Children of Haitian descent in Dominican Republic being barred from school, forced into labor

Children of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic are increasingly being barred from attending school following a court ruling that could lead to tens of thousands of people being stripped of their citizenship, according to a report released Friday.

Dozens of families with school-age children say they are being turned away or harassed due to arbitrary interpretations of the court ruling and Dominican laws, according to researchers at the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center who compiled the report.

As a result, some children drop out of school or lose scholarships while others are forced into underage labor, said Kimberly Fetsick, one of the report’s authors.

“Children are being harmed, and their human rights are being violated,” she said. “Action must be taken to protect these children.”


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Second Strain of Cholera Identified In Haiti Originated Locally

U.S. researchers have linked a second strain of cholera to the epidemic that decimated the Haitian population in 2010-11. Previous studies have suggested that the epidemic was caused by bacteria inadvertently introduced by Nepalese soldiers who came to assist in recovery from a massive earthquake. The new strain appears to be local in origin, but its role in the epidemic is not clear because this strain does not normally produce epidemics.

Haiti suffered a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, followed by about 52 aftershocks with a magnitude of 4.5 or higher. Estimates indicate that more than 250,000 died immediately, about 300,000 were injured and 1 million were rendered homeless. Cholera cases began to appear in October and the spread of the disease was exacerbated by Hurricane Tomas, which skirted the island on Nov. 5 but produced torrential rains and severe flooding. To date, cholera has killed an estimated 7,500 Haitians and sickened half a million.

Early studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other researchers showed that the primary cause of the epidemic was a bacterium known as Vibrio cholerae 01, which is found primarily in Asia. Many researchers speculated that the strain was brought to the island by Nepalese soldiers sent to provide relief, but none of the soldiers is known to have suffered cholera before arriving in Haiti.

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How Haiti’s Earthquake Has Affected The Other Side of Hispaniola Island

The flooded Malpasse border crossing between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has become a disturbing symbol of how the two nations that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola are standing on the brink of chaos as they struggle with the pressures of deteriorating natural and social conditions.

Passport control on the Haitian side has become inundated by the rising waters of Lake Azuei and travellers entering the building must follow a stepping stone path of breeze blocks to keep their feet dry as they have their documents stamped. The Dominican side is like a scene from the Wild West, as travellers arrive on the backs of ageing motorcycles to be surrounded by gangs of jobless youths pleading to carry their bags in wheelbarrows through puddles to the customs office.

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Sean Penn Continues to Raise Money for Haiti at Cannes

(Reuters) – The Cannes film festival took time out from the movies to raise money for Haiti on Friday night, with Sean Penn at the helm pleading the humanitarian cause at a celebrity gala.

“Okay, room. Haiti is watching us tonight like you cannot believe,” Penn told the black-tie crowd who had paid up to $100,000 for a table at the “Carnival in Cannes”, just steps from the famous red carpet.

Three people paid $100,000 each in an auction to accompany Penn on a three-day trip to Haiti where the actor, a two-time Academy Award winner, has been active since the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake.

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Haiti’s Solution: Bilateral Relationships Based on Mutual Respects

Apparently the international community has decided that Haitians are a diseased people. Otherwise what else could explain the recurring rounds of vaccination of the last five years and the insulting sight of MINUSTAH soldiers wearing gloves to avoid skin to skin contact with the population? The latest round of vaccinations, supposedly against cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, is perplexing to say the least. Although it has killed thousands of Haitians since its introduction in Haiti by a contingent of Nepalese soldiers, the disease is highly preventable and treatable according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health experts.

Eliminate bacteria-human contamination rather than inoculate prospective victims would be the right course of action. Prior to the UN occupation (2004-?), the disease was practically non-existent in Haiti, even though 2/3 of the population did not have access to clean water. Assuredly the population had developed some immunity against the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that causes cholera, until the arrival of the Nepalese. Therefore, as carriers of the deadly strain of cholera that caused the outbreak (2010-present), the Nepalese soldiers are the ones in need of inoculation not the prospective victims who are henceforth exposed to adverse reactions from the vaccine.

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Le baiser d’une mère

Le baiser d’une mère

J’aime après un beau jour une nuit vaporeuse
Et le ciel parsemé de mille étoiles d’or
Et la lune d’argent qui vient mystérieuse
… Répandre sa paleur sur le monde qui dort

J’aime aussi du matin la senteur embaumée
La rosée émaillant l’arbuste de ses splendeurs
J’aime du doux zephir l’haleine parfumée
Et l’oiseau éveillant dans les bosquets en fleurs

Lorsque tombe la nuit avec mélancolie
Que frissonne dans l’air un souffle harmonieux
J’aime du rossignol la fraîche mélodie
Voix pure qu’on prendrait pour une voix des cieux

J’aime un bel enfant noir et sa mine éveillée
Et son regard parfois si malin et si fou
Et ses cheveux flottants tout bouclés sur son cou
Et ses propos naïfs, charmes de la veillée

Mais j’aime mieux encore les baisers d’une mère
Son sourire divin, son amour consolant
J’aime mieux les accents de la douce prière
Qu’elle fait begayer à son plus jeune enfant

Oswald Durand~

Haiti’s Search For Power Begins

Sometimes it seems as though the people here have only the sun and moon: the blinding sun that bakes their mud homes and moonlight that with flickering gas lamps fights against the dark of night.

Electricity arrived just three months ago in this mountain village, and it’s gone as often as it’s on. With no power, there is no industry, just tiny farms and grinding hunger. Now that will be changing, with the help of that sun.

A Haitian aid agency has just installed 63 solar panels that will power the pumps of a fish hatchery it hopes will give jobs to 100 people after it formally opens next month.

Boucan Carre is among dozens of projects across Haiti where the government and development agencies are using some of the $4.5 billion in earthquake aid to solve one of the bottlenecks that kept Haiti in poverty long before the shattering earthquake of January 2010: a critical lack of electricity of any sort, whether from hydro plants, solar cells or oil-fired generators.

Laurent Lamothe To Become Haiti’s Prime Minister

Haitian President Michel Martelly has tapped Laurent Lamothe, the country’s foreign minister, to become its next prime minister.

The letter designating the 39-year-old businessman-turned-politician arrived in the Senate Thursday afternoon, Senate President Simon Desras said.

Lamothe, 39, is one of the Martelly’s closest advisers. The two have been longtime friends and were business partners in a telecommunications venture before Martelly’s candidacy for president.

Desras and Levaillant Louis-Jeune, president of the lower chamber of parliament, were notified of the choice in a meeting with Martelly Thursday morning. The president later made it official in a letter.

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