Haiti: Human Rights Groups Submit Petition on Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Displacement Camps to Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Thursday, November 4, 2010 1:00 PM

Human rights advocates and attorneys recently filed a petition to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stating the need for immediate action to address a pattern of sexual violence in Haiti's camps for displaced people. A number of on-site investigations revealed significant evidence that rapes, beatings, and threats to livelihood were occurring frequently to women and girls inhabiting the camps. The petition calls for the government of Haiti alongside the international community to undertake urgent measures to install lighting and ensure security.

According to Lisa Davis, MADRE Human Rights Advocacy Director and primary author of the petition, “Women in the camps in Haiti have mobilized to create immediate strategies to combat violence, such as establishing night watch patrols and distributing whistles to deter rapists. But these initiatives are no substitute for governments meeting their obligations to protect women’s human rights.

The petition also calls for the Haitian government and international actors to address the underlying housing crisis. The government of Haiti has generally sided with landowners in evicting displaced individuals from camps without providing another location for these individuals to live, endangering the safety of countless women.

Compiled fromHuman Rights Groups File Legal Petition on Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Camps for Displaced in Haiti, WUNRN.com, (2 November 2010).