haiti human rights
Thousands of families in Haiti have been internally displaced by gang violence, one of several human rights concerns in the country.

NEW YORK CITY — A Haitian government official said the country is making progress in strengthening the justice sector and protecting the rights of its citizens. In a recorded address delivered Jan. 31 to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Justice Minister Berto Dorcé also shared plans to combat gang violence.

Observers said, however, that the details shared during the country’s third periodic review by the international body shows how far Haiti has to go to protect its citizens’ human rights.

“The government of Haiti has a great deal of work to do in order to fully vindicate the human rights of the Haitian people,” said Mario Joseph, a managing attorney with the nonprofit Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), in a prepared statement. “In some cases that involves confronting its own conduct, such as complicity in human rights massacres, police misconduct, corruption, and interference with the judiciary.” 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.