In a report released today about the humanitarian crisis that has ravaged Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, Michel Forst, the United Nations (UN) Independent Expert on Haiti, calls on the United States and other countries to halt deportations to Haiti.
Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deported more than 500 individuals to Haiti. Most deportees are Lawful Permanent Residents and have lived in the United States for decades.
The UN report recommends that governments take into account humanitarian concerns, such as family ties in the deporting country or a deportee’s health condition. It also emphasizes that Haiti has a long road to recovery following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010 and is not equipped to deal with an influx of additional people. Cholera has killed over 7,000 Haitians and the epidemic remains uncontained.
In February 2011 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued precautionary measures against the United States “to suspend deportations to Haiti of persons of Haitian origin who are seriously ill or who have family members in the United States.” The Commission has renewed the precautionary measures order as recently as June 5, 2012.
Since late 2010, LIRS has joined with other national and local organizations in urging DHS to halt removals to Haiti. The deportations, in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western hemisphere, violate these Haitians’ human rights. The United Nations Independent Expert’s report adds yet another voice from the international community to the outcry against deportations to Haiti.
Stay tuned for further updates on advocacy updates on Haiti!