Haiti: letter to international donors concerning human rights and international assistance

On March 31, 2010, many countries came together at the International Donor Conference for Haiti, an event organized in reaction to the disastrous earthquake that struck Haiti earlier in the year. Prior to the event ESCR-Net, in cooperation with a coalition of human rights organizations, drafted a letter urging those attending the conference to ensure that human rights was the guiding principle implemented when supplying international assistance to Haiti.

Prior to the earthquake, international aid had many times failed to address human rights concerns within the country and Haitians were often excluded from decisions affecting their basic rights to food, medical assistance, water and housing. In particular, women suffered from disproportionate economic and social rights violations.

Unless assistance is given in a human rights-based way there is a risk that marginalization and abuses will continue. Specifically, the lack of food, water, shelter, privacy and security are of great concern for women who are already susceptible to physical violence and sexual abuse. The letter sent to the donor countries called on their governments to adopt a human rights-based approach that would empower the Haitian people in the long term and strengthen the states capacity to protect human rights. By advancing human rights-based aid donor states would help ensure not to repeat mistakes from the past. 

See here for the complete letter urging donor governments. 

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