World news story

Human Rights Council 31, Geneva: UK statement on Haiti

United Kingdom statement during the Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Haiti at the Human Rights Council 31st session, 21 March 2016.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr President.

The United Kingdom thanks the Independent Expert on Haiti for his work and welcomes his report and recommendations.

We note that the human rights situation in Haiti is complex and challenging. The five key challenges identified by the Independent Expert have hampered progress for decades. Strong political will by the Haitian government, active engagement by civil society, together with continued engagement by the international community, are essential to effectively improve the situation.

We are concerned about social inequality that persists and is at the very heart of the challenging situation. Poverty and illiteracy mean that many Haitians are unaware of their rights. Limited rule of law and access to justice mean Haitians struggle to defend their rights. We are also concerned about the widespread use of prolonged pre-trial detention.

While we welcome the first round of the Presidential elections, we note that further work is needed to ensure a fully democratically elected government. We urge all sides to work together in delivering free, fair and transparent elections for the Haitian population.

We support the Independent Expert’s call for a wide range of measures to tackle these challenges. Moreover, it is essential to ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated and that mechanisms are put in place for implementation.

We urge the incoming Government of Haiti to place action in the areas identified by the Independent Expert at the core of its reforms.

Mr Independent Expert,

What more can the international community do to support Haiti in improving its human rights situation?

Thank you.

Published 29 March 2016