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6/9/06

Haitian women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at hearing against Death Squad Leader, Toto Constant | Rape Victims in Haiti To March Through Capital | UN commits to apply DDR with social programs for disarming outlaws in Haiti…will death squad leaders, Guy Philippe, Jean Tatoune, Chamblain, Lame Timanchet also be EXCLUDED from this new UN DDR and in the same manner being proposed by Mullet for the Stanley Lucas/HDP top four Site Soley targets?

 

   

Date: 6 September 2006

Ezili Danto’s Note:
UN now re-commits to apply DDR with social programs for disarming outlaws in Haiti. But, according to a Sept. 5, 2006 AP article, the UN’s Edmund Mullet said, “This (new UN DDR initiative) is not for the big people responsible for human rights violence or criminal activities or killings or kidnappings. That we have to deal with in a different way..” HLLN wonders will coup d’etat death squad leaders, such as, Guy Phillip, Jean Tatoune, Louis Jodel Chamblain and Lame Timanchet also be EXCLUDED from this DDR in the same manner being proposed by Edmond Mulet for the Stanley Lucas/HDP-identified, top four marked targets out of Site Soley? (See, Stanley Lucas’ top four targets in Site Soley at

www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/testimonies/orelapril22.html#lucas

) Will the UN continue to take sides, denying Haitians in Site Soley the right to self-defense against coup d’etat predators and unprovoked attacks on Site Soley civilians? Will the UN continue abdicating their roles as “peacekeepers” in Haiti by only criminalizing the Haitian men in Site Soley and ignoring the reason these men say they cannot disarm. In essence, will the UN continue using DDR and their guns, diplomatic and political powers to only protect the coup d’etat death squad leaders, rapists and kidnappers along with their bourgeois allies who took up arms against the oustered Constitutional government?

(See also the Lancet Research Study:
Human Rights Abuses Frequent in Haiti’s capital by Athena Kolbe and Royce
Hutson of Wayne State University
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/human_rights_reports/lancet.html )

Recomended Links
Site Soley united, wants peace. Why is UN attacking Site Soley, not equally
applying DDR?
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/testimonies/wyclef4.html

Wyclef in Site Soley
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/testimonies/wyclef1.html

*
Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood |
Democracy Now!
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144235

Listen to segment
play.rbn.com/?url=demnow/demnow/demand/2006/aug/audio/dn20060831.ra&proto=rtsp&start=28:55

– Haiti: Rape Victims To March Through Capital, Hartbeat News

– Women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at Hearing Against Haitian Death Squad Leader
Emmanuel Constant | Democracy Now!
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144239

Listen to segment
play.rbn.com/?url=demnow/demnow/demand/2006/aug/audio/dn20060831.ra&proto=rtsp&start=37:58

– Thousands killed in post-Aristide Haiti, study finds
Ouster of leader led to violence: journal | Jeff Heinrich, The Montreal Gazette

– Amnesty International on So Ann’s release

– Effort begun to get Haiti’s gangsters to disarm, AP

– Haitian business leaders urge force if U.N.-backed gang disarmament fails, AP

– Haiti, U.N. to Disarm Gang Members, AP

– The lost children of Haiti | The New York Times, Feb. 5, 2006
www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/05/opinion/edhaiti.php

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www.hardbeatnews.com/editor/RTE/my_documents/my_files/details.asp?newsid=10606

Haiti: Rape Victims To March Through Capital

Hardbeatnews, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Fri. Sept. 1, 2006: Hundreds of women who claim they are the survivors of rape are set to march through Port-Au-Prince this morning, in protest against ongoing violence and discrimination against their sex.

The rally, set to begin from 10 a.m. at Place Jeremie, will feature the women, their faces veiled, in what organizers from the Commission of Women Victims for Victims say is a cry for justice to the Haitian government.

Founder Eramithe Delva explained, “We are veiling our faces because this is how they come to our homes to rape us, beat us, destroy our homes, burn our things. The veil also is a symbol of how we as women are silenced and marginalized in all spheres of public life.”

In the wake of a massive exodus from the neighborhood of Grand Ravine, more than 60 new victims have come forward to tell harrowing stories of the escalating violence and their desperate efforts to survive and save their children.

The KOFAVIV, bills itself as the largest community-based rape crisis group in Haiti. Organizers say they want both the government and the international community to take concerted action to address the conditions at the root of violence.

“Protecting women’s rights does not only mean providing security in the streets or putting perpetrators in jail when they commit rape. We are asking for everyone’s rights to be respected, because we know that poverty is one of the reasons why many people become involved in violence,” the group said in a statement yesterday.

KOFAVIV was founded by a group of survivors of rape from the country’s 1991 to 1994 military dictatorship to provide emergency medical assistance and peer support to new women victims. Since its formation in late 2004, KOFAVIV officials say they have assisted more than 1,000 victims of rape, but believe that the figures represent only a fraction of the total victims, as many women are afraid to report that they have been raped or to seek treatment. ? Hardbeatnews.com

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
www.amnestyusa.org/news/document.do?id=ENGAMR360102006

5 September 2006
AI Index: AMR 36/010/2006

HAITI – APPEAL CASE

UPDATE: Political prisoner Annette Auguste
finally released following 26 months of detention

This document updates the appeal case Haiti: Release political prisoner Annette Auguste – 20 months of arbitrary detention (AI Index: AMR 36/003/2006, 11 January 2006).

Having spent 826 days in custody folk singer and community leader, Annette Auguste was finally acquitted of the charges against her and released on 15 August. Prosecutors [Commisaires du Gouvernement ] in the trial deemed that there was no evidence against Annette Auguste and the presiding judge accordingly found her not guilty

Annette Auguste, also known as Sò Ann (Sister Ann), was arrested illegally without a warrant at her home in the early hours of 10 May 2004 by US marines and handed over to the Haitian National Police. Her arrest was in relation to a violent attack allegedly perpetrated on 5 December 2003 by supporters of Fanmi Lavalas party of which Annette Auguste is also a member. Fanmi Lavalas activists were alleged to have violently confronted university students who were protesting against then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and leader of Fanmi Lavalas at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Haitian National University in Port-au-Prince. At least 24 people were reported injured during the clashes.

Annette Auguste had been in custody for 23 months without being formally charged when she was finally indicted on 13 April this year. She was charged with association de malfaiteurs (criminal conspiracy), bodily harm and damage to State property. Although the Haitian Code of Criminal Procedure (Code d?instruction criminelle) stipulates that a criminal investigation must be concluded within three months of an arrest, in Annette Auguste?s case this process took almost two years.

Prior to her indictment, the Public Prosecutor (Commissaire du Gouvernement) had recommended that all charges against Annette Auguste be dropped due to lack of evidence. In his réquisitoire definitif (recommendation to the investigating judge) from 28 March 2006 the Public Prosecutor came to the conclusion that “the pre-trial investigation was not able to establish a single fact, a single indication, a single presumption of Ms. Annette Auguste?s implication in said events”. The investigating judge ignored this recommendation, however, and found that there was sufficient evidence to charge Annette Auguste and others detained in relation to the incident. This is despite the fact none of the victims or witnesses who testified in court was able to identify Annette Auguste or any of her co-defendants as being involved in the clashes of 5 December 2003 nor could even place them at the scene of the incident.

Three other political prisoners who were also indicted for their alleged role in the event of 5 December 2003 were also acquitted along with Annette Auguste on 15 August. These are Yvon Antoine (also known as Zap Zap), Paul Raymond and George Honoré. The three, who are all well known supporters of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, were also charged on 13 April with criminal conspiracy. The time elapse between the arrest of the men, and being formally charged ranged between 9 and 25 months. Yvon Antoine, a musician and leader of a traditional street music band was arrested without a warrant by the National Haitian Police on 22 March 2004. Paul Raymond, the co-founder of the liberation theology church movement Ti Legliz was irregularly deported from the Dominican Republic on July 22 2005 and handed over into the custody of the Haitian police. George Honoré, a grassroots activist was also arrested illegally without a warrant in May 2005.

Amnesty International believes that Annette Auguste, Yvon Antoine, Paul Raymond, George Honoré and all other political prisoners held in prolonged pre-trial detention were kept in jail solely as a pretext to punish them for their political views. This abuse of due process is in violation of the Haitian Code of Criminal Procedure (Code d?instruction criminelle) and internationally recognized standards for fair trial, including Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights, to both of which Haiti is a state party.

Amnesty International continues to monitor of other political prisoners in prolonged pre-trial detention. The organization believes that up to 100 of the more than 2,000 prisoners being held without charge or awaiting trial in Haiti could be political prisoners.

Many thanks to all those who sent appeals on Annette Auguste?s behalf: no further action is required on her case.
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Thousands killed in post-Aristide Haiti, study finds
Ouster of leader led to violence: journal

Jeff Heinrich
The Montreal Gazette

Friday, September 01, 2006

MONTREAL – A study in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet suggests that, despite the presence of a Canadian-led United Nations police and peacekeeping force, 8,000 people have been killed and 35,000 women and girls have been raped since the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004.

Montreal Haitian groups say the peer-reviewed study by U.S. social workers confirms what the Canadian and Quebec governments have always denied: a massive campaign of repression against Haiti’s poor under the post-Aristide regime of Gerard Latortue, the country’s U.S.-appointed prime minister from March 2004 to last June.

Haiti Action Montreal, an advocacy group, yesterday decried the violence and what it says is Canada’s role in perpetuating it.

“Canada helped overthrow the elected government (of Mr. Aristide), provided significant aid to the installed regime (of Mr. Latortue) and led the UN police contingent, yet refuses to take any responsibility for the vast human rights abuses in Haiti over the past two years,” the group said in a news release.

In the study, published online in The Lancet yesterday, two researchers at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work, in Detroit, interviewed 5,720 people in 1,260 households across the impoverished Caribbean island nation during December 2005, asking questions about their lives in the 22 months since Mr. Aristide’s ouster. Of the 1,260 households, 23 had lost family members in assassinations and killings since February 2004, and 94 had experienced sexual assault — in some cases, multiple sexual assault.

Extrapolated to the entire country, the survey findings suggest 8,000 Haitians were killed in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince, almost half them killed by government forces or “outside political actors” — mostly armed gangs opposed to Mr. Aristide and his Lavalas political party.

As well, the study estimated 35,000 women and girls were sexually assaulted, more than half of them younger than 18 years old, mostly by criminals, but also by the Haitian National Police (14 per cent) and armed anti-Lavalas groups (11 per per cent). Many of the victims were “restaveks” — unpaid child domestic servants from rural areas who work and live in the city.

Kidnappings and extrajudicial detentions, physical assaults, death threats, physical threats, and threats of sexual violence were also common, the study found. Fourteen per cent of the people interviewed accused foreign soldiers and police, including UN personnel, of all three types of threats.

The UN threats were direct and verbal; simply pointing a weapon in someone’s direction in the course of duty was not considered a threat. Of the UN soldiers blamed, half were identified as being from Brazil or Jordan; the study did not indicate whether Canadian personnel were involved.

“Our results indicate that crime and systematic abuse of human rights were common in Port-au-Prince,” concluded the researchers, Athena Kolbe and Royce Hutson.

“Although criminals were the most identified perpetrators of violations, political actors and UN soldiers were also frequently identified.

“These findings suggest the need for a systematic response from the newly elected Haitian government, the UN, and social service organizations to address the legal, medical, psychological, and economic consequences of widespread human rights abuses and crime.”

In an editorial, The Lancet lent its influential voice to the researcher’s conclusions, especially as regards the behaviour of the UN soldiers and police. Noting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan “has spoken out firmly against exploitative behaviour by UN peacekeepers” worldwide, the journal’s editors said the new study is a reminder “severely traumatized populations (like Haiti’s) remain vulnerable, and as the authors show, “suffering does not stop when peacekeepers arrive.

“UN peacekeepers must no longer add to that suffering.”

© The Ottawa Citizen 2006

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Effort begun to get Haiti’s gangsters to disarm

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 5, 2006

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti’s government and U.N. peacekeepers will launch a major campaign seeking to persuade hundreds of gangsters to disarm with promises of money, food and job training, but top gang leaders will not be eligible, the U.N. envoy said yesterday.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, special U.N. envoy Edmond Mulet said officials will begin airing radio and television ads in coming days to inform the public about the disarmament plan.

The move represents the most sweeping effort to persuade well-armed gangsters to lay down their weapons and rejoin society since U.N. troops arrived in the troubled Caribbean nation two years ago to restore order after a February 2004 revolt.

“We are ready to receive 1,000 armed people who would willingly give up their weapons and arms,” Mulet said. “We have kits to provide for their families, food and economic assistance. The whole package is ready and we’re going to bring that in place in the following days.”

Last month, President Rene Preval warned gangs based in the sprawling slums of Port-au-Prince to disarm or face death.

The gangs, some of which are loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, are blamed for a recent surge of kidnappings and shootings that officials say are partly aimed at pressuring Preval to make concessions.

© 2006 Lexington Herald-Leader and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
www.kentucky.com

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Haitian business leaders urge force if U.N.-backed gang disarmament fails

The Associated Press

Published: September 5, 2006

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti A U.N.-backed plan to disarm hundreds of gangsters with offers of money and jobs drew tepid support Tuesday from Haiti’s powerful business sector, which urged police and peacekeepers to respond with force if the bid fails.

Up to 1,000 rank-and-file gang members who voluntarily lay down arms and rejoin society will be eligible for the program, the biggest disarmament effort of the two-year-old U.N. peacekeeping mission. Haiti’s most wanted gangs leaders won’t be eligible.

“We support the approach of offering people a chance to hand in their weapons. However, if people do not respect the program, U.N. (troops) and police have to use stronger methods,” said Reginald Boulos, Haitian Chamber of Commerce president.

President Rene Preval is this week expected to appoint a seven-member commission to decide who can join the program, scheduled to begin this month.

Boulos said private sector members haven’t been asked to help the commission but that “we would be ready to participate.”

The U.N.-backed “Disarm, Demobilize and Reinsert” program is the latest in a string of efforts to neutralize street gangs blamed for a wave of kidnappings and killings since a bloody revolt ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004. Preval last month warned gangsters, some whom are loyal to Aristide, to lay down their guns or face death.

Rene Max Auguste, a factory owner and board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti, said he doubted the plan would work, citing the international community’s poor track record in disarming Haitian militants over the last decade.

“It has never worked. I am very pessimistic,” said Auguste, who also called for “tougher measures” against gangs if the plan fails.

Charles Henri Baker, a wealthy industrialist who finished third in February’s presidential election and has advocated a hardline approach to gangs, said the program was too limited and wouldn’t reduce violence.

“No one knows how many arms are out there. We might have more than 30,000 weapons and disarming only 1,000 (gangsters) is only a drop in a bucket,” Baker said.

U.N. envoy Edmond Mulet said Monday he believes between 500 to 700 gangsters are behind recent violence.

Mulet said program participants will get ID cards, money, food for their families and training for jobs such as construction workers and garbage collectors.

Support from business owners will be crucial for the plan’s success, but Baker said he doesn’t know if he would “welcome former criminals to work for my company.”

“It will depend on who he is, how many crimes he has committed, how many people he has killed and what he was involved in before,” he said.

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Associated Press
Haiti, U.N. to Disarm Gang Members
By STEVENSON JACOBS , 09.04.2006, 07:16 PM

Haiti’s government and U.N. peacekeepers will launch a major campaign seeking to persuade hundreds of gangsters to disarm with promises of money, food and job training, but top gang leaders will not be eligible, the U.N. envoy said Monday.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, special U.N. envoy Edmond Mulet said officials will begin airing radio and television ads in coming days to inform the public about the disarmament plan.

The move represents the most sweeping effort to persuade well-armed gangsters to lay down their weapons and rejoin society since U.N. troops arrived in the troubled Caribbean nation two years ago to restore order following a February 2004 revolt.

“We are ready to receive 1,000 armed people who would willingly give up their weapons and arms,” Mulet said. “We have kits to provide for their families, food and economic assistance. The whole package is ready and we’re going to bring that in place in the following days.”

Last month, President Rene Preval warned gangs based in the sprawling slums of Port-au-Prince to disarm or face death.

The gangs, some of which are loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, are blamed for a recent surge of kidnappings and shootings that officials say are partly aimed at pressuring Preval to make concessions.

The initiative targets only rank-and-file gang members, Mulet said. Top gang leaders in the capital’s volatile Cite Soleil slum have indicated a willingness to disarm, and the decision to leave them out sets up a potential showdown with the government.

“This is not for the big people responsible for human rights violence or criminal activities or killings or kidnappings. That we have to deal with in a different way,” Mulet said in his office inside the fortified U.N. compound.

Top gang leaders in the capital’s volatile Cite Soleil slum have indicated a willingness to disarm, but Mulet said the initiative will target low-ranking gang members.

“This is not for the big people responsible for human rights violence or criminal activities or killings or kidnappings. That we have to deal with in a different way,” he said.

It will be up to a new, seven-member commission to decide who is eligible, Mulet said. Preval will appoint the commission this week in a presidential decree, Mulet said, adding that he expected its membership to include people “from all different sectors” of Haitian society.

Preval’s office declined to comment.

Gang members participating in the program will receive ID cards entitling them to money, medical assistance, food for their families and training for manual-labor jobs such as construction workers, garbage collectors and farm workers, Mulet said.

Jobs are not plentiful in this Caribbean nation, which is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest.

Mulet, a Guatemalan diplomat who took over leadership of the 8,800-soldier U.N. peacekeeping force three months ago, called the disarmament campaign a “long-term” plan and said it would provide a “big improvement” to Haiti’s security if successful.

“We believe 500, 600, maybe 700 people are involved in this kind of illegal activities … so I think if we’re able to disarm most of them and include them into society and give them some training and assistance in this transition, that’s going to be very positive.”

The international community is desperate to stabilize Haiti after a decade of failed peacekeeping missions and fruitless efforts to disarm militants. A bid to take weapons off the streets after the 2004 revolt that toppled Aristide yielded mostly dilapidated guns held together by tape – not the high-powered AK-47s and M-16 routinely used by gangs.

Mulet acknowledged the challenge but said “we have to try this.”

“This is not a traditional disarmament that you would see anywhere else in the world where you have a clear leadership or a subversive group or a military insurgency that you can make deals with. This is more like a one-on-one approach. Each (gang member) has different motivations,” he said.

One challenge will be gaining the support of Haiti’s business community, which has taken a hard line on the gangs that it blames for driving foreign investment away from the deeply impoverished nation.

Mulet predicted business leaders would back the plan, saying they recognize the problem of gang activity. “Any measure to incorporate these people into society is more than welcome to them,” he said.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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The lost children of Haiti
The New York Times

Published: September 5, 2006
Haiti, founded two centuries ago by former slaves who fought to regain their freedom, has again become a hub of human trafficking.

Today, tens of thousands of Haitian children live lives of modern-day bondage. Under the system known as “restavek,” a Creole word meaning “stay with,” these children work for wealthier families in exchange for education and shelter. They frequently end up cruelly overworked, physically or sexually abused, and without access to education.

The most effective way to root out this deeply oppressive but deeply ingrained system would be to attack the conditions that sustain it – chiefly impoverished, environmentally unsustainable agriculture and a severe shortage of rural schools.

This is an area in which America can and should help. Washington has been quick to respond to political turmoil in Haiti, with its accompanying fears of uncontrollable refugee flows. But the frenzied flurries of international crisis management that follow typically leave no lasting results.

A wiser, more promising alternative would be to help create long- term economic options by improving access to schools and creating sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, the United States should work with nongovernmental organizations to battle the resigned acceptance by many Haitians of the restavek system. They could, for example, help local radio stations broadcast programs of open dialogue about how damaging the system is, and include restavek survivors or human-rights experts.

The primary responsibility for eliminating the restavek system lies with the Haitian people and their government. After years of political crisis, there is a new democratically elected government. Eradicating the restavek system should be one of its top priorities, combining law enforcement efforts with attacks on the root social and economic causes.

The former slaves who won Haiti’s freedom 200 years ago dreamed of something better for their children than restavek bondage. The time is overdue for helping those dreams become reality.

Haiti, founded two centuries ago by former slaves who fought to regain their freedom, has again become a hub of human trafficking.

Today, tens of thousands of Haitian children live lives of modern-day bondage. Under the system known as “restavek,” a Creole word meaning “stay with,” these children work for wealthier families in exchange for education and shelter. They frequently end up cruelly overworked, physically or sexually abused, and without access to education.

The most effective way to root out this deeply oppressive but deeply ingrained system would be to attack the conditions that sustain it – chiefly impoverished, environmentally unsustainable agriculture and a severe shortage of rural schools.

This is an area in which America can and should help. Washington has been quick to respond to political turmoil in Haiti, with its accompanying fears of uncontrollable refugee flows. But the frenzied flurries of international crisis management that follow typically leave no lasting results.

A wiser, more promising alternative would be to help create long- term economic options by improving access to schools and creating sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, the United States should work with nongovernmental organizations to battle the resigned acceptance by many Haitians of the restavek system. They could, for example, help local radio stations broadcast programs of open dialogue about how damaging the system is, and include restavek survivors or human-rights experts.

The primary responsibility for eliminating the restavek system lies with the Haitian people and their government. After years of political crisis, there is a new democratically elected government. Eradicating the restavek system should be one of its top priorities, combining law enforcement efforts with attacks on the root social and economic causes.

The former slaves who won Haiti’s freedom 200 years ago dreamed of something better for their children than restavek bondage. The time is overdue for helping those dreams become reality.

Haiti, founded two centuries ago by former slaves who fought to regain their freedom, has again become a hub of human trafficking.

Today, tens of thousands of Haitian children live lives of modern-day bondage. Under the system known as “restavek,” a Creole word meaning “stay with,” these children work for wealthier families in exchange for education and shelter. They frequently end up cruelly overworked, physically or sexually abused, and without access to education.

The most effective way to root out this deeply oppressive but deeply ingrained system would be to attack the conditions that sustain it – chiefly impoverished, environmentally unsustainable agriculture and a severe shortage of rural schools.

This is an area in which America can and should help. Washington has been quick to respond to political turmoil in Haiti, with its accompanying fears of uncontrollable refugee flows. But the frenzied flurries of international crisis management that follow typically leave no lasting results.

A wiser, more promising alternative would be to help create long- term economic options by improving access to schools and creating sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, the United States should work with nongovernmental organizations to battle the resigned acceptance by many Haitians of the restavek system. They could, for example, help local radio stations broadcast programs of open dialogue about how damaging the system is, and include restavek survivors or human-rights experts.

The primary responsibility for eliminating the restavek system lies with the Haitian people and their government. After years of political crisis, there is a new democratically elected government. Eradicating the restavek system should be one of its top priorities, combining law enforcement efforts with attacks on the root social and economic causes.

The former slaves who won Haiti’s freedom 200 years ago dreamed of something better for their children than restavek bondage. The time is overdue for helping those dreams become reality.

Haiti, founded two centuries ago by former slaves who fought to regain their freedom, has again become a hub of human trafficking.

Today, tens of thousands of Haitian children live lives of modern-day bondage. Under the system known as “restavek,” a Creole word meaning “stay with,” these children work for wealthier families in exchange for education and shelter. They frequently end up cruelly overworked, physically or sexually abused, and without access to education.

The most effective way to root out this deeply oppressive but deeply ingrained system would be to attack the conditions that sustain it – chiefly impoverished, environmentally unsustainable agriculture and a severe shortage of rural schools.

This is an area in which America can and should help. Washington has been quick to respond to political turmoil in Haiti, with its accompanying fears of uncontrollable refugee flows. But the frenzied flurries of international crisis management that follow typically leave no lasting results.

A wiser, more promising alternative would be to help create long- term economic options by improving access to schools and creating sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, the United States should work with nongovernmental organizations to battle the resigned acceptance by many Haitians of the restavek system. They could, for example, help local radio stations broadcast programs of open dialogue about how damaging the system is, and include restavek survivors or human-rights experts.

The primary responsibility for eliminating the restavek system lies with the Haitian people and their government. After years of political crisis, there is a new democratically elected government. Eradicating the restavek system should be one of its top priorities, combining law enforcement efforts with attacks on the root social and economic causes.

The former slaves who won Haiti’s freedom 200 years ago dreamed of something better for their children than restavek bondage. The time is overdue for helping those dreams become reality.

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Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
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Recomended Links:

Lancet Research Study:
Human Rights Abuses Frequent in Haiti’s capital by Athena Kolbe and Royce
Hutson of Wayne State University

www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/human_rights_reports/lancet.html

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Shocking Lancet Study: 8,000 Murders, 35,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults in
Haiti During U.S.-Backed Coup Regime After Aristide Ouster
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144231

Listen to Democracy Now! segment:
play.rbn.com/?url=demnow/demnow/demand/2006/aug/audio/dn20060831.ra&proto=rtsp&start=14:54

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Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood |
Democracy Now!
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144235

Listen to segment
play.rbn.com/?url=demnow/demnow/demand/2006/aug/audio/dn20060831.ra&proto=rtsp&start=28:55

Women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at Hearing Against Haitian Death Squad Leader
Emmanuel Constant | Democracy Now!
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144239

Listen to segment
play.rbn.com/?url=demnow/demnow/demand/2006/aug/audio/dn20060831.ra&proto=rtsp&start=37:58

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President Preval is reported to be in possession of a list of politicians and
media personalities who have participated in the conspiracy to destroy the
country and received huge sums of aid money in the process,Ezili Danto
Witness Project, July 18, 2006
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/testimonies/raining.html#raining

Kreyol audio|Al tande rapò Jiye 18 sa a:
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/testimonies/LK_Jul_18.mp3

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Read Prime Minister Yvon Neptune’s explosive and condemning August 23, 2004
letter from Prison to US Ambassador James Foley | Statement of Facts of
former Prime minister Yvon Neptune Pénitencier National, Port-au-Prince,
Haïti, August 23, 2004
|www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/honorNeptune.html#august04

HLLN Honors Yvon Neptune, July 29, 2006
www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/honorNeptune.html#honor

  
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