Experts: Deportations to Haiti Violate Human Rights

An independent expert for the United Nations on human rights in Haiti is demanding that the U.S, U.N., Dominican Republic, and other nations stop deportations to Haiti. Sending people back to Haiti now may be disastrous for the country as well as the individuals themselves.

Haiti has been in a state of crisis since the earthquake back in January of 2010. The small nation has had an extremely difficult time recovering from the natural disaster and receiving large numbers of deportees would only make matters worse.

Michel Forst, the U.N independent expert on Haiti, revealed that a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti has already killed over 7,000 people. With insufficient health and medical care, the country simply “cannot deal with the influx.”

Returning people to a country full of poverty and disease places innocent people “in a vulnerable, life-threatening position.” The deportees often have family members in the U.S., particularly children, who depend on them to survive.

Forst has been begging for members of the U.N to stop sending people back to the country during this time. The nations have ignored Forst, but on Wednesday he renewed his pleas, adding that returning the people to Haiti now may actually constitute a violation of human rights.

The University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic and Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (FANM)/Haitian Women of Miami support Forst and his efforts to halt all deportations back to Haiti.

The executive director of FANM, Marleine Bastien, said, “Once they arrive in Haiti, deportees from the United States are routinely detained in Haitian jails, exposed to life-threatening conditions in the midst of the continuing epidemic, and given insufficient access to food, water, housing, and medical treatment.”

Last February the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) did issue precautionary measures against the U.S. “to suspend deportations to Haiti of persons of Haitian origin who are seriously ill or who have family members in the United States.” Since then deportations have continued, but the commission finally decided to renew the precautionary measures on Tuesday.

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