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The level of violence in Haiti requires protection for migrants and other asylum seekers in America and the Caribbean

  • June 6, 2024
  • 20 Min
  • 9
the-level-of-violence-in-haiti-requires-protection-for-migrants-and-other-asylum-seekers-in-america-and-the-caribbean

This document was written by the Hemispheric Network for the Rights of Haitian Migrants (Redma).

This document was accessed by AlterPresse on May 24, 2024

The increase in acts of violence in Haiti calls for protection for migrants and asylum seekers

We are members of the Hemispheric Network for the Rights of Haitian Migrants (Redma), a transnational coalition of leaders working on the rights of Haitian migrants and organizations with Haitians leading them, as part of the fight for the rights of refugees and Haitian migrants. We have network members in 13 countries in Western America, including Haiti. Today, the level of acts of violence in Haiti has increased greatly. This causes more people to need a refuge, where they will be safe. Despite the increasing and widespread persecution and violence in Haiti, several countries in the Americas continue to push back and have prejudiced behavior against Haitians seeking refuge in their home territory. We are asking neighboring countries in the region to respect the rights of Haitian migrants and those seeking refuge.

During the past several years, groups with weapons have carried out terror and other acts of violence against the population of Haiti. This causes people to move from their homes, both within the country and across borders. Such violence was increased greatly at the end of February 2024, with armed groups attacking a series of important institutions, such as airports, ports and police stations. From the beginning of 2024 to the end of March 2024, more than 2 thousand 500 people killed and injured by gang and gun violence. More than 360,000 people are internally displaced. The country was under a state of emergency for more than two months. Violence close schools, markets, and hospital while the acts of kidnapping and murder continue with impunity, as well as abuse and other acts of violence against the bodies of women and girls, fear invades the lives of the Haitian people every day.

It makes us very sad when we see several countries, such as the Dominican Republic, the United States, the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos Islands, to prevent Haitians from entering the territory without documents, and continue with repatriation, deportation, at such a critical time. These actions violate the obligations of these countries not to turn away those who seek refuge. The decision was made by the US government Deported more than 50 people to Haiti on the plane, Thursday, April 19, 2024, less than a week after the United States organized a plane trip to remove its own citizens from the country, while the international airport of Port-au-Prince remains closed, it is a hypocritical decision, without regard for the rights of migrants , which strikes people’s minds. The United States government sent these Haitians to a level of danger, they would not accept for their own citizens. Dominican Republic closed the upper and lower borders it has with Haiti, while the deportations do not stop. These deportations and the repatriation of 65 Haitian Americans took place on March 12, 2024, and the repatriation of 263 Haitians from the Bahamas by boat on March 20, 2024 (an alternative measure taken because international air travel was suspended on Haiti) shows the contemptuous behavior they have for the lives and rights of Haitians. These measures fall under the obligation of these countries to respect the rights and international agreements they have signed.

Immigration authorities often violate the rights and dignity of the Haitian people, by imprisoning them and continuing to deport them. As several organizations that are members of the network gather information about these cases, among them Groups supporting returnees and refugees (Garr) réfugiés (Garr), the act of Haitian rights in the Dominican Republic has been repeated more recently. Last year, the Dominican Republic deported more than 250 thousand Haitians . Haitian women and children are subjected to all kinds of acts of violence at the hands of the authorities, including the immigration authorities. For more than two (2) years, Dominican Republic will carry out a well-planned migration operation in maternity clinics and hospitals where he takes pregnant Haitian women to jail and deport them. In April 2024, a fourteen (14) year old Haitian girl was reported how a man, who introduced himself as a Dominican Republic immigration agent, raped her. In September 2023, An immigration agent was arrested for raping a Haitian woman in front of his son, who is 4 years old, at the international airport of Las Americas in the capital of the Dominican Republic. These acts are not so-so acts. It is an act that shows how the Dominican government and immigration authorities are undermining the rights of Haitians.

We, the Hemispheric Network for the Rights of Haitian Migrants, here are our demands:

We join and support the latest Open Letterfrom Amnesty International in collaboration with several organizations, among them Recognized and #HaitianosRD, which is 2 members of our network, to the government of the Dominican Republic. The letter describes a wide range of human rights abuses, which are being carried out against human rights activists, Haitians on the move, and Dominicans of Haitian descent. We join these calls for the government to stop these collective deportations and the immigration policy of the racist facts.

We denounce and condemn ad The US government said they are ready to expanded use of Guantanamo if there are more attempts to reach the United States by boat, from Haiti. Haitian Women for Haitian Refugeesone of the network’s member organizations, had several people on its team who witnessed the abuses and human rights abuses of the 1990s, when the United States used Guantanamo to hold thousands of Haitians who were fleeing violence were imprisoned. The proposal to expand the use of the Guantanamo base – still because of the fear of not having more Black people arriving on their shores – is an action that has shocked the Haitian-American community, and those who defend human rights all over the world. In an investigation, conducted in 2023 on U.S. Coast Guard treatment of unaccompanied minorsthere were several Coast Guard officials and immigration officials who acknowledged that Haitians “face a distinct disadvantage in passing their protection claims, because almost no one working on Coast Guard ships can speak or understand Creole.”

We meet and support the requests of our network members, Haitian Bridge Alliancemade in a letter it was sent to the United States government on March 26, 2024, which asked the government to reconsider the case of Haitians who may have the Temporary Protection Status (TPS), to quickly release the Haitians placed in immigration detention, and also to speed up the process to reunite Haitian families and release them for humanitarian reasons. We ask all governments in the American region to urgently provide the possibility and opportunities for family reunification.

We are asking the governments of the Western Hemisphere to extend the protection of the law, the countries can offer the natives of Haiti. There is an urgency to broaden and expand asylum and refugee status, as well as broaden protections from deportation and detention. ALL deportations and forced returns must stop.

We ask the countries that signed the Cartagena Declaration to recognize that the natives of Haiti deserve the protection of this Declaration. We are welcome analysis and reporting The Mexican Human Rights Center, CDH Fray Matias, and the Global Justice Clinic at the New York University School of Law have just released, which shows why Mexico must provide Haitians with refugee protection recognized by the Cartagena Declaration, as a way to comply with its legal obligations.
We welcome the new guidance provided by the United Nations Refugee Agency (HCR). Considerations on International Protection for those who are fleeing Haiti, as it is recognized that there are several categories of Haitians who can receive asylum, on the basis of the 1951 convention on what has to do with refugees, and there is a series of strong evidence of extreme violence, numerous acts of maspináy human rights , and other circumstances that break public order in Haiti – circumstances that consider a person as a refugee based on the Cartagena Declaration. HCR recovered even His request was made in November 2022, where he asked to stop deportations and forced returns to Haiti. We believe it is an obligation for people to recognize that Haitians and Haitians have been fleeing, because of the violence and degrading conditions described by HCR, for several years, and there is no possibility of returning to safe conditions at this time, regardless of when they would leave. they

We are asking HCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to reinforce their recent declarations with more material and legal support for Haitian refugees throughout the region. Haitian migration concerns all American countries. This requires a consequential solution to the situation of the region. As there is a Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (R4V), under the coordination of HCR and OIM, there is supposed to be a regional mechanism for Haitians and Haitians, which stands in the idea of ​​improving protection and support issues for Haitians and Haitians in the region. An assessment of the needs and the coordination mechanism of money for migrants is a long-standing need.

We are asking people who want to stand in solidarity with Black migrants and Haitian migrants, to condemn the abusive behavior of the government against Haitians and Haitians. They must be required to take adequate measures of welcome and protection for Haitians and Haitians. Haiti is often recognized and remembered as the forefather of freedom for many people — the African diaspora as well as many others in Latin America. But we must not let our commitment remain only within the limits of this memory.

Our Haitian brothers and sisters need solidarity. But this solidarity can’t be just talk – it must be accompanied by more protection for migrant women and men. As Haitian migrants and Haitian asylum seekers discover time and time again, prejudice and anti-Black and anti-Haitian behavior knows no bounds. Our solidarity must not have borders either.

It is time, it is time for the treatment of prejudice and racism against Haitian migrants to stop, to treat them as people who are trying to resist and seek life for their children and loved ones. Haitian refugees must no longer be subjected to violence and neglect.

Here are the members of the Hemispheric Network for the Rights of Haitian Migrants (Redma) who signed this statement :

Gabrielle Apollon, Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law* (USA)

Sharma Aurelien (Canada)

Ana Maria Belique, Recognized Movement (Repiblik Dominiken)

Katia Bonte, Group supporting returnees and refugees / Garr (Haiti)

Jean Wilnick Cadet, Social Union of Haitian Immigrants (Brezil)

Myrtha Désulmé, Haiti-Jamaica Society (Jamayik)

Marie Etienne, Haitian Association of Barbados Inc. (Barbad)

Rose Taïna Exant, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (United States)

Krystina François, City University of New York Graduate School and Baruch College,
Department of Political Science (USA)

Investigative Conclave of Legal and Social Sciences Foundation (CIJYS) (Chili)

Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (Etazini)

Louby Georges, The Flipside (Bahamas)

Aline Gue (Etazini)

Sam Guillaume, Group supporting returnees and refugees / Garr (Haiti)

Jackson Jean, Research and Extension Program on Afro-descendants and Afrodiasporic Studies (UNIAFRO/EIDAES/UNSAM) (Ajantin)

Jean Eric Joseph, Association of Haitians in Lomba do Pinheiro (Brezil)

Roudy Joseph, #HaitianosRD (Dominican Republic)

Guerline Jozef, Haitian Bridge Alliance (Etazini)

Colette Lespinasse, Foyer Maurice Sixto (Haiti)

Victor Louidor, Fray Matias de Cordova Rights Center (Meksik)

Wooldy Louidor, Pontifical Javeriana University (Kolonbi)

Norveline Norvin, Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana (Giyan)
Wendy Osirus, Conseil de Migrants et de la Diaspora haitian internationale (Comidhi) (Dominican Republic)

Jean Claude Pierre-Paul, Creolophones (Kan ada)