Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) works with the peo­ple of Haiti in their non-violent strug­gle for the con­sol­i­da­tion of con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy, jus­tice and human rights, by distribut­ing objec­tive and accu­rate infor­ma­tion on human rights con­di­tions in Haiti, pur­su­ing legal cases, and coop­er­at­ing with human rights and sol­i­dar­ity groups in Haiti and abroad. IJDH draws on its founders’ internationally-acclaimed suc­cess accom­pa­ny­ing Haiti’s poor major­ity in the fields of law, med­i­cine and social jus­tice activism. They seek the restora­tion of the rule of law and democ­racy in the short term, and work for the long-term sus­tain­able change nec­es­sary to avert Haiti’s next crisis.

IJDH works with grass­roots groups to promote human rights in Haiti to help develop an effec­tive human rights advo­cacy pro­gram with global out­reach. In the United States, IJDH col­lab­o­rates with grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing faith-based, sol­i­dar­ity, devel­op­ment, and human­i­tar­ian orga­ni­za­tions to coor­di­nate advo­cacy on human rights in Haiti, and net­works with sol­i­dar­ity and Hait­ian Diaspora activists through­out the world. Our work seeks to change the inter­na­tional envi­ron­ment that allows such mas­sive dis­re­spect for social, eco­nomic, civil and polit­i­cal rights to flourish.

The Insti­tute gath­ers infor­ma­tion on human rights vio­la­tions in Haiti, and relays it accurately to the inter­na­tional human rights com­mu­nity, media and grass­roots groups. They work closely with oth­ers inves­ti­gat­ing human rights in Haiti, and pro­vide train­ing and analy­sis to indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions inter­ested in Haiti, includ­ing vis­it­ing del­e­ga­tions. Their long col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hait­ian grass­roots groups and their legal expe­ri­ence in Haiti allows them to pro­vide con­sis­tent, cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion and analy­sis. Their doc­u­men­ta­tion is rou­tinely used by advo­cates and deci­sion mak­ers, and they are often cited in the press. Shin­ing a sharp spot­light on human rights abusers and their for­eign sup­port pro­vides pro­tec­tion to poten­tial vic­tims and empow­ers pro-democracy advo­cates in Haiti.

The IJDH helps vic­tims of human rights vio­la­tions pur­sue cases in national and inter­na­tional courts. In Haiti, its lawyers rep­re­sent polit­i­cal pris­on­ers and per­se­cuted jour­nal­ists, and doc­u­ment cases of mur­der, tor­ture and destruc­tion of prop­erty. Out­side of Haiti the Institute helps pre­pare cases for inter­na­tional courts and assist in civil lit­i­ga­tion in the United States. This work aims to stop cur­rent human rights vio­la­tions, deter future human rights vio­la­tions and obtain com­pen­sa­tion for vic­tims of past violations.

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