirmerait des fraudes massives


22 Novembre 2015


P-au-P., 22 nov. 2015 [AlterPresse] — Les premiers éléments, découverts au cours d’une opération de vérification de procès verbaux au Centre de tabulation des votes, indiquent qu’il y aurait eu des fraudes massives, lors du premier tour de l’élection présidentielle du 25 octobre 2015 en Haïti, apprend AlterPresse.

La vérification a débuté samedi 21novembre 2015, dans la matinée, suite à la décision du Bureau du contentieux électoral national (Bcen), qui a fait droit à la requête de la candidate de Fanmi Lavalas, Maryse Narcisse, de procéder à une vérification au Centre de tabulation.

Narcisse avait dénoncé une vaste fraude en faveur de Jovenel Moise, candidat à la présidence du Parti Haitien Tet Kale (Phtk) au pouvoir.

Un échantillon de procès verbaux, au niveau de plusieurs départements, est examiné par une équipe de Fanmi Lavalas, en présence des conseillers électoraux Ricardo Augustin et Jaccéus Joseph – en tant que juges au Bcen – et d’observateurs nationaux.

Cliquez ICI pour l’article complet.

Contested Presidential Forerunner Protested in US and Haiti

November 22, 2015 - 18:06

The body in charge of Haiti’s elections, the Provisional Electoral Council, has named the government-backed candidate as the winner of the first-round presidential elections but the Haitian people are unsatisfied: Given the massive fraud that occurred on election day, many are calling for an independent investigation of the elections and are taking to the streets to make their demands. This article synthesizes many of these issues.

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

Controversial Haiti presidential candidate Jovenel Moise makes Miami stop

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

November 22, 2015

Haitian President Michel Martelly’s hand-picked successor, Jovenel Moise, defended his preliminary first-place presidential finish in last month’s elections Sunday while pushing back calls for his removal or cancellation of the vote because of fraud.

“The people went out and voted the banana man and the Tabulation Center counted the tally sheets,” Moise told the Miami Herald, referring to himself by his campaign moniker, “Nèg Bannann.”

Moise visited South Florida on Sunday where he held a press conference at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami and met with the diaspora. While thanking them for their support, he touted his vision as well as Martelly’s four-and-a-half years in office. He called his political rise “a phenomenon.”

…Click HERE for the full text.

Un nouveau sondage soutient les allégations de fraude dans les élections en Haïti

November 20, 2015 - 09:37

Haïtiens ordinaires, les politiciens haïtiens et organisations des droits humains ont tous été exigent un recomptage des votes de l’élection présidentielle du 25 Octobre. Maintenant, un sondage effectué par un institut brésilien fournit un soutien supplémentaire pour réexaminer les résultats publiés le 5 Novembre: Non seulement l’enquête démontre extrêmement faible confiance dans les résultats, mais aussi que les résultats probablement ne sont pas représentatifs des votes réels. Un des chercheurs a aussi rejoint les appels à une enquête indépendante sur le processus électoral.

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

Un sondage à la sortie des urnes jette plus de doutes sur des résultats déjà contestés

Moryl Gattereau, Radio Television Caraibes

20 novembre 2015

Un sondage réalisé par un groupe de recherche indépendant a révélé une profonde méfiance du public du premier tour de l’élection présidentielle en Haïti, une constatation qui est de nature à alimenter les appels lancés par les partis de l’opposition pour un nouveau dépouillement des résultats contestés.

Des équipes de chercheurs de l’Institut Igarape basé au Brésil ont mené un sondage à la sortie des urnes le jour de l’élection le 25 octobre dernier et le suivi avec les mêmes électeurs à nouveau après l’annonce des résultats préliminaires le 5 novembre. Ils ont constaté que la confiance du public dans le processus avait chuté entre les deux dates, selon une analyse publiée jeudi.

Dans le sondage à la sortie des urnes, 82% des électeurs sont d’accord avec l’énoncé «Pour autant que je peux voir, cette élection est juste, il n’y a pas de fraude ». Mais, dans le suivi, la conclusion était presque à l’opposé avec près de 90% disant qu’ils étaient en désaccord avec l’énoncé.

Le sondage a également montré un résultat curieux lorsqu’on a demandé aux électeurs pour qui ils ont voté parmi les 54 noms sur le bulletin de vote. Un peu plus de 6% ont déclaré avoir voté pour le candidat soutenu par le gouvernement, Jovenel Moïse, le plaçant quatrième. Mais les résultats préliminaires proclamés le 5 novembre dernier le placent en tête avec près de 33% du vote, le mettant au second tour avec Jude Célestin qui termine en deuxième position avec 25,3%. En troisième place Jean Charles Moïse avec 14,3% et en quatrième position Maryse Narcisse avec 7%.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Comprehensive Amnesty International Report on Statelessness in DR

November 19, 2015 - 12:54

Amnesty International has just published a report on the ongoing statelessness crisis in the Dominican Republic (DR). In September 2013, a DR Constitutional Court issued a ruling that stripped citizenship from Dominicans of immigrant descent all the way back to 1929. The vast majority of these Dominicans are of Haitian descent, making this also a crisis on the two countries’ border once people started fleeing or being deported from DR.

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

‘Without Papers, I Am No One': Stateless People in the Dominican Republic

Amnesty International
November 19, 2015


Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic face a series of obstacles to the
full enjoyment of their human rights to a nationality, to recognition as a person before the
law and to identity. The denial of these rights has increasingly been codified into Dominican
laws and regulations, creating an ever more complex web of restrictions and entrenching and
institutionalizing discriminatory attitudes and practices.

The intensification of discriminatory attitudes and practices has taken place in the context of
changes in migration into the Dominican Republic, primarily from Haiti, in recent decades.
From the 1920s to the 1980s, Haitian migrant workers were drawn into the Dominican
Republic as seasonal workers in the sugarcane industry. The workers, mostly men, were
confined to settlements called bateyes within the plantations. For a considerable part of
that time (1952-1986), they were contracted as braceros (cane cutters) for the sugar cane
harvest in their own country through bilateral agreements between the Dominican and Haitian

Following the fall in sugar prices on the international market from the mid-1980s onwards,
the demand for sugarcane workers fell drastically. New migrant workers from Haiti began
to make their own way to the Dominican Republic. They, together with other Haitian
migrants who previously worked in the sugarcane plantations, increasingly sought and found
employment outside the bateyes in the diversifying agricultural sector, in the construction
sector and in the developing tourism industry. These changes in migration patterns started to
be used by some nationalist groups to stoke a fear of a “peaceful invasion” of Haitians.

In recent decades, the widespread use of such rhetoric, steeped in discriminatory views,
has dominated public and political debate about Haitian immigration. One consequence
of this development has been that since the early 1990s Dominican-born children of
Haitian migrants have been the target of a number of administrative, legislative and judicial
decisions aimed at restricting their access to Dominican identity documents and ultimately
to Dominican nationality. With no automatic access to Haitian nationality, many have been
left stateless, not recognized as nationals by either the Dominican Republic or Haiti. Certain
Dominican institutions, such as the Central Electoral Board and the Constitutional Court,
have played a key role in approving or implementing such discriminatory measures.

Although the current government has shown some willingness to mitigate the harshest
consequences of such measures, the Dominican authorities have yet to acknowledge that the
problem of statelessness exists, let alone provide comprehensive and effective measures to
prevent and end it.

The road to statelessness

Between 1929 and 2010, successive versions of the Dominican Constitution granted
Dominican nationality to all children born on national territory (ius soli). The only exceptions
were the children of diplomats and of people “in transit”. Long-standing and authoritative
legal interpretations limited the definition of people considered to be “in transit” to those
present in the country for fewer than 10 days. Irrespective of the migration status of
their parents, therefore, for many decades the Dominican Republic formally recognized
Dominican-born children of Haitian parents as citizens and issued them with Dominican birth
certificates, identity cards and passports – at least in the vast majority of cases.

However, during the 1990s, nationalist groups started to promote a restrictive interpretation
of “in transit” and as a result many civil registry officers started denying the children of
undocumented Haitian migrants their right to birth registration. In 2004, a new Migration
Law formally considered temporary foreign workers and undocumented migrant workers as
foreigners “in transit”. This effectively meant that the children of the majority of Haitian
migrants could no longer access Dominican nationality by virtue of being born in the
Dominican Republic.

The Central Electoral Board, the body in charge of the civil registry, started applying this
law retroactively. In 2007 it systematised these practices by issuing two administrative
decisions which had the effect of preventing identity documents being issued or renewed for
Dominican-born children of Haitian migrants who had not regularized their migration status
at the time of their children’s birth. These practices continued despite the concerns raised
by several international human rights bodies and a 2005 binding judgment by the Inter-
American Court of Human Rights.

On 26 January 2010, the current Dominican Constitution entered into force. Under the
Constitution, children of irregular migrants born in the Dominican Republic whose parents
were irregular migrants no longer had the automatic right to Dominican nationality. This was
followed in 2013 by a Constitutional Court judgment (168-13) which stated that children
born in the Dominican Republic to foreign parents who did not have regular migration status
had never been entitled to Dominican nationality. The judgment was applied retrospectively
to people born since 1929. Judgment 168-13 constitutes a retroactive and arbitrary
deprivation of nationality. It disproportionately affects Dominicans of Haitian descent and is,
therefore, discriminatory.

The main consequence of this judgment is that a large number of people have been left
stateless who identify the Dominican Republic as their own country; it is where they were
born and where they have lived all their lives. They often have no ties with Haiti, have never
been there and barely speak the local language. Many are the children or grandchildren of
people who were also born in the Dominican Republic. For these families the Dominican
Republic has been home for generations.
The statelessness crisis

While the Dominican authorities have never acknowledged that Judgment 168-13 resulted in
mass statelessness, the President and other officials have indicated a level of awareness of
the ruling’s harsh impact on the lives of those affected.


Click HERE for the full report.

Elections take headlines in Haiti, but Cholera issues deepen

November 19, 2015 - 10:58

Despite the recent tensions based on the elections in Haiti, cholera continues to ravage many.  A solution in the form of an oral vaccine can provide hope, but the vaccine’s manufacturer (Shantha Biotechnics, a Sanofi company) has decreased production in 2015 after promising to the do the opposite.

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

Ignoring the plight of the poor in Haiti

Louise C. Ivers, Boston Globe

November 19, 2015

As Haitians take to the streets to protest the results of their recent presidential election, a quieter but more deadly battle continues throughout the country against the world’s largest cholera outbreak.

The toll is enormous, particularly for the poor. Although cholera is entirely preventable and completely treatable, five years after the disease appeared in Haiti for the first time in recorded history, 9,041 deaths have been registered, and more than 750,000 have been sickened in its grip. The real numbers are likely much higher.

By its nature, the disease is an inequitable attacker, a disease of poverty — it tends to strike hardest where access to toilets is limited or nonexistent, and where clean water is beyond financial reach. In the absence of public water systems, for many of Haiti’s poorest people, buying water purification tablets can only be done at the expense of buying food, or soap, or medicine, or school supplies. These are impossible choices. But unfortunately attention has waned to the point where progress has stalled, with devastating consequences. In 2014, more cases of cholera per population were registered in Haiti than in any other country reporting to the World Health Organization.


Link to original article HERE.

Generations of Dominicans of Haitian descent rendered stateless

November 19, 2015 - 09:27

A recent Amnesty International report shows that for decades, the Dominican government has implemented laws to render generations of Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless.  A recent ruling has left tens of thousands “ghost citizens” without basic human rights such access to health care and education.

Dominicans of Haitian descent turned into ‘ghost citizens’, says Amnesty

Alan Yuhas, The Guardian

November 19, 2015

The Dominican Republic has violated the human rights of tens of thousands of people by stripping several generations of citizenship, according to a scathing new report by Amnesty International.

The report details decades of discriminatory practices codified into laws that have turned Haitians and their DR-born children into “ghost citizens”. These stateless people lack identity papers for work, healthcare, schooling or the right to live in either nation on the island.

“With the stroke of a pen, authorities in the Dominican Republic have effectively wiped four generations of Dominicans off the map,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty’s Americas director.

Since the 1990s, Dominican authorities have created a “legal maze” of bureaucracy to recover their papers, the group said, noting a 2013 court ruling that rendered stateless anyone born in the country to an undocumented foreign parent. The ruling was enforced retroactively to 1929, leaving as many as four generations of Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless and without valid documents.

“The ruling was outrageous,” said Chiara Liguori, Amnesty’s expert on the Caribbean and the author of the report.
“Most of these people have never claimed Haitian nationality,” she said. “Dominicans who’ve never been to Haiti, have no ties there, are now obliged to prove themselves: to say first, ‘Look I’m a foreigner,’ and then apply for naturalization over two years. And to apply doesn’t mean they’ll get it.”

The ruling rendered people stateless even outside the country, prompting protests in New York and international denunciations from human rights groups who say the government is depriving people of basic needs.

“These people have a very strong sense of belonging to this country,” Liguori said. “They want to help and make a contribution. They don’t know what to think of themselves any more.”

The rights group says these retroactive decisions have created “a continuing cycle of alienation and marginalization down the generations”. Although there are no clear estimates for how many people are stateless, Amnesty estimates the law affects several tens of thousands of people.

In 2012, a UN and EU survey found more than 200,000 people in the Dominican Republican had at least one foreign parent and were of Haitian descent.

Children with at least one Dominican parent are entitled to citizenship, though many struggle to receive recognition.

Yolanda Alcino, a 25-year-old Dominican of Haitian descent, told the Guardian she was registered at birth but has been refused an identity card for the past eight years. The second oldest of nine siblings, she said her family illustrates “the complete, complicated reality” of life in the country – some of her brothers and sisters have papers, others do not.

“It’s hard to find work, we can’t get into school, get my children into school,” she said. “We’re discriminated against, and without education, without work, life is more difficult in almost every way.”

Alcino said that earlier this year the authorities told her that without an identity card she could not register her children or file a domestic violence complaint against their father.

“I can’t get my children their identities because of this,” she said.

The rights group interviewed dozens of people for its 60-page report, including one woman, speaking anonymously, whose daughter was unable to register.

“It’s hard to find work, we can’t get into school, get my children into school,” she said. “We’re discriminated against, and without education, without work, life is more difficult in almost every way.”

Alcino said that earlier this year the authorities told her that without an identity card she could not register her children or file a domestic violence complaint against their father.

“I can’t get my children their identities because of this,” she said.

The rights group interviewed dozens of people for its 60-page report, including one woman, speaking anonymously, whose daughter was unable to register.

Jessica Profeta, a 14-year-old Dominican-born girl of Haitian descent, said her parents were refused a birth certificate repeatedly, and could not enroll her in school for a lack of papers. When her parents tried to enroll her in a naturalization plan, the line was so long that the office closed before her father reached the doors.

“I would like her to go to the university, to have a better future,” he said.

Programs such as a six-month naturalization initiative are insufficient, Guevara-Rosas said, since they was poorly advertised and demanded a list of papers that many could not supply. The naturalization program, for instance, expired in February and asked for testimony from a midwife or seven witnesses to prove a person was born in the country.

As in the US, undocumented workers are largely relegated to difficult work for paltry pay. Women often cannot find work except as cleaners and servants, and men often find themselves enduring brutal conditions on bateyes – sugar cane farms.

The Dominican government maintains that most of the people now without citizenship are in fact Haitian, even though Haiti’s own laws cast Dominican-born children into limbo. For 25 years Haiti banned dual nationality, and for more than 30 years has held that people who choose or “actively enjoy” another nationality will lose their legal status as Haitian nationals.

Dominican authorities also deny arbitrary deportations of some 40,000 people; an adviser to the president said in August that the people had voluntarily left the country. This summer the Haitian prime minister, Evans Paul, said that 14,000 people, mostly children and young adults, crossed the border in less than a week, threatening a humanitarian crisis.

The US and other countries have urged Dominican authorities to respect the rights of undocumented people, and to let international observers monitor the deportations.

Responding to criticism, the Dominican Republic created “regularization” programs, predicting more than 100,000 people would apply to enter a process of waiting periods, forms and “auditing”.

Amnesty and other activist groups have denounced the programs as insufficient, and called for restoring Dominican nationality to people whose births were registered previously, reforms to the naturalization process and an investigation into discrimination by public officials.

Click HERE for original article.


Brazilian Polls Increase Support for Haiti Vote Recount

November 19, 2015 - 06:58

Average Haitians and Haitian politicians and human rights organizations have all been calling for a recount of the votes from the October 25 presidential election. Now, a poll done by a Brazilian institute provides further support for reconsidering the results released on November 5: Not only does it demonstrate extremely low confidence in the results but also that the results are likely not representative of the actual votes. One of the researchers has also joined calls for an independent investigation into the electoral process.

Many in Haiti suspect fraud in recent election, poll finds

Ben Fox, AP
November 19, 2015

MIAMI (AP) — A poll by an independent research group has found deep public suspicion of the first round of the presidential election in Haiti, a finding that is likely to fuel calls by opposition parties for a recount of the disputed results.

Teams of researchers with the Brazil-based Igarape Institute conducted exit polls on the day of the Oct. 25 election and followed up with the same voters again after preliminary results were announced on Nov. 5. They found that public confidence in the process had plummeted between the two dates, according to an analysis they planned to release Thursday.

In the election exit poll, 82 percent of voters agreed with the statement “As far as I can see, this election is fair, there is no fraud.” But in the follow up, the conclusion was almost the opposite with nearly 90 percent saying they disagreed with the statement.

The poll also came up with a curious result when voters were asked who they voted for among the 54 names on the ballot. Just over 6 percent said they voted for government-backed candidate Jovenel Moise, placing him fourth. But preliminary results announced Nov. 5 said he came in first with nearly 33 percent of the vote, putting him in a runoff with second-place finisher Jude Celestin.

It is not unusual for exit polls to vary from actual vote counts and this study does not prove the preliminary results announced by the Provisional Electoral Council are inaccurate, said Robert Muggah, research director of the institute. But he believes it does suggest a need for further scrutiny.

“At a minimum, it raises some questions about people’s perceptions about the credibility of the results,” Muggah said in a phone interview from Rio de Janeiro.

The electoral council has not released final results and has so far rejected calls by opposition leaders for a recount. The runoff is scheduled for Dec. 27. It is expected to feature Moise, a businessman who has never held political office and was picked as a successor by President Michel Martelly, against Celestin, a former head of the state-owned construction company who was defeated in the disputed presidential election in 2010.

Opposition supporters have staged repeated protests over the results since Nov. 5 as they demand a recount. Several thousand marched in the capital Wednesday until they were dispersed by police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Martelly’s party has denied opposition accusations that it manipulated the voting or the ballot count and has dismissed calls for a recount.

An observer mission from the Organization of American States noted some “irregularities,” but concluded that the preliminary results appeared to be in line with what they saw on election day.

The Igarape exit poll found about 4 percent of voters witnessed what they considered fraud, which included officials improperly turning away voters, people voting multiple times or casting ballots as a proxy for other voters. Incidents of fraud were witnessed by research team members at 12 polling stations. The U.S., Canadian and Haitian researchers interviewed 1,991 people at 135 polling stations. The survey had a margin of error of 2.29 percentage points.

Igarape has conducted social science polling in Haiti for more than a decade. Athena Kolbe, a professor at the State University of New York at Brockport who is one of the authors of the report, said the exit polling for this election was part of a long-term project and they did not originally plan to release it before the Dec. 27 runoff.

But that changed after they saw the results, which suggest that people are losing faith in the electoral process, which was already fragile in Haiti.

“There needs to be some neutral investigation or intervention in the process to restore people’s confidence that their vote will count,” Kolbe said by phone from Port-au-Prince. “Otherwise people just won’t return to the polls.”


Click HERE for the original article.

Further review of Cholera outbreak investigation in Haiti

November 18, 2015 - 10:02

A scientific report conducted by doctor and specialist in cholera epidemiology, Renaud Parroux, shows that the cholera epidemic was indeed introduced by UN peacekeepers. When the epidemic first started, many were hesitant to “blame” the UN for it but it soon became clear that someone needed to be held accountable for the epidemic to be controlled and eliminated.

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

Cholera and blame in Haiti

Renaud Parroux, The Lancet Infectious Diseases 

December 2015

After an explosive cholera outbreak in Haiti in October, 2010, an Editorial in Lancet Infectious Diseases opined that assigning blame as to the origin of the outbreak was unhelpful.1 Subsequently, the outbreak turned into the largest cholera epidemic in the world with 745 558 cases and 8972 deaths (as of July, 2015).2 Blame is often portrayed as a vengeful act—finding fault so as to inflict emotional pain. Yet in public health circles, the definition of blame might have another connotation: “to hold responsible”.3 In Haiti, avoidance of responsibility for cholera quickly became entangled in international politics. Without insight and steerage, control and elimination efforts were hindered and irregular.

A UN peacekeeping camp in the central regions of the country hosted soldiers from a cholera-endemic country (Nepal) and in a village at the camp’s edge, doctors of the Cuban Medical Brigade recorded the first cholera cases, which suggested a possible origin of the outbreak.4 Haiti was recovering from an earthquake that occurred 9 months earlier and many felt the presence of UN troops was essential for the country’s stability. But there was a dilemma: should the origin of the epidemic be investigated or avoided, so as not to enrage the Haitian people against stabilising UN peacekeepers? Although the Pan American Health Organization, WHO, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chose to not investigate the potential involvement of the UN military camp, the Haitian government asked the French Embassy for assistance with an outbreak investigation, led by Renaud Piarroux. The ensuing scientific report provided epidemiological arguments that cholera had been introduced by the UN peacekeepers.5 After a draft of the report was leaked to the media in December, 2010, the UN secretary-general ordered a follow-up investigation. The investigation panel—selected by the UN—concluded that the source of the Haiti cholera outbreak was due to contamination of the river flowing by the village next to the UN camp, with a pathogenic strain of a south Asian type of Vibrio cholerae introduced by human activity.6Additional evidence also pointed to the UN troops as the probable source of the epidemic,7 and in 2014, the panel stated that personnel associated with the UN peacekeeping camp were the “most likely source of introduction of cholera into Haiti”.8

Click HERE for the full text.

Center for Gender and Refugee Studies Hiring Program Coordinator

November 18, 2015 - 08:26

Classification: Level 1 / Class Code 1615 / Non-Exempt / Full-Time / Benefited / Represented

Hiring Salary Range: $35,403 – $50,000 (commensurate with qualifications)

Posting Date: October 30, 2015


The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), based at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, one of the nation’s leading refugee advocacy organizations, works to advance the human rights of women, children, LGBT and other refugees who flee persecution, both in the United States and internationally. We provide nationally recognized expert consultation, including trainings, resource development and legal advice, in hundreds of asylum cases each year, many of which result in grants of protection. CGRS also shapes asylum law through involvement in key cases with potential to set precedent, and ensures government accountability through groundbreaking and original research that analyzes adjudication trends. We improve conditions on the ground to prevent refugee flight by presenting the results of international human rights fact-finding, analyzing implementation of existing laws, and collaborating with grassroots movements to advocate for law reform and other justice measures. For more information about CGRS, visit


Under the supervision of the Deputy Director and the general direction of the Director, the Program Associate has the primary responsibility for implementing many aspects of CGRS’s program, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the office. This is a one year temporary contract appointment.

To apply, go to: 0Manager%20-%20CGRS%20Oct2015

The position is open until filled.



Click HERE for the full description.

CEP Rejects Calls for Independent Election Commission

November 17, 2015 - 12:58

Ever since the release of the preliminary presidential election results in early November, candidates and their supporters alike have been calling for a re-vote and an independent commission to investigate the fraud involved in both rounds of elections so far. The Provisional Electoral Council in charge of Haiti’s elections has just announced that no commission will be formed, claiming that the law doesn’t allow it to form one. Meanwhile, protests all over Haiti continue and it remains to be seen how this electoral crisis will be resolved.

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

Haiti elections officials refuse vote verification

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

November 17, 2015

Haitian elections officials are rejecting requests to form an independent commission to verify the preliminary presidential election results, saying the law doesn’t grant them the authority to do so.

The decision by the nine-member Provisional Electoral Council came after a meeting with eight presidential candidates Monday night and amid growing calls to put confidence in the electoral process.

The candidates, including second-place finisher Jude Célestin, have rejected the results on the grounds that the vote was marred by “massive fraud” with ballot stuffing and political party monitors voting multiple times. The CEP’s position stands to deepen an ongoing electoral impasse while further casting doubt over the Dec. 27 runoff.


Click HERE for the full text.

This is a bulletin from The

November 17, 2015 - 07:00

This is a bulletin from The International Association of Democratic Lawyers on United Nations activities from July through mid-October 2015. It includes an update on Haiti that focuses on  justice for the victims of the UN cholera epidemic.

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

IADL United Nations Activities Bulletin – November 2015

Beatrice Lindstrom, International Association of Democratic Lawyers

November 2015

Justice for Cholera Victims in Haiti

IADL members Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti persist in their fight for justice for the victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Although the epidemic has killed more than 9,000, with more than 751,000 documented infections, the United Nations (UN) still refuses to accept responsibility for introducing the deadly disease, making the need for advocacy all the more urgent. This October marks five years since the UN’s introduction.
To commemorate the lives lost and draw renewed attention to the issue, BAI and IJDH helped launch Face Justice, a campaign that is bringing victims’ voices to the UN through the use of portraits and letters. On October 16, large portraits of cholera survivors were erected outside of UN offices in Port-au-Prince, New York and Geneva. The campaign is an effort to remind the UN that the cholera epidemic affects real people, and is more than just abstract statistics. In conjunction with Face Justice, hundreds of cholera survivors and activists gathered outside the UN in Port-au-Prince on October 15 to call for justice. Selected portraits and testimonials can be read at Photographs are available at:

Amnesty International also publicly joined the calls for justice, stressing that “[t]he UN must not just wash its hands of the human suffering and pain that it has caused…Failing to take action will only undermine the UN’s credibility and responsibility as a promoter of human rights across the world.” Amnesty’s full statement can be read here:


Click HERE for the full text.

Le gouvernement a pris la décision de mettre fin aux élections du 25 Octobre

November 16, 2015 - 10:52

Le gouvernement a décidé de mettre fin aux élections du 25 Octobre hier lors d’une conférence de presse, le gouvernement a pris la décision d’entendre le parti Lavalas dans ses déclarations qu’il va saisir le bureau du contentieux électoral national.

Partie de l’article est si-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Une commission de vérification pour mettre fin au litige électoral

Lemoine Bonneau, Le Nouvelliste

16 novembre 2015

De plus en plus de voix s’élèvent pour réclamer du Conseil électoral provisoire la formation d’une commission de vérification des procès­verbaux de la présidentielle du 25 octobre dernier. Lors d’une rencontre hier, au siège de l’institution électorale, huit candidats à la présidence ont réitéré leur demande de mise sur pied de cette commission indépendante de vérification des procès­verbaux au Centre de tabulation. Selon toute vraisemblance, la formation d’une commission de ce genre ne devrait pas constituer un handicap, vu que celle­ci devrait permettre aux candidats et à la population d’être mieux informés des accusations de bourrage d’urnes dont on accuse le candidat à la présidence du parti au pouvoir. De la fermeture du scrutin du 25 octobre à aujourd’hui, les organismes de supervision des élections ainsi que les partis politiques de l’opposition ont pu établir les cas de bourrage d’urnes de la façon suivante : les cas des mandataires qui ont voté plusieurs fois, certains bureaux où les votes des mandataires sont supérieurs à ceux des électeurs et certains centres de vote où des agents de la PNH avaient forcé des journalistes et mandataires de partis politiques à vider les lieux au moment du dépouillement.…Cliquez ICI pour l’article complet.

L’Association Haitienne Presents: Creole Cuisine

November 16, 2015 - 10:41


Join the Haitian Association of Boston College for a night of celebrating Haitian art and food. The event includes performances from BC student groups and a local artist, as well as Haitian food.


Vanderslice Hall, Cabaret Room
Boston College


Friday, November 20, 2015


Click HERE for more information.

Le President du CEP et le premier ministre ont découvert des actes malhonnêtes

November 15, 2015 - 10:12

Le CEP et le gouvernment ont découvert  des actes malhonnêtes que les autorités gouvernementales et les responsables électoraux ont causés. Le premier ministre Evans Paul a déclaré qu’il est ouvert à la formation d’une commission indépendante pour investiguer le processus électoral comme plusieurs groupes de droits humains l’auraient exigé.

Partie de l’article est ci dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Le CEP et le gouvernement sur la voie de la raison ?

Noclès  Débréus, Le National

15 novembre, 2015

Les trois journées de manifestation organisées par les sympathisants des candidats à la présidence (Jude Célestin, Maryse Narcisse, Moïse Jean Charles) ont contraint les autorités gouvernementales ainsi que les responsables électoraux à sortir de leur léthargie. Le Conseil électoral provisoire, très décrié, ne peut plus continuer à bomber le torse. Il parait avoir  entendu raison, en répondant à la note qui lui a été adressée par le groupe des 8 candidats à la présidence ayant demandé une évaluation du processus par une commission indépendante de l’institution électorale. Le gouvernement de son côté informe, par l’organe du Premier ministre, Évans Paul, qu’il ne s’opposera pas à l’idée de la mise en place d’une commission indépendante de vérification du processus électoral.

Pierre Louis Opont répond  au  groupe des huit candidats qui, au lendemain des élections, avaient fait front commun pour défendre ce qu’ils appellent « le vote du peuple ». « Le Conseil électoral provisoire (CEP) accuse réception de la note de protestation des 7 candidats à la présidence aux élections de 2015. Le CEP saisit l’occasion pour les féliciter de leur contribution à la conduite du processus électoral jusqu’à date ». Cette correspondance a été adressée à Samuel Madistin avec copie conforme envoyée à chaque  membre du groupe.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Grievances over recent Haitian Election results

November 12, 2015 - 13:48

Candidates trailing in polls have all claimed voter fraud. Candidates and followers of the trailing parties are contesting the results by way of demonstrations, press conferences, declarations, letters, and legal contests.

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

Most Candidates Scorn Vote Results, but Unity Remains Elusive

Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté

November 11, 2015

Other than Jovenel Moïse of the ruling Haitian Bald Headed Party (PHTK), almost all of the other 53 Haitian presidential candidates reject the Oct. 25 election’s preliminary results announced by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) on Nov. 5.

However, the candidates’ tactics for redressing what many observers also say are fraudulent and non-transparent vote counts differ widely. The result is a disjointed array of demonstrations, press conferences, declarations, letters, and legal contests which appear, until now, to leave the CEP, as well as the regime of President Michel Martelly and his backers in Washington, unmoved and unalarmed.

Supposedly based on the results of 94.3% of the 13,725 voting bureaus’ tallies (procès verbal), the CEP put Mr. Moïse in the lead with 32.81% of the votes (511,992), trailed by Jude Célestin of the Alternative League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH) with 25.27% (394,390), then Moïse Jean-Charles of the Dessalines Children Platform (Pitit Dessalines) with 14.27% (222,646), and Maryse Narcisse of the Lavalas Family (FL) with 7.05% (110,049).

The remaining 50 candidates all polled under 4% of the vote (57,000), with 45 of those under 1%. Only the top two candidates, Mr. Moïse and Mr. Célestin, would go to the run-off on Dec. 27.


Click HERE for the full text.