Today grassroots groups including The Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA), Defenders of the Oppressed (DOP), Heads Together for Change (TEKOCH) and Chanje M Leson organized a march with hundreds of people from displacement camps across Port-au-Prince. Protestors called for their right to housing to be respected and denounced the brutal police murder of Civil Mètis, who lived in Camp Acra Adoken.
Download DOP’s report detailing the Camp Acra Adoken incident HERE.
While it is a positive step for the Martelly administration to acknowledge forced evictions publicly for the first time, the claims made in the government’s press release contradicts information gathered by our grassroots allies, testimonies of camp residents’ themselves, and Amnesty International. You can read the full press release from the Prime Minister’s office below.
A closer look at the government’s claims….
1) “We believe that people’s human rights are being protected and guaranteed by the very process of transitioning them to safer dwellings.”
25% of Haitians living in displacement camps are at risk for forced evictions.
“More than three years after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, tens of thousands of people are facing a new crisis. Amnesty International says already displaced residents are being forced from the capital’s tent cities. The Rights Group says the evictions are a violation of human rights and that the government is doing little to stop them. Caroline Malone reports.”
“Appeals from Amnesty International and other NGOs to halt the forced evictions have fallen on deaf ears – not only has the Haitian government not put an end to them, but it has allowed them to increase since the beginning of this year,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti has violated international human rights obligations by failing to protect people who have been forced to leave the impromptu settlements that sprang up in the Caribbean nation after the 2010 earthquake, a global advocacy group said Tuesday.
A report by Amnesty International said it found that thousands of displaced people have been evicted from public spaces and private properties. People kicked out of settlements find themselves “further marginalized and driven deeper into poverty,” it said.
The government of President Michel Martelly has condoned the evictions led by mayors, police officers and others, the report charged.
Amnesty International’s latest report on the right to housing movement in Haiti, is focused on the human rights violations occurring in displacement camps. Amnesty International is appealing for government involvement to end forced evictions, ensure equal access to public services, and promote the active participation of people living in informal settlements and slums in decisions and processes that impact their lives.
“To make the right to adequate housing a reality for all, the government of Haiti must put human rights at the heart of the reconstruction effort and its national policy on housing.”
The IOM reported this week that over the last three months, some 27,000 people have left IDP camps, bringing the total amount remaining to around 320,000. The IOM credits the vast majority of this reduction, some 74 percent, on relocation programs – most often a one-year rental subsidy. The report’s “highlights” section says that “Evictions accounted for a 6% decrease in IDP household population.” Yet the data in the report directly contradicts this. Of a reported reduction of 6,401 households, the IOM says 977 were forced to leave due to evictions, representing over 15 percent of the total reduction.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The number of people still displaced by Haiti’s earthquake more than three years ago is down to 320,050, the International Organization of Migration said Monday.
The estimate marks a 79 percent decrease since the number of people living in tent camps peaked at 1.5 million a few months after the January 2010 disaster.
The camp population has been used as a barometer to measure the success or failure of reconstruction efforts, even though an unknown number of people have left the more visible settlements and now live in similarly dire circumstances on hillsides and near ravines.