OHCHR expresses concern at the situation in Haiti

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concerns at the situation in Haiti on account of the ongoing political unrest which threatens the aggravating economic situation.  A statement by the OHCHR stated: “We are concerned that persistent insecurity, poverty and structural inequalities in Haiti coupled with increasing political tensions may lead to a pattern of public discontent followed by violent police repression and other human rights violations.  

In recent months, kidnappings for ransom, attacks by criminal gangs against perceived rival neighbourhoods and widespread insecurity have increased in a context of almost total impunity. In parallel, political tensions are resurfacing due to disputes over the timing and scope of elections and a referendum on constitutional reform proposed by the Government. 

Calls for mass protests have been growing. This in turn raises concerns of renewed human rights violations by security forces during the policing of protests as seen during the months-long protests in 2018 and 2019, as well as during demonstrations in October and November ,of last year”.  

According to an OHCHR report on the unrest, protests started relatively peacefully in July 2018 but became increasingly violent over time, with many violations and abuses of the rights to life, security of the person and effective remedy.

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