IACHR welcomes the international community's support and calls on Haiti to ensure a peaceful transition

March 21, 2024

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the international community's efforts towards solutions to the crisis in Haiti, and calls for a commitment to dialogue and compromise within Haiti to strengthen the chances of improving the security needed for a peaceful political transition with the goal of overcoming the humanitarian, social, economic and institutional crisis that the country has faced during the last years, as detailed in the IACHR's Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti.

In this regard, the IACHR values the efforts by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that held an emergency high-level meeting in Jamaica on March 11, 2024. It was attended by Haitian stakeholders and international development partners to discuss the multidimensional crisis in Haiti.

The agreements reached during the high-level meeting include the creation of a Transitional Presidential Council comprised by seven voting members and two non-voting observers, with one member from civil society and one member of the InterFaith community, and pursuit of arrangements for a peaceful transition, ensuring continuity of governance, and establishing a national security council. Likewise, participants agreed to continue collaborating with the international community for the accelerated deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission authorized by the United Nations Security Council in October 2023. The Commission also notes the decision of some international partners to increase its financial assistance to Haiti and provide additional humanitarian assistance to support food security initiatives. The IACHR takes note of the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Despite these efforts, the Commission reiterates its deep concern over the current situation. According to information provided by civil society organizations inside and outside Haiti during a recent meeting, the situation is extremely serious, catastrophic and chaotic. In particular, the organizations remarked that the violence perpetrated by armed groups continues to escalate to even greater alarming levels. Several assassinations, kidnappings and acts of sexual violence are committed on a daily basis. In this context, women and children represent the most vulnerable groups. Children cannot go to school. The organizations also expressed the terror they are facing after the massive escape from prison of around 4,000 inmates. Likewise, as the entire capital has been barricaded, people are unable to go to the countryside to find a safe place. Some students are trapped in universities alone without any security. Plus, the attacks to the Airport make it difficult to enter products, which can lead to lack of food and may result in serious malnutrition of many Haitians.

The IACHR reiterates the relevance of searching for permanent solutions to overcome this serious crisis with the international community's attention and support, and led by Haitians together with the civil society organizations' participation. In this sense, the Commission encourages Member States and other countries to continue efforts to stem violence and insecurity. These efforts should also prioritize the establishment, reinforcement, and support of institutional capacities, civil society networks, and public policies and should incorporate the protection of human rights, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and the restoration of citizen confidence in public institutions. For that purpose, it is essential that this transition process involves the participation of individuals, groups, communities, and civil society organizations without discrimination and ensuring transparency and accountability.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 055/24

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