Amnesty International denounces violence against women and girls in Haiti

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Amnesty International (AI) today denounced in its annual report violence against women and girls in Haiti, in particular sexual violence, as well as the attempt by lawmakers to pass openly discriminatory laws against LGBTI persons.

In April, the government introduced comprehensive reforms of the Criminal Code in Parliament, which contained new provisions to address sexual violence, including the criminalization of marital rape, cases that are not always reported, AI said.

The report collects figures from the NGO Doctors Without Borders that concluded that 77% of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence attended between May 2015 and March 2017 at their specialized clinic in Port-au-Prince were under 25 years of age and 53% under 18 years old.

In its annual report, AI also denounced the decision of the Haitian Senate to support bills that discriminated against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, initiatives pending approval in the Chamber of Deputies.

It also highlights the ineffectiveness of education in Haiti, where illiteracy among people over 15 years exceeds 50%.

AI referred to the increase in deportation cases on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and criticized the fact that Haiti has not signed or ratified the 1954 and 1961 UN conventions on statelessness.

The document also echoes a report by the International Organization for Migration that stated that, as of June 2017, 37,867 people were still internally displaced by the 2010 earthquake, most of them in makeshift camps.

The decision of the Government of Haiti to re-establish the Army, dissolved in 1995, is also highlighted in the report, as well as the departure of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) after thirteen years of presence in the country.

The Minustah, replaced by a significantly smaller force, left after years of controversy over its alleged responsibility in the outbreak of cholera that erupted in 2010 and after numerous reports of sexual violence, the report added.

Regarding cholera, AI said that between January and June there were 7,623 new suspected cases of cholera and 70 deaths related to the disease, and recalled that since the outbreak of 2010 more than 800,000 people had been infected and about 10,000 died.

The AI ​​document picks up the case of human rights defenders David Boniface and Juders Ysemé, who claimed to fear for their lives following the sudden death of their partner Nissage Martyr last March, a day after the three filed a lawsuit in United States against Jean Morose Viliena, former mayor of Les Irois, his native town in Haiti, for serious human rights violations.

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