MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Haiti
26.11.2019 - (2019/2928(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure
Kati Piri, Norbert Neuser
on behalf of the S&D Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0214/2019
European Parliament resolution on Haiti
The European Parliament,
Having regard to its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular those of 19 January 2011 on the situation in Haiti one year after the earthquake: humanitarian aid and reconstruction and of 8 February 2018 on child slavery in Haiti,
Having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2018 and in particular the Haiti country update thereof, adopted by the Council on 13 May 2019,
Having regard to the final report of the EU Election Follow-up Mission to Haiti between 19 and 23 November 2018,
Having regard to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)_and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) annual report on the situation of human rights in Haiti, 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2016, of July 2017,
Having regard to the MINUSTAH and UN OHCHR report on the allegations of human rights violations and abuses of 13 and 14 November 2018 in the district of La Saline, Port-au-Prince,
Having regard to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Haiti, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council at its 34th session on 17 March 2017,
Having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1966 and to which Haiti is a State Party,
Having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,
Having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,
Having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,
Having regard to the UN Declaration of Human Rights,
Having regard to Resolution 2476 (2019), adopted by the Security Council at its 8559th meeting, on 25 June 2019,
Having regard to the final report of the EU Election observation mission of 2015,
Having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Haiti, 7 November 2019,
Having regard to Rules 135(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
- Whereas more than 40 people have been killed and approximately 200 injured in more than two months of demonstrations organized by opposition leaders demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse over rampant inflation, allegations of systematic government corruption and economic and food insecurity,
- Whereas the situation in the country was already volatile following Moise’s victory during the Presidential elections of 20 November 2016, the validity of which has been contested by the opposition since the vote due to irregularities; whereas the outcome of the 25 October 2015 elections, in which Jovenel Moïse won the first round, was annulled in June 2016;
- Whereas Haiti is one of the most impoverished states in the world, government corruption runs rampant, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 ranks Haiti 161st out of 180 states surveyed;
- Whereas in July 2018 the government announced that it would eliminate energy subsidies under international pressure, resulting in fuel price increases by up to 50 percent; whereas many communities continue to lack access to the electricity grid following the 2010 earthquake and depend on electricity generators for their day-to-day life; whereas the fuel price increase further limited economic opportunity, resulting in widespread protests and the worst civil unrest the country has seen in years;D. whereas Haiti has been without a government since March 2019, hampering the country’s ability to access international aid funding and World Bank loans; whereas, as of January 2020, Haiti will be without a Parliament due to its failure to hold parliamentary elections in October 2019; whereas Moïsi has indicated his intention to introduce Constitutional changes strengthening the powers of the Presidential office;
- Whereas there is credible evidence that police, armed with semi-automatic rifles have fired live ammunition during protests, in violation of international human rights law and standards on the use of force; whereas Néhémie Joseph, a journalist with Radio Méga who covered the protests, was shot dead in his car on 11 October 2019, Associated Press photojournalist Chery Dieu-Nalio was shot in his face by a senator in September 2019, Radio Sans Fin reporter Pétion Rospide was shot dead in his car in June 2019, and journalist Vladjimir Legagneur disappeared in March 2018;
- Whereas the Haitian population has faced a continued decline in living conditions, economic slowdown, and rampant corruption in particular in the aftermath of the earthquake of 12 January 2010 which killed 250,000, injured 300,000, displaced 1.5 million, caused a cholera outbreak and destroyed elementary infrastructure; whereas the majority of the population had already been living below the poverty line prior to the earthquake; whereas progress has been limited and the destructive consequences of the earthquake were exacerbated by further natural disasters in 2012, 2015 and 2016; whereas the Haitian government’s inability to tackle these conditions provokes social unrest amongst a population which feels their basic needs are disregarded;
- Whereas the security situation in the country has declined drastically since the replacement of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (UNSTAMIH) peacekeepers by the limited police training United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) in October 2017;
- Whereas according to the World Bank, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas, with 59% of the population living below the national poverty line, and 24% below the national extreme poverty line.
- Whereas nearly 3.7 million people need urgent assistance to meet their daily food requirements, with that number set to increase to over 4 million next year, according to the World Food Program (WFP); whereas aid organisations are struggling to provide assistance due to road blocks and gang violence; whereas the WFP needs to raise USD 2.9 million to facilitate the delivery of food assistance through air and maritime operations;
- Whereas President Jovenel Moise has called for international support to tackle an unfolding humanitarian crisis.
- Whereas many have serious difficulty accessing food, drinking water, medicine, and fuel; whereas over two million children across the country have been out of school for nearly two months.
- Whereas Haiti faces a displacement crisis, with nearly 38,000 people, 70 percent of them women and children, living in displacement camps formed after the 2010 earthquake and 260,000 having been expelled from the Dominican Republic into Haiti or having left voluntarily;
- Whereas the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is focusing its support, totalling €420 million, primarily on State reform, infrastructure and urban development, food security and education.
- Whereas gender discrimination continues to be a serious concern in the country; whereas young girls are with little or no education ; whereas about 70 percent of women in Haiti have been victims of gender-based domestic violence; whereas laws criminalizing rape and domestic violence were not enacted until 2005, the penal code has not been revised since 1835, and women and girls often face unequal legal protection; whereas on 7 November 2019, 10 female detainees, among whom a 15-year-old girl, were raped in the Gonaives Civil Prison; whereas overcrowding, food shortages, lack of family visits, and other inhumane conditions have been rampant in the Haitian prison system since the start of the protests;
- Whereas the system of “Restavèk” a modern form of slavery is still a practice in which Haitian children from impoverished homes are sent by parents to live with other families and work for them as domestic servants, often suffering from abuse and mistreatment , with no access to schooling.
- Condemns the repression of peaceful protests by the Haitian authorities, including the use of lethal force, arbitrary detainment, intimidation, harassment, and sexual violence;demands that Haitian authorities immediately end the unlawful use of force against peaceful protesters and safeguard the people’s right to demonstrate freely and peacefully;
- Underlines that all parties involved must abstain from resorting to violence to prevent further instability and suffering of the population; calls on all sides to engage in a frank, open and inclusive inter-Haitian dialogue in order to better respond to the basic needs and aspirations of the population, and provide lasting solutions to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis; emphasises that this dialogue must include representative members of the opposition; reiterates the need for the establishment of a coalition government;
- Calls on the government of Haiti to work towards meeting the legitimate challenges faced by its people including accessing decent work, education and health services, in this calls for the immediate re-opening of schools and health facilities closed because of the unrest. Recalls that justice reform, and end to prolonged pre-trial detention and the fight against corruption must remain a priority as identified in the last Universal Periodic Review.
- Calls on the Haitian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees incarcerated for their participation in peaceful protests; calls on the Haitian authorities to safeguard the freedom of the press and ensure the safety of journalists, and to conduct an independent investigation into the deaths of Néhémie Joseph and Pétion Rospide and the disappearance of Vladjimir Legagneur and hold those responsible to account;
- Underlines the urgent need for structural governance and economic reforms to restore faith in the country’s political system; highlights the necessity to eradicate systemic government corruption, clientelism, and the erosion of the rule of law;
- Calls urgently on the government of Haiti to allow humanitarian organizations to provide unhindered access to carry out their operations and assist those in need, in order to distribute food and other vital aid.
- Reminds EU governments and other international donors of their financial commitments following 2016 Hurricane Matthew which have not been yet been delivered in full. Calls on these donors to make good on their promises, in order to facilitate reconstruction and allow Haiti to focus on long-term economic and social development.
- Calls on Haitian authorities to work openly with international partners to fulfil commitments to re-settle those displaced, because of Hurricane Matthew and provide urgent assistance and sanitary facilities to the remaining displacement camps.
- Calls on the Haitian authorities to strengthen its legal system to ensure gender equality, fight violence against women and girls, and end impunity for rape and other instances of sexual abuse;
- Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service, the Member States, the national government and parliament of Haiti