Groups to Testify on Haiti and Human Rights before Inter-American Commission
Experts Will Detail Haiti Aid Challenges, Press for an Investigation by the OAS
(Boston, New York, Port-au-Prince, Washington DC, March 17, 2010)—A delegation of experts will testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington D.C. on March 23rd, from 9-10 a.m. Representatives from prominent organizations committed to respecting human rights and improving conditions in Haiti—the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Partners In Health (PIH)/Zanmi Lasante (ZL), and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center)—will provide testimony aimed at encouraging the Commission to formally investigate the human rights impacts of post-earthquake aid on behalf of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Experts from the groups—including two Haitians traveling from Haiti for the hearing—will provide detailed analysis and first-hand accounts from on-going investigations they have been conducting into the impacts of relief efforts on Haitians’ economic and social rights, both inside and outside of Port-au-Prince. This is the only hearing dealing exclusively with rights issues in Haiti granted for this session. The groups will urge the Commission to conduct its own investigation in Haiti to determine whether OAS Member States are complying with their human rights obligations when acting in the country.
The hearing precedes the much-anticipated March 31st Haiti Donors’ Conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where future aid to Haiti will be discussed at length. The groups recently issued a list of concrete recommendations outlining a rights-based approach to aid delivery in advance of that conference, and have a long history of working on aid and human rights issues in Haiti.
Members of the organizations will be available on Monday, March 22nd for comment and interview prior to the hearing, as well as March 23rd, immediately following the hearing. To contact them, please see the information listed here:
Mario Joseph, BAI
Meg Satterthwaite, CHRGJ
Brian Concannon, IJDH
Donna Barry, PIH
Monika Kalra Varma, RFK Center
Loune Viaud, Zanmi Lasante