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26.11.2019 - (2019/2928(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Irena Joveva, Atidzhe Alieva‑Veli, Abir Al‑Sahlani, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Phil Bennion, Stéphane Bijoux, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Gilles Boyer, Jane Brophy, Sylvie Brunet, Catherine Chabaud, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Anna Júlia Donáth, Fredrick Federley, Barbara Ann Gibson, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Bernard Guetta, Antony Hook, Ivars Ijabs, Ondřej Kovařík, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Urmas Paet, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Susana Solís Pérez, Ramona Strugariu, Yana Toom, Hilde Vautmans, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0214/2019

Postopek : 2019/2928(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Haiti


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular the resolution on Child slavery in Haiti, on 7th February 2018,


-  having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Haiti, on 7th November 2019,


-  having regard to the declaration of the European Union delegation in Haiti in the face of current challenges on 28 May 2019,


-  having regard to the 2018 EU annual report on human rights and democracy in the world, in particular the parts on Haiti,


-  having regard to the latest Human Right Watch Report on Haiti;


-  having regard to the 34th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly of December 2017 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,


-  having regard to ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Resolution ‘on the challenges in the field of the security-development nexus in ACP and EU policies’ (DR\1142738EN), of December 2017;


-  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,


-  having regards to the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA),


-  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,


-  having regard to the UN Declaration of Human Rights,


-  having regard to the Resolution 2476 adopted by the UN Security Council, on 25th od June;


  1. whereas Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries with severe corruption, poor infrastructure, lack of healthcare, low levels of education and historical political instability being the main sources of its crippling poverty;


  1. whereas more than 6 million Haitians are living below the poverty level and ac-cording to conservative estimates over 40% of the population is unemployed;


  1. Whereas the deterioration of the living conditions of the Haitian population, the level of displacement due to natural disasters, worsening of the security situation and the slowdown of economic activity have created the conditions of a serious, long-lasting and violent social unrest which lead to serious deterioration of security and the situation of human rights and paralysed the country for weeks, closing businesses, medical facilities, public transport, schools and other public institutions and creating widespread shortages and population’s inability to access basic necessities;


  1. whereas in September 2017 the parliament of Haiti approved a national budget for the year 2018 that raises taxes disproportionately from an already impoverished population, with the consequence of violent demonstration and riots in the capital, Port-au-Prince; whereas the government’s announcement in July 2018 that it would eliminate subsidies, allowing fuel prices to increase by up to 50 percent, led to widespread protests and the worst civil unrest the country has seen in years;


  1. whereas fuel shortages, electrical blackouts and deficiencies of other vital resources in August sparked protests that have transformed into a campaign against President Jovenel Moise challenged by the opposition since his election in February 2017;


  1. Whereas the allocation under the 11th EDF was increased to up to EUR 420 million to support Haiti infighting poverty along four priority sectors, namely state building and modernisation of the public administration, education, urban development and infrastructure, and food and nutritional security; expresses that EU has continued to mobilise funds via its cooperation programmes for the benefit of the human rights sector in Haiti;


  1. whereas the demonstrations against the corruption scandals involving Haitian authorities, launched more than a year ago and which claimed about a hundred victims, have turned into a giant blaze; whereas corruption seems to be an endemic problem of Haitian society and politics;


  1. Whereas according to the UN, at least 42 people have died and 86 have been injured as tensions have escalated since the latest round of protests began on 15 September; demanding President Jovenel Moïse's resignation and that protesters have clashed with police forces; whereas in February 41 people died and 100 were injured in the context of similar protests, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights;


  1. Whereas Néhémie Joseph, a prominent radio reporter who was covering the recent protests, was found dead in the trunk of his car on 10 October, bringing up to three the number of journalists killed in less than two years; whereas nine other journalists were injured and many have reportedly been threatened;


  1. Whereas Haitians remain susceptible to humanitarian crisis and displacement by natural disasters, including earthquakes, tropical storms and hurricanes; whereas in October 2019, an earthquake left 17 people dead and over 350 injured, while more than 140,000 households still need decent shelter after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, in which between 540 to 1,000 people died; whereas in May 2018, still nearly 38,000 people (70 percent of them women and children) lived in displacement camps formed after the 2010 earthquake; whereas the country’s more vulnerable communities continue to face environmental risks and limited access to safe water and sanitation;


  1. Whereas the UN has ended its 15-year peacekeeping mission to Haiti by withdrawing the last of the UN peacekeeping forces on 15th of October, thus turning the sole control of the military forces and their oversight back into the hands of the Haitian government;


  1. whereas Haiti has not had a government since March as Parliament is required to ratify the President’s choice of prime minister and the minority opposition has blocked such a vote from taking place;


  1. whereas since the beginning of the school year in September, most children across Haiti have been unable to go to school; whereas illiteracy and access to education is a major problem in Haiti since approximately one-half of all Haitians age 15 and older are illiterate and at least 350,000 children and youth remain out of primary and secondary school throughout the country; whereas “Restavek” is a form of modern-day child slavery that persists in Haiti, affecting one in every 15 children; whereas the children are typically born into poor rural families and often given to relatives or strangers, and in their new homes, they become domestic slaves, performing menial tasks for no pay;


  1. whereas people, particularly in regions outside the capital, have had serious difficulty accessing food, drinking water, medicine and fuel; whereas the health sector has been hit, with shortages of electricity, fuel, supplies, and the inability of many medical personnel to reach their places of work;


  1. whereas the closure of the judicial institutions and other public institutions might have a very serious impact on the running of the Country; whereas the prison system remains severely overcrowded, with many prisoners living in inhumane conditions; whereas in July 2018, Haitian prisons housed nearly 12,000 detainees, 75 percent of whom were awaiting trial;


  1. whereas the lack of government is preventing Haiti from accessing hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid funds as well as loans from the World Bank, Inter-American Bank and others earmarked for it;


  1. whereas more than one third of the Haitians are in need of urgent assistance to meet their daily food requirements, which accounts to nearly 3.7 million people according to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP); whereas aid organizations are struggling to provide relief due to protester barricades blocking roads, damaged crucial infrastructure as well as gang violence and other crime; whereas the WFP has said it is ready to launch air and maritime transport operations but needs to raise $2.9 million to do so;


  1. Whereas since 2010 cholera has infected more than 800,000 people and claimed nearly 10,000 lives; whereas the vaccination campaign resulted in a significant decline in cases, from more than 41,000 suspected cases and 440 deaths in 2016, to just over 3,000 suspected cases and 37 deaths in 2018;


  1. calls for the end of the violence by all sides as this must be avoided under all circumstances to prevent further instability and suffering of the population,; recalls the right to demonstrate freely and peacefully; calls on the police forces to stop using firearms and carrying live ammunition and calls for limited use of non-lethal weapons, such as tear gas, water cannon, or rubber bullets, conform with the principle of necessity and proportionality in the context of protests;


  1. reaffirms the importance of the freedom of the media to report on the situation; condemns the assassinations and the persecution of journalists and reporters and calls on the authorities to investigate such cases; urges all actors to refrain from targeting journalists and allow them to report on the situation in the country; reiterates that the right to peaceful expression of opinion and of criticism must be guaranteed; 


  1. calls for the engagement of all actors in a frank, open and inclusive dialogue  leading to an urgent consensus to strengthen stability and democratic development within public institutions, improve public financial management and stimulate investment to better respond to the basic needs of the population and the lack of basic goods such as fuel and food, and should identify realistic and lasting solutions to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis; insists that the authorities guarantee the protection of citizens and human rights defenders recalls that peace and security enable broader national and regional development; stresses, in this regard, the need for the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 16, with regards to addressing violence against human rights defenders and journalists; calls on local legal institutions to ensure legal accountability on all levels;


  1. recalls that the European Union is always committed to support stability, development and democracy, including the rule of law, and will cooperate closely with its international partners to this end;


  1. recalls that the allocation under the 11th EDF was increased to up to EUR 420 million to support Haiti infighting poverty along four priority sectors, namely state building and modernisation of the public administration, education, urban development and infrastructure, and food and nutritional security; expresses that EU has continued to mobilise funds via its cooperation programmes for the benefit of the human rights sector in Haiti;


  1. welcomes the launch of investigations by the General Inspectorate of the Haitian National Police into allegations of human rights violations by police and stress the need for investigations to be thorough, transparent and independent;


  1. welcomes the establishment of the United Nation Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) by the UN security council on October 16th to be tasked with advising the Government of Haiti on strengthening political stability and good governance;


  1. welcomes the launch of investigations by the General Inspectorate of the Haitian National Police into allegations of human rights violations and stresses the need for investigations in unbiased, transparent way while ensuring accountability, justice and truth for victims and their families;


  1. expresses its concern regarding the impact of the closure of judicial institutions and other public institutions is having in the country, especially on vulnerable groups and including prolonged pre-trial detention due to the closure of many local courts; urges all parties to enable the functioning of hospitals and to facilitate access to healthcare, as well as the delivery, including through humanitarian channels, of food and medicine for individuals in prisons, orphanages and other vulnerable groups such as people living with disabilities;


  1. Calls on the Government of Haiti to take responsibility of the situation and address the longstanding drivers of instability and inequality in Haiti; calls on the government of Haiti to engage with other stakeholders, including civil society, women, youth, and the private sector to deliver durable solutions to Haiti’s immediate and long-term issues, including through inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, social cohesion, and disaster resilience;


  1. Calls to end “Restavek”, a form of child slavery in the Republic of Haiti; calls for the Haitian government to implement measures that ensure registration and protection of children, physically as well as psychologically and to enforce schooling. Calls on the EU to cooperate with the Haitian government in order to implement a legislative framework to protect children’ rights.


  1. stresses the need to fight gang violence and to maintain public order; calls on the government of Haiti to plan and execute fair and transparent election; insists on strengthening the justice sector and implementing key legislation to promote justice sector reform and improve internal oversight and accountability of justice system, especially in regards to corruption and accountability for past human rights abuses; Calls on the Government of Haiti to enable conditions for delivery of humanitarian aid to the people and to provide specific assistance to victims of violence;


  1. Stresses the need to combat violence against women and girls and to legislate against all forms of gender-based violence, to decriminalise abortion, which is currently prohibited in all circumstances, including in cases of sexual violence; condemns the  anti-LGBT bills passed in 2017 which called for a ban on gay marriage and listed homosexuality, alongside child pornography, incest, and commercial sexual exploitation of children, as a reason to deny a citizen a certificate;


  1. Stresses that two important institutions – the Constitutional Council and the Permanent Electoral Council – essential to a functioning democracy and the rule of law are waiting to see the light of day since the constitutional reform of 2012;


  1. Recalls to the international Community - most particularly the Core Group in Haiti - that in addition to not having a functioning government, Haiti will also be without a Legislative Power coming January for not having held elections in time;


  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the institutions of the Cariforum, the Governments and Parliaments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Zadnja posodobitev: 26. november 2019
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