Nļ 20/05

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights releases preliminary
observations on its APRIL 2005 visit to haiti

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces the release of its preliminary observations on its visit to the Republic of Haiti, which took place from April 18 to 22, 2005. The visiting delegation was composed of Commission President and Rapporteur for Haiti Clare K. Roberts, Commission attorneys Ismene Zarifis and Brian Tittemore, and OAS Associate Staff Member and Romulo Gallegos fellow Ourania Georgoulas, and was assisted for part of its visit by OAS Associate Staff Member and University of Quebec at Montreal Law Professor Bernard Duhaime.

In summary, the Commissionís preliminary observations provide an overview of the issues of greatest concern for the Commission regarding Haiti, namely the rampant and widespread violence largely due to the lack of control over security in the country, the weaknesses in the administration of justice, and the severe social and economic conditions. As noted in the observations, most individuals and groups with whom the Commission met agreed that the implementation of both immediate and long-term solutions is necessary in order for Haiti to successfully emerge from the cycle of violence, political instability and poverty. In the short term, the problem of insecurity appears to be most acute in recent months, claiming civilian lives on a daily basis, and therefore requires urgent measures by the police and international forces to quell the violence and assert control over the security of the population. The Commission also notes that steps to rectify severe deficiencies in the administration of justice and the gravest social and economic shortfalls in access to adequate shelter and potable water, health care, education and employment are fundamental to Haitiís progress. In light of the noted concerns, the Commission cannot overemphasize the importance of urgent and effective measures by the government, with the assistance of the international community, to bring the security situation under control swiftly in order to secure the life and physical integrity of the Haitian people.

The Commission reiterates its concern for the continued degradation of the human rights situation in Haiti and as a matter of priority plans to continue closely monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in the country.


Washington, D.C. June 6, 2005

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Preliminary observations of the Inter-American Commission On Human Rights upon conclusion of its April 2005 visit to Haiti