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Crisis: Hati can no longer wait, says the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

  • April 2, 2024
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P-to-P, April 2, 2024 [AlterPresse] — “The Haitian population can no longer wait”, faced with the escalation of armed violence, which has devastating consequences on their lives, declares, in a video, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Austrian Volker Türk, on the occasion of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, this Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Geneva (Switzerland), which was attended by the online agency AlterPresse.

Volker Turk calls for emergency measures to “restore a certain degree of public order, in order to prevent violence from further harming the population and to ensure access to vital humanitarian aid.”

“All measures taken to restore security must fully comply with human rights standards. Humanitarian corridors must be put in place as soon as possible.”

Volker Türk encourages all national stakeholders to firmly place the national interest at the center of their current discussions, so that an agreement can be reached, without further delay, on the arrangements for the transitional government.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCDR) urges the transitional authorities to strive to create the necessary conditions for the holding of free and fair elections and to also begin the process of strengthening police and judicial institutions, in order to to restore the rule of law and, therefore, put an end to impunity.

Various fringes in Haitian society are still at loggerheads in the search for a solution to the multidimensional crisis in Haiti, notes AlterPresse.

The process of establishing a Presidential Transitional Council, made up of 9 members from different sectors to replace the de facto government that has resigned, faces certain obstacles.

On request of a council of ministers, led by the resigning de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry and held on the afternoon of April 1, 2024jurists are finalizing a draft decree establishing, organizing and functioning of the Interim Presidential Council in order to make it compliant with the laws of the republic.

The members of the government looked at “the best way to create the Interim Presidential Council and appoint its members”, indicates an official press release, made public on social networks in the early evening of Monday April 1, 2024.

Sources close to the Presidential Council fear that delaying tactics will be implemented by the current holders of de facto powerwho do not seem to be concerned about the wave of armed violence in the country.

“All human rights are affected” by armed violence in Haiti, deplores the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, highlighting a rapid deterioration in recent weeks of the situation, which was already alarming.

“The scale of human rights violations is unprecedented in Haiti’s modern history. This is a humanitarian catastrophe for an already exhausted people.”

Volker Türk reports incessant and coordinated attacks, perpetrated by criminal gangs since the end of February 2024 against police stations, prisons, essential infrastructure and other public and private installations in Haiti, plagued by total chaos, which began with civil unrest in early 2024.

“The protection of children must be an absolute priority, including children recruited by armed gangs. This will require specific reintegration programs, including prolonged psychosocial support, as well as guaranteed access to quality education and healthcare.”

It calls on the international community to take stronger measures to prevent the illicit supply, sale, diversion or transfer to Haiti of small arms, light weapons and ammunition.

Volker Türk reports a shocking increase in murders and kidnappings, noting a pervasiveness of sexual violence, particularly against women and girls.

1,434 people died and 797 others were injured in gang-related violence across the country, between January 1 and March 20, 2024.

The number of internally displaced people in the country stands at more than 360 thousand, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This increase “is accompanied by an increased risk of sexual violence, because individuals find themselves far from their areas of residence and their communities,” underlines the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. [emb rc apr 02/04/2024 11:20]