UN Transitions from Peacekeeping to Governance, amid Crisis in Haiti

As oversight bodies call for restraint amid ongoing protests in Haiti, the United Nations is ending its 15-year peacekeeping mission in the country. [IACHR Press Release; UN News: Protests] On October 16, 2019, a special political mission, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), replaced the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), shifting the UN’s focus

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In the Case of Dominican and Haitian People Expelled v. the Dominican Republic, IACtHR Finds Multitude of Human Rights Violations

Last week, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights released its opinion in Case of Dominican and Haitian People Expelled v. the Dominican Republic, where it held that the State’s discrimination, detention, and mass expulsion of individuals of Haitian descent violated the rights to: juridical personality, nationality, a name, personal liberty, privacy, fair trial, judicial protection, equal protection before the law,

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In Landmark Ruling, Haitian Court Opens Investigation into Jean-Claude Duvalier for Crimes against Humanity

On February 20, 2014, a historic Haitian appellate court ruling opened the door to the possible prosecution of former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier (“Baby Doc”) for crimes against humanity.  Survivors of the Duvalier regime’s abuses and human rights activists see the decision as an important victory in their quest for justice and accountability. [UN Radio; Reuters]

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UN Compensates Zimbabwe Staffer, but Haitian Victims' Struggle for Justice Continues in Cholera Outbreaks Attributed to UN

At the end of February, the United Nations (UN) issued two decisions concerning its role is the spread of cholera in Haiti and Zimbabwe. In Haiti, victims of cholera and their advocates claim that UN peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera to the country, but the UN has stated it will not hear their complaint. [UN]  In Zimbabwe, a UN official claims

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IACtHR: Argentina Responsible for Racial Profiling, Death of Black Man

In a new judgment, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) condemned the use of racial profiling in the 1996 arrest of José Delfín Acosta Martínez, a Black man who then died after being badly injured in police custody. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)] The Court called attention to the general context of racial discrimination, police violence, and racial profiling in

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Expert Calls for Greater Accountability for Sexual Abuse by UN Personnel

The latest report by the United Nations Victims’ Rights Advocate (VRA) reviews the progress made in 2019 to address sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel, and calls on the international community to dedicate additional resources to supporting and protecting victims and ensuring accountability. [UN News] Jane Connors, the first-ever UN Victims’ Rights Advocate is responsible for strengthening the

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March 2020: UN Treaty Bodies, Human Rights Council, and Regional Bodies in Session

In March, universal and regional human rights bodies and experts will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations through the consideration of State and civil society reports and country visits. Five United Nations treaty bodies and two pre-sessional working groups will be in session to assess States’ progress regarding economic, social and cultural rights; children’s rights; civil and political

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