Report of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst (A/HRC/22/65)

Report
from UN Human Rights Council
Published on 07 Feb 2013 View Original

Human Rights Council
Twenty-second session
Agenda item 10
Technical assistance and capacity-building

Summary

In the present report, the independent expert emphasizes that the rule of law, in the broadest sense of the term, is a critical element that cuts across all aspects of development in Haiti.

On civil and political rights, the independent expert describes the progress made and the obstacles encountered in regard to elections, reform of the justice system, the Legal Service Training College, and the fight against corruption. He then analyses the state of the prison system, the use of extended pretrial detention and the police service. He also reviews the situation of children, particularly with regard to adoption, the “restavek” and victims of trafficking, in order to draw attention to the need for more stringent laws and for juvenile courts.

The independent expert then turns to the question of economic, social and cultural rights in Haiti, makes some specific recommendations about the rights to food, education and health care, and discusses the cholera issue and the situation in the camps.

Finally, the independent expert proposes that a mechanism for the progressive transfer of international protection functions to the Haitian authorities should be established based on action in four key areas: the appointment of an interministerial delegate for the rule of law; the granting of stronger powers to the Office of the Ombudsperson (Office de la Protection du Citoyen) and to the Civil Defence Department (Direction de la Protection Civile); and the establishment of a human rights bureau in the centre of Port-au-Prince.