Rule of Law

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The president of the Haitian Bar Association, Carlos Hercule, knows that the rule of law in his country is tenuous, and that people have little faith in the justice system. “We have attorneys who [single-handedly] represent both parties in real-estate deals. We have people representing themselves as attorneys who have not been accredited. And we have judges and officials who accept bribes,” he recently explained to me in French, through a translator.

His French is impeccable, but that’s another problem. French is the official language of the courts in Haiti, but as much as 95 percent of the population speaks only Creole, so most defendants—if they can even afford to hire a lawyer—can’t fully grasp what goes on during the court proceedings. There are no public defenders, and available legal aid is extremely limited. Adding to the disparity, as experts have pointed out, is the fact that many Haitian lawyers are typically invested in their own elite social status and rarely offer direct defense to the poor, which they perceive as debasing the profession. The result is that the vast majority of the country’s 10.3 million-plus people—roughly three-quarters of whom live on less than $2 a day—have no real access to justice.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/04/establishing-the-rule-of-law-in-a-country-where-justice-hardly-exists/391113/?utm_content=buffera1062&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Instruments for Haitian Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Novack family of Miami is stepping in to assist Haiti’s youngsters with an area of education that’s often overlooked, even in American schools: music. They opened their first children’s music institution in August of last year, and a second is soon to follow.

Currently, they’re collecting instruments to be used for educational purposes, so start rounding up your flutes and guitars for a good cause.

The Novack family are philanthropists, and major supporters of Haiti. Allison and her brother Jason are co-founders of 1308 Productions, a family-owned non-profit that supports music education.

“I’ve always known that music is a huge part of Haitian culture, but that access to instruments there is limited, making it difficult for any child to find their potential musical talent,” Allison says. “Music is proven to bring people together, advance learning skills, and elevate happiness – it’s the universal language, and the best remedy for hard times.”

Their first children’s music school opened its doors in Tabarre, Haiti, in August of 2014.

Protests gain momentum..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nationwide uprising against the regime of business partners President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe continued to gain steam this week with massive demonstrations in several major cities, including Port-au-Prince, Léogane, Petit Goâve, Cap-Haïtien, Fort-Liberté, Ouanaminthe, and Aux Cayes.

Feeling the protests’ heat, Martelly made a short televised national address on Nov. 28 to announce his formation of an “advisory commission” made up of 11 people whom he called “credible, honest, and trusted by society” to provide him “in eight days” with “a recommendation” on what path to take out of Haiti’s political imbroglio, saying that “the nation is divided, the problems are many, the problems are complicated.”

Read more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nationwide-uprising-gains-strength-in-haiti/5417866

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.”

 

Read more:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/children-haitian-descent-dominican-republic-barred-school-article-1.1754213#ixzz30DAevwf5

 

 

 

BON BAGAY: CARIBBEAN ARTISTS

 

BON BAGAY, spent a recent afternoon with Ms. Loris Crawford, covering such topics as,  Caribbean Art,  Empowerment, and Haiti. Ms. Crawford, a highly respected arts advisor, gallery manager, event producer and professor of Business Management; with over twenty-five years of experience, specializing in African, Caribbean, and African-American Art. Loris was the founder of Savacou Gallery, one of the first galleries in the United States to specialize in African, Caribbean, and African-American Art and the first such full-service, for-profit gallery in New York City. In this capacity, she has built thousands of art collections. She also founded Art Off The Main: The African, Caribbean & Latin American Art Fair.

 

(See interview below).

BON BAGAY: INTERVIEW WITH MS. LORIS CRAWFORD from JaffaFilms on Vimeo.

Join Loris Crawford and art lovers, collectors, artists and guests @ the 2nd annual, BON BAGAY: ART AUCTION & CHARITY EVENT FOR HAITI. Thursday, December 12th, 2013 @ Raw Space Gallery in Harlem, NY. An evening of art, music, food, guest speakers and film to support aid organizations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the fight of civil rights and citizenship for hundreds of thousands Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants.

 

Loris Crawford has lectured extensively on the African, African-American, Caribbean and Latin American art movements at venues such as The Museum of African Art, ArtExpo New York, and the National Black Fine Art Show and has served as consultant on special art projects for major corporations including Lehman Brothers and Kraft Foods.

Among her media credits are: Art Business News, ArtSpeak, The New York Daily News, Newsday, The New York Times, The Amsterdam News and City Sun newspapers; Décor, Black Enterprise, Essence, Art Preview, Country Living and The Network Journal Magazines;WBET and New York Fox 5 television, and WBAI,WWRL and WLIB radio.

 

 

 

Unsafe abortions: Haiti’s abortion crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE — After one clinic failed to remove the 16-week-old fetus growing inside her, the desperate high school student turned to the “doctor” known to her only as Little Old Father, Ti Le Pè.

 

Standing in her sparse bedroom, the bearded man with a baseball cap first prepared a special bath — a mixture of Haitian moonshine, essential oil and a “special soap.” He then put her in bed, strapped her swollen stomach and disappeared. At 5 the next morning, he returned with a cold, murky herbal concoction.

 

The young woman, who had been secretly hiding her pregnancy, sipped the herbal remedy and waited for her contractions to finally expel the embryo.

 

After three days of vomiting, heavy bleeding and agonizing pain, she stumbled into a maternity hospital. Doctors rushed her into surgery where they stopped the bleeding, and repaired her perforated uterus, botched in the first abortion attempt.

 

“I thought everything would be OK,” said Marie, 20, her voice, like her emaciated body, devoid of strength a month into her two-month hospitalization. “If I knew things would end up like this, I wouldn’t have done it. I nearly died.”

 

Abortion is illegal in Haiti but women and girls are losing their uteruses and their lives as they turn to clandestine, increasingly deadly ways to terminate their pregnancies. These unsafe abortions are leading to a public health crisis in a region with one of the world’s highest rates of unintended pregnancies, experts say.

 

The long hidden crisis has started to emerge publicly as women’s groups, physicians and human rights advocates push for changes in Haiti’s strict ban on interrupting a pregnancy. The push comes as reports of rape and sexual violence increased after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, and as the country’s moribund economy and adolescent pregnancies make taboo practices such as abortion no longer unthinkable.

 

“A woman or girl who has decided she cannot keep a pregnancy will find a way, and will accept the health risks that go with an unsafe abortion,” said Catrin Schulte-Hillen, a reproductive health advisor with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Geneva, Switzerland. “There is a huge gap between the reality and legality of abortion. The price we pay … is the lives of women.”

 

Read more here:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/23/3775363/unsafe-abortions-haitis-hidden.html#storylink=cpy

 

Hundreds deported to Haiti from DR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 350 people have been expelled to Haiti from The Dominican Republic, or have fled of their own accord, after an elderly Dominican couple was slain in an apparent burglary near the border between the two countries.

 

A mob retaliated by killing a Haitian man, two migrant advocates said on Sunday.

 

 

The Reverend Antoine Lissaint of Haiti’s Jesuit Refugee and Migrant Organization told The Associated Press on Sunday that a group of Dominicans killed the man because they blamed people of Haitian descent for the fatal stabbing of the couple.

 

Dominican police issued a statement saying Jose Mendez Diaz and Luja Encarnacion Diaz, both 70, were killed during an apparent home burglary in which the killers got away with two sacks of coffee.

 

Detectives found a knife and stick at the scene.

 

There was no comment from the Dominican government.

 

A group of Haitians who had been living in the southwestern Dominican town of Neiba the past several years sought refuge at a police station because they feared further reprisals, Lissaint said.

 

Police handed the group over to soldiers who drove them to the border and expelled them to Haiti on Saturday.

 

Migrant advocates said some of the people sent out of the Dominican Republic were eager to leave because they feared there would be more mob violence.

 

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a long history of acrimony as neighbours on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

 

Worsening relations

 

But relations between the two have worsened since a Dominican court decision in September threatened to revoke citizenship for residents of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent.

 

Jean-Baptiste Azolin, deputy coordinator for the Support Group for Repatriates and Refugees, said not all the people who were repatriated were picked up at the police station.

 

“Some of them were caught in the streets, with their children, and were sent to Haiti, like that, without anything,” Azolin said.

 

Workers for the Haitian government’s National Office of Migration greeted the expelled Haitians and others of Haitian descent, many of them mothers with their children, including a 3-day-old boy.

 

They were taken to a shelter north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where they received food.

 

They were also each given the equivalent of $22 to help them return to their former Haitian towns.

 

The Haitian government objected to the deportation.

 

Salim Succar, an adviser to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, said in an email: “We have taken certain measures to welcome these people and disapprove of the way this repatriation was done.”

 

Human rights advocates say the Dominican citizenship ruling could disenfranchise more than 200,000 people, many of whom have lived there for years or decades.