2017 represented a transition period for OHCHR in Haiti. OHCHR has been in Haiti since 2004 and represented by the Human Rights Section (HRS) of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The role of HRS is to support the Haitian authorities, the national human rights institution - Office de la Protection du Citoyen et de la Citoyenne (OPC) - and civil society to promote and protect human rights, to ensure accountability for human rights violations and redress for victims.
In April 2017, the Security Council resolution 2350 established the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). MINUJUSTH will assist the government of Haiti to further support and develop the Haitian National police; strengthen rules of law institutions including the justice and corrections sectors; and advance the promotion and protection of human rights including through monitoring, capacity building, reporting and analysis.
The strategic objectives of MINUJUSTH/OHCHR in Haiti are to improve :
- Compliance of the State with human rights mechanisms
- Capacity of the Office for the Protection of Citizens
- Capacity of civil society organisations to ensure better promotion and protection of human rights in Haiti
OHCHR works with the judiciary, the police, the Ministry of Justice, the legislative and local state authorities in order to strengthen the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of human rights law and standards. Moreover, OHCHR enforces and promotes the Mission’s engagement with the UNCT on the application of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), guiding the monitoring and response activities with regard to human rights, in order to ensure an institutionalized and concerted approach between MINUJUSTH and other entities of the UN system that support and collaborate with non-UN security forces. OHCHR pursues its engagement with the joint rule of law programme in the field of police, justice and correction, jointly established in October 2015 by MINUSTAH, UNDP and other UN agencies. OHCHR engages with the UN system and Haitian partners in the activism campaign on violence against women.
OHCHR engages in monitoring, public reporting and capacity-development initiatives with national and local authorities, including the national human rights Institution (OPC) as well as with civil society organizations. OHCHR purpose is also to mainstream human rights, gender and non-sexual discrimination (LGBTI) approaches with UN and civil society partners.
OHCHR provides technical assistance to the Government of Haiti, especially through the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights, in ensuring compliance and engagement with United Nations human rights instruments. OHCHR also advocates for the delegation of a human rights portfolio and a counterpart on a ministerial level and for the development of a national plan of action on human rights.
OHCHR continues its support and close cooperation with the country’s national human rights institution, the Office de la Protection du Citoyen et de la Citoyenne (the ombudsman figure) aiming at increasing its institutional capacity to collect, process and analyze information as well as to prepare reports, including reports to human rights treaty bodies and mechanisms.
In Haiti, OHCHR continues to build on the MINUSTAH achievements of the past 13 years while MINUJUSTH will adopt a strategy of gradually transferring its human rights support functions to national and local institutions. MINUJUSTH will provide technical assistance and support to the OPC and the civil society organisations. OHCHR continue to monitor, investigate, analyse and report on State violations of civil and political rights, such as the right to life and physical integrity, on illegal arrests and the excessive use of force by police officers. OHCHR will be part of Mission’s mobile teams for joint monitoring when necessary and will explore how best to reinforce human rights efforts to contribute to community violence reduction.