It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Mwen se echantiyon yon ras kap boujonnen men ki poko donnen

Si vous voulez vous faire des ennemis essayer de changer les choses

Saturday, March 31, 2007


There has always been much debate surrounding the idea of “foreign occupation” in Haiti. Haitians, of course, are opposed to this. And some Haitian leaders capitalize on this opposition by distorting the facts and not taking the responsibility for requesting this support – or, more importantly, contributing the environment where such a need becomes imperative. The fact is that from 1990 to present, the United Nations has deployed at the request of the Haitian government 14 missions to Haiti:

Technical assistance requested by president Ertha Pascale Trouillot in 1989 to support the elections
Request for an economic embargo against
Haiti by Jean Bertrand Aristide in 1992
Aristide request for MICIVIH February 1993 – May 1998
U.S. Military intervention requested by Aristide in 1994
UNMIH September 1993 – June 1996
UNSMIH July 1996 – July 1997
UNTMIH August 1997 – November 1997
MIPONUH December 1997 – March 2000
MICAH March 2000 – Feb. 2001
Aristide request to the Clinton Administration for military intervention in 2000
Aristide request to the Bush Administration for military intervention January 2004
Aristide request to the United Nations in January 2004: MINUSTAH April 2004 – Présent
Aristide request to OAS 2000 – 2007
Aristide request to CARICOM 2001 – 2004

The United Nations in Haiti has spent millions of dollars over the past seventeen years deploying peace keeping missions -- with nothing to show for it (see The International Aid Debacle @ ). Clearly, their strategy has not been effective, or there would not be a continuing need for such intervention. One of the major reasons for this is: they are not really building capacity. Rather, they are doing the work themselves. They run elections for Haitians, conduct police operations themselves, openly promote the amendment of the Haitian constitution, and reform of the judicial system. This is a mistake. It goes against the old adage of “teaching a man to fish” and against the basic principles of nation building.

If MINUSTAH is to be successful in Haiti and leave behind strong and democratic institutions, they must revise their current strategy in the light of the Nine Principles of Development and Reconciliation written by Andrew Natsios. The United Nations and the Organizations of American States need to strengthen their working relations. The offices of the Secretaries General of the OAS and the UN should create an independent, non-partisan commission to conduct a quarterly evaluation of the performance of the missions, the Haitian government, and the perception of the Haitian people, civil society and political parties. Such commission could be comprised of former U.S, Canadian, Caribbean and European Government officials and Haitians living abroad with strong records of accomplishment of political development success. In this way, we could ensure an honest assessment of the current situation and allow for corrections in the mission plans before we continue to waste time and energy on ineffective tactics. Stanley Lucas------------------------------------------
The Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development -----
Autumn 2005
The US foreign assistance community is in the midst of the most fundamental shift in policy since the inception of the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II. The events of 11 September 2001 suddenly and unexpectedly forced the United States to confront a historic challenge equal in magnitude to the Soviet threat of the Cold War. The tragedy initiated a series of changes leading to the most extensive government reorganization since the Truman Administration created the National Security Council and the Department of Defense. No agency has undergone a greater degree of internal review and transformation than the US Agency for International Development (USAID). For better or worse, USAID is on the front lines of the dominating news stories of the day, whether engaging in reconstruction work in Afghanistan or providing tsunami relief in South Asia. This renewed prominence is not an accident. On the contrary, President George W. Bush’s Administration has made development work a national security priority; the September 2002 National Security Strategy underscores development as one of three strategic areas of emphasis (along with diplomacy and defense), and clearly states that “including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development—and opportunity—is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of US international policy.”1
This new development climate has brought about internal recognition in the agency that it requires a more uniform and consistent set of guiding principles, and that these principles must accurately reflect how USAID approaches development from all levels—from day-to-day project operations to high-level policy decisions. Drawing on more than 40 years of institutional development experience and building on a series of recent policy strategies,
including U.S. Foreign Aid: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century and the Fragile States Strategy,2 this article presents the Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development, comprising ownership, capacity building, sustainability, selectivity, assessment, results, partnership, flexibility, and accountability.
The purpose of this article is to introduce and analyze the Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development to the military community. In a time of increasing collaboration between the two organizations, it is important that the military gain a better understanding of how USAID and development agencies generally approach their work, and how the two communities can beneficially build on this cooperation. This article specifically incorporates project-level examples from Afghanistan to better illustrate and provide context for the Nine Principles. Afghanistan is not presented as an ideal development context in which to apply the principles, but it demonstrates how they may apply even in fragile, less-stable environments. Ultimately, the article contends that the Nine Principles are integral to reconstruction and development success. When a foreign assistance agency adheres to the Nine Principles, this greatly enhances the likelihood of success. Conversely, failure to take the Nine Principles into account when designing and managing a program increases the risk of program failure.
Just as a particularly skilled battlefield commander can violate one or two of the principles of war and still prevail, a development officer may violate one or two of the development principles and still succeed. But generally development agencies ignore these principles at great risk, particularly in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan, where major reconstruction efforts are under way. ---------------------------------------------------------------
There are a number of different ways to approach international development. USAID’s White Paper on Foreign Aid enumerates five core development goals: promote transformational development, strengthen fragile
states, provide humanitarian relief, support US geostrategic interests, and mitigate global and transnational problems.3 Overall, USAID is the leading US government agency responsible for promoting peace and stability by fostering economic growth, protecting human health, providing emergency humanitarian assistance, increasing literacy, and enhancing democracy in developing countries.
The origins of USAID and the modern US development discipline can be traced to the end of World War II. Top policymakers of that era realized that traditional American isolationism was no longer a tenable strategy and argued for a new approach. The cornerstone for this policy shift occurred on 5 June 1947, when Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a commencement address at Harvard University and advocated that the United States use its power and wealth to nurse a world devastated by war back to “economic health.”4 This speech gave rise to the Marshall Plan and formed the historical foundation for USAID (the agency was officially established in 1961 by executive order of President John F. Kennedy, combining three existing agencies).
The evolution of US foreign assistance policy is now in its most critical stage since the Marshall Plan. The strategic goals outlined in the National Security Strategy confirm that a new development paradigm has emerged: USAID no longer operates on the periphery of US foreign policy. Instead, there is a broadening recognition that the agency and development work in general are vital to US national security interests.
One implication of elevating development work as one of the three pillars of national security is increased collaboration between the military and development communities. Situations like Afghanistan and Iraq—which require a broad-based, coordinated humanitarian response—are becoming increasingly common. More significantly, the success of military strategy and the success of development policy have become mutually reinforcing. Development cannot effectively take place without the security that armed force provides. And security cannot ultimately occur until local populations view the promise of development as an alternative to violence. Moreover, while the military is well placed to undertake certain types of stabilization projects, civilian agencies can relieve the military of many reconstruction and development projects which it is not well suited to oversee. Thus, it is important that the military gains a clearer understanding not only of how USAID implements a project or operates a field mission, but a deeper grasp of the core principles the agency follows when approaching all development work.
At a basic, theoretical level, the Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development are inspired by the Nine Principles of War, which are inscribed in modern Army field manuals.5 In the past decade, the military has attempted to forge a closer theoretical link between post-conflict development work and military interventions. In the mid-1990s, it established the six principles of Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW), which served as an initial bridge between the two disciplines. More recently, especially since 9/11, there has been a growing recognition that conflict should be defined in more fluid terms; that the line between formal military engagement and informal insurgencies is increasingly blurred. As a result, military thinking has evolved and now incorporates the phrase “stability operations” as a term of art to describe post-conflict nation-building efforts.6 Despite this shift, the military continues to use the Nine Principles of War as an intellectual basis for all military operations, including stability operations (it has folded the six principles of MOOTW into the Nine Principles of War rubric). The Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development have evolved from a similar institutional experience. They distill fundamental lessons from this experience and bring greater clarity to the operative principles that inform the mission of USAID. --------------------------------
Principle 1: Ownership
Build on the leadership, participation, and commitment of a country and its people.
The first principle of development and perhaps the most important is ownership. It holds that a country must drive its own development needs and priorities. The role of donor organizations is to support and assist this process as partners toward a common objective.7 It is essential that the country’s people view development as belonging to them and not to the donor community; development initiatives must meet the country’s needs and its people’s problems as they perceive them, not as distant policymakers imagine them. Nurturing country ownership is a laborious process that emerges with time and effort. It requires a strong agency ground presence in order to build credibility, trust, and consensus in the local population.
What the people of a community want ultimately counts a great deal, since their community belongs to them and not to external aid agencies. When ownership exists and a community invests itself in a project, the citizens will defend, maintain, and expand the project well after donors have departed. If what is left behind makes no sense to them, does not meet their needs, or does not belong to them, they will abandon it as soon as aid agencies leave. It does take much longer to engage national and local leaders patiently in their own development than to simply impose it from the outside quickly and autocratically, but the result makes all the difference.
US policy in Afghanistan has emphasized the ownership principle and has focused on encouraging Afghans to take government leadership positions. The selection of Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan is a good
illustration. In December 2001, the four major Afghan factions met in Bonn, Germany, to select an interim leader. They subsequently chose Karzai to head the Afghan Transitional Authority. What is significant about this model is that Karzai is Afghan and his ministers are all Afghan-born as well.8 Karzai has additionally strived for ethnic balance; the interim cabinet comprehensively represented all the various political groups in Afghanistan, from Mujahiddin and Northern Alliance factions to European and American members of the Afghan Diaspora.9
It is important to have a national lead the country and to have nationals head the ministries for several reasons. First, selecting a national as head of state provides a much greater degree of legitimacy; the Afghan community will inherently trust and relate better to an Afghan leader than to an outsider running the country. Second, having an Afghan leader eliminates the language barrier. Documents and meetings do not have to be translated, and general communication is facilitated. Third, it is vital that Afghans run the government transition process themselves; this may be more chaotic in the short-term, but it also means that Afghans will own the process and ultimately be responsible for the choices they make. Fourth, an Afghan such as Karzai understands the nuances of the political situation better than any outsider and is more capable of navigating through problems as they arise. Finally, when attempting to win the “hearts and minds” of the local population, especially in the midst of Taliban and warlord turmoil, it is essential to mobilize the Afghan people behind the government’s policy. One of the most important factors responsible for the growing stability and prosperity of Afghanistan is this successful mobilization of the great bulk of the population behind national government policies. This is best accomplished by an Afghan leader. ---------------------------------------
Principle 2: Capacity Building
Strengthen local institutions, transfer technical skills, and promote appropriate policies.
Capacity building involves the transfer of technical knowledge and skills to individuals and institutions so that they acquire the long-term ability to establish effective policies and deliver competent public services. One of its most important by-products is that the country increases its ability to retain, absorb, and facilitate economic investment, whether from donor assistance or from private sources of Foreign Direct Investment. Ultimately, an improved governance and investment environment is a necessary condition for sustained economic growth in any country.
The development community recognizes that the right government policies underscore all successful development efforts. Simply put, a country
with weak governance institutions and misguided policies will have a limited ability to lead its own economic and social development. For example, it is not enough to build universities and educate a country’s population. This effort must be accompanied by direct opportunities that will allow university graduates to become future political and business leaders.
Capacity building applies in the military context as well. For example, in Afghanistan the US military has established the Kabul Military Training Center as part of a $750 million plan to prepare and train a national force “capable of replacing the militias” that drove out the Taliban in 2001.10 The expectation is that the US military will transfer necessary technical skills to the Afghan National Army (ANA), which will gradually assume full responsibility for the country’s security needs.
Among the most important capacity building activities that USAID implements in Afghanistan are education programs; these are the building blocks that will foster the next generation of Afghan doctors, lawyers, engineers, and technocrats. Capacity building has occurred in several different forms. On one level, USAID has directly improved the performance and functioning of the Ministry of Education by providing technical and management advisers, assisting with curriculum development workshops, and ensuring that the ministry can manage textbook printing requirements in future years.11 On another level, USAID has built individual teacher capacity through programs such as the radio-based teacher training (RTT) program, which targets teachers who reside in remote areas of the country. As of June 2005, some 65,000 teachers have been trained through broadcasts that strengthen their teaching skills and spread civic and educational messages. About 7,500 more teachers have been trained through face-to-face instruction, and 6,800 in an accelerated training program.12 As more teachers have been trained, more children have returned to school: primary school enrollment has increased from a pre-war total of one million (2001) to 4.8 million as of December 2004.13
The development community accepts the notion that strong human and technical capacity are necessary prerequisites for stability and economic growth. Simply put, a country with weak government institutions staffed by unqualified and inefficient officials will have a limited ability to lead and sustain its own economic and social development. ------------------------------
Principle 3: Sustainability
Design programs to ensure their impact endures.
The core of the sustainability principle is that development agencies should design programs so that their impact endures beyond the end of the project. Sustainability also encompasses the notion that a country’s resources are
finite and development should ensure a balance between economic development, social development, and democracy and governance. The sustainability principle forces aid managers to consider whether the technology, institution, or service they are introducing to a society will have a lasting effect.
Sustainability is equally applicable in the military context. In order for the military to accomplish its missions, commanders must persevere; they must balance the need to quickly execute their immediate mission and then depart, on the one hand, with the necessity of developing sustainable local police and military forces capable of protecting the country in the future against resurgent Taliban or al Qaeda forces, on the other.14 For example, it is not enough for the US military to train and initially equip ANA soldiers. The best-trained army will languish and deteriorate without ongoing government support and funding. Sustainability demands that the Afghan government eventually start replacing external military assistance with domestic tax revenues to fund the Afghan National Army and other public services.
Sustainability is especially important in times of turmoil; if proper sustainable structures are in place, then the project will endure despite surrounding conflict. A good case in point is the Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan. The dam was originally constructed in 1953 with funding from the US Export-Import Bank; it was upgraded with USAID assistance in 1975.15 It has supplied continuous electricity to the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar and consistently provided irrigation water to the surrounding valley. After the invasion of the Soviet army in 1979 and the subsequent withdrawal of US assistance to Afghanistan, the engineers in charge of its maintenance were able to keep the dam operational and productive through 23 years of civil war and Taliban oppression without any external assistance, supplies, or funding.16 The dam’s remarkable sustainability has been due to a combination of factors: extensive engineer training that emphasized dam maintenance, durable construction design, and adherence to the ownership principle—Afghans took responsibility for maintaining the dam themselves, and they did everything possible to keep it operational.
In contrast, other development efforts in Afghanistan have been less successful because they have failed to take the sustainability principle into consideration. For example, one outside agency intended to provide electricity to a remote village. Rather than extend power lines from a central grid, they supplied a diesel generator. In the short-term, the village had an ample source of electricity. In the long-term, this proved unsustainable as the village had no means or resources to replenish the spent fuel and lacked the technical ability to repair the generator as required. Sustainability means ensuring that the program’s impact will endure. It entails, for instance, making certain that a nearby aquifer can adequately support the local population’s long-term water needs before tapping the source and constructing a water system.
Ownership, capacity building, and sustainability form an iron triad of principles underscoring all successful and enduring development and reconstruction projects. These principles cannot be applied successfully over short time periods. They require years of consistent effort and support or they will fail. There are no quick fixes in successful development. A development officer ignores these principles at great risk: alienation of the local population and failed projects. ----------
Principle 4: Selectivity
Allocate resources based on need, local commitment, and foreign policy interests.
The selectivity principle directs US bilateral assistance organizations to invest scarce aid resources based on three notions: humanitarian need, the foreign policy interests of the United States, and the commitment of a country and its leadership to reform. To maximize effectiveness, donor resource allocation must be targeted where it can have an appreciable impact and where the recipient community demonstrates commitment to development goals.
In military terms, selectivity closely relates to the principle of “mass”—concentrate military power at the decisive place and time. The underlying notion is that resources are finite and are most effective when concentrated together in select situations. Any allocation of resources, whether in combat operations or infrastructure projects, must take into consideration foreign policy interests, political circumstances, and ground-level need.
President Bush’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) exemplifies the principle of selectivity. The MCC is not meant to provide everlasting across-the-board economic growth assistance. Instead, it focuses on transformational development, fostering far-reaching, fundamental changes so that further economic and social progress can be sustained without dependence on foreign aid. Thus, the MCC applies to a specific country archetype: one that possesses a strong governance framework and which requires large-scale capital investment as a final ingredient toward full-scale development and growth. To determine which countries fit this transformational development model, MCC rates countries on a 16-point scale in the broad categories of ruling justly, investment in people, and economic freedom. It then selects countries eligible for funding based on a country’s rating.
In Afghanistan, the restored Kabul-to-Kandahar highway illustrates the selectivity principle.17 More than 35 percent of the country’s population lives within 50 kilometers of this highway; unfortunately, over two decades of war and poor maintenance had devastated the road.18 Restoration of the highway was a high priority for President Karzai and President Bush: USAID was asked to implement the project over a short time frame of 14 months. The project was crucial to extending the influence of the new government; the road has led to increased rates of economic development, it has fostered civil society, and it helps ensure unity and long-term security in the country.19 In addition, the road circulates through a significant number of Taliban strongholds, so upgrading the road has diminished the Taliban’s ability to exert influence in this portion of the country.
The highway is a primary example of the selectivity principle. USAID factored in the developmental need the highway would serve (access to markets and cities), the foreign policy interests of the United States (promote economic development and country unity, counteract Taliban influence), and the commitment of a country and its leadership to reform (President Karzai is an acknowledged reformer with exceptional commitment to the project). ------------
Principle 5: Assessment
Conduct careful research, adapt best practices, and design for local conditions.
One of the most important tasks a development agency must undertake before designing and implementing a program is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of local conditions. A development agency must consider several factors in the assessment process: Do reconstruction plans conform to conditions on the ground? What are the best practices for each intervention? And what is the absorptive capacity of a society to accept large amounts of assistance? (One of the most serious failures of foreign aid programs is to force too much money into local institutions that cannot responsibly spend the increased external funding.) Beginning a program without proper assessments is comparable to initiating a major military campaign against a determined adversary with no military intelligence: it is a recipe for failure.
USAID’s collaboration with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan—which are joint civil-military units, each consisting of 70-80 personnel—offers another illustration of the assessment principle. Good development demands that an agency conduct ground-level assessments before enacting a project. In select situations, USAID makes use of the PRTs because they allow civilian personnel to conduct field assessments in areas that are otherwise unstable because of the presence of Taliban insurgents, regional warlords, drug-financed criminal organizations, and an atmosphere of general lawlessness.20 USAID has been able to monitor critical reconstruction projects, conduct needs assessments, and mobilize local partners with support from PRT military forces.
Further, in conjunction with the PRTs, USAID must ensure that a proposed project fits into national ministry plans. One of the primary responsibilities of a democratically elected government is to provide essential and needed public services; doing so builds public support and loyalty to the government. To facilitate this, each ministry in Afghanistan has produced a strategy which fits into the Afghan national development plan to ensure that limited resources are maximized—for example, ensuring that new schools are built in underserviced communities that lack educational facilities. For a project to be effective, a donor must make certain that a potential school not only is included in the ministry’s strategic plan, but that the ministry has budgeted funds to support teachers, staff, and textbooks for the school.
Without a comprehensive field-level assessment, it is almost impossible to predict whether a project will have a measurable and definable effect. The principle of assessment is linked closely to the next principle of development—results.
Principle 6: Results
Direct resources to achieve clearly defined, measurable, and strategically focused objectives.
The principle of results is an outgrowth of the assessment principle. It means that before a donor agency even enters a particular country, it first determines its strategic objectives: What impact do the donor and the country hope to achieve? Second, the donor and country must consider how they can best attain the desired impact: What types of programs and resources will lead to the goal? Finally, the donor and the country must determine what specific benchmarks will indicate whether they are accomplishing their strategic objectives and whether implemented programs are achieving the intended impact.
USAID incorporates the principle of results throughout all its programs and operations in over 80 countries in which it has field missions. The rationale underlying this principle is that when an agency is obligated to consider programmatic impact from the beginning stages, this will lead to more clearly defined and strategically focused objectives. Since 1993, the notion of managing for results has emerged as an explicit core value of the agency. When deciding whether to implement a particular project, the agency applies a “results framework” that visually depicts the objectives to be achieved by USAID and through the contributions of other donors and actors.
Likewise, the results principle is equally integral to military science. The principle of the objective directs that “every military operation should move toward a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective,” and that officers must understand strategic aims, set appropriate objectives, and ensure these objectives contribute to overall unity of effort.21
Two examples of USAID’s reconstruction and development work in Afghanistan demonstrate the results principle in practice:
• It is vital that Afghanistan establish a legitimate and democratic government if it is to achieve a lasting measure of political stability. To assist in that objective, USAID supported the government of Afghanistan in its October 2004 presidential election. Over 11 million Afghan-born voters registered in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. USAID supported the hiring and training of approximately 120,000 polling workers by the national election commission, and it provided support in setting up 22,000 polling stations and 5,000 polling centers. On the 9 October election day, approximately eight million Afghans voted, 41.3 percent of whom were women.22
• Instability, coupled with the region’s four-year drought, had devastated Afghanistan’s food production capacity. In response, USAID established the Rebuilding Agricultural Markets Program (RAMP), which focuses on all aspects of the agricultural sector, including such elemental requirements as providing seeds and fertilizer, rebuilding rural roads and bridges, improving access to markets, vaccinating livestock, and extending micro-credit lending. To date, RAMP has assisted 588,000 farmers, and has vaccinated 2.3 million livestock per quarter. Its microfinance component has disbursed more than $700,000 in loans to some 9,500 borrowers. The program has improved irrigation in more than 840,000 acres and established 17 village-based seed enterprises, producing an estimated 4.3 million metric tons of cereal crops for 2005.23
The National Security Strategy emphasizes that the United States must “insist upon measurable results to ensure that development assistance is actually making a difference in the lives of the poor.”24 The principle of results reinforces this sentiment by requiring development agencies to focus attention on the actual impact of foreign assistance investment. -------------
Principle 7: Partnership
Collaborate closely with governments, communities, donors, non-profit organizations, the private sector, international organizations, and universities.
The partnership principle is a central element of USAID’s business model and holds that donors should collaborate closely at all levels with partner entities, from local businesses and private voluntary organizations to government ministries.25 When USAID implements a project, it usually works with a network of partners; this could include an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) which will exercise direct oversight over an entire program, or a local university that will implement a civic education initiative.
USAID’s structure varies significantly from the military’s organization. The agency uses a highly decentralized structure where implementation and much program design takes place in country field missions. The USAID equivalent of “commanders” is its “mission directors,” and they have much greater autonomy than counterparts in the military and most other international aid agencies. USAID missions work in a linear, horizontal organizational structure that links various voluntary partnerships, many different parts of civil society, and local and national governments, through voluntary agreements and funding mechanisms.
An important part of the agency’s mandate in recent years has been to expand its base of partners and use nontraditional groups who have much to offer to the development community. This includes opening a faith-based office to accommodate these new, nontraditional groups, and extending its partner outreach to the business community, working through the auspices of the Global Development Alliance. To date, USAID has signed more than 285 collaborative agreements, contributing $1.1 billion and leveraging another $3.7 billion in private funding, designed to facilitate work with nontraditional partners such as foundations, private universities, and private corporations.
The partnership principle is a significant component of USAID projects in Afghanistan. One example is the agency’s work with media programs and radio broadcasters. Radio predominates in Afghanistan; during the war it was the lifeline for a scattered population, most of whom cannot read. In a broadcasting environment that had been tightly controlled by the state and Afghan warlords, where the Taliban had banned the playing of music, it was important to promote a free and open media and to build a society tolerant of free expression. To that end, USAID has provided capital and training in message delivery to 32 radio stations throughout Afghanistan, including a commercial radio station network run by Afghan repatriates.26 This network targets the youth audience of Kabul and other major cities through determined work, willingness to take risks, and financial contributions from its Afghan proprietors. One station owner states, “We identified a target market of 15- to 40-year-olds. This is the generation that’s going to have a huge impact on the future of this country. . . . Elitists think you should tell people what’s good for them and what’s not good. But we do the opposite—we give them what they want.”27
When contemplating a project, one of the first things the agency looks for on the ground is a strong, local partner who can effectively manage the program from design and assessment to implementation. The agency has developed a set of analytical tools to determine which potential partners have the highest likelihood of success. ------------------------------------------
Principle 8: Flexibility
Adjust to changing conditions, take advantage of opportunities, and maximize efficiency.
Development assistance is fraught with uncertainties and changing circumstances that require an agency to continuously assess current conditions and adjust its response appropriately. Often, small windows of opportunity appear out of nowhere—for example, a sudden change in top leadership—that can critically affect donor strategy. The principle of flexibility maintains that agencies must be adaptable in order to anticipate possible problems and to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. On the other hand, flexibility must be balanced with the fact that good development takes time—nations are not built overnight, but require continued effort. In the past there has been little inclination to spend sustained amounts of money for long-term reconstruction. The Bush Administration has adopted a new approach, especially with regard to Afghanistan. This has allowed reconstruction efforts to be systematized and done on a large scale.
Flexibility and the principle of maneuver are integral components of military stabilization operations as well. Because political considerations guide stabilization efforts, military commanders must remain constantly aware of the political environment and be prepared to change tactics accordingly. Moreover, the fact that stabilization operations incorporate such an expansive agenda—encompassing everything from anti-terrorist exercises to humanitarian assistance—underscores the need for military flexibility.
USAID’s role in the Afghan counternarcotics program illustrates the importance of being responsive and flexible. In 2004, poppy production in Afghanistan expanded to more than 500,000 acres, resulting in the opium economy accounting for 60 percent of Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In response, USAID was asked to create the Alternative Livelihoods Program, which provides Afghans with short- and long-term sources of income in order to help farmers move out of the poppy economy and into legitimate agricultural activities. Rural development programs already are an integral part of USAID’s agriculture strategy; consequently, the agency was able to refocus the current agriculture program in order to assist and tackle the poppy problem. By investing additional resources in existing rural growth programs, focusing on both farm and non-farm employment, and building upon its relationships with local governments in targeted poppy-growing areas, USAID is leveraging the Afghan government’s commitment to fighting the opium problem.28 USAID’s experience in alternate livelihood programs in cocaine-producing areas of Latin America suggests they can be successful only if combined with aggressive eradication and interdiction programs. In a recovering state, such as Afghanistan, the ability to move quickly and react flexibly as urgent situations arise is essential. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Principle 9: Accountability
Design accountability and transparency into systems and build effective checks and balances to guard against corruption.
There are two important aspects to the accountability principle: donors should work to fight corruption in the countries where they operate, and donors must also ensure that the actual programs they implement are transparent and accountable. Within the US government, oversight bodies such as the Inspector General, independent auditors, the Government Accountability Office, and congressional investigative committees help guard against cost overruns, financial abuse, and contractor mismanagement. Externally, development agencies should ensure that potential projects are not preyed upon by corrupt local officials, and that development programs enhance democratic governance structures and local accountability systems. Political institutions—especially in developing countries—are fragile, and if these countries lack a strong rule-of-law foundation then there is an increased risk of corruption.
The accountability principle closely relates to stabilization operations as well. The local population must view the military operation as legitimate, and they must also perceive that their government has real authority. If corruption takes root, either on the side of the US aid program or on the part of the host-country government, then the entire principle of legitimacy is undermined.
In the case of a fragile state such as Afghanistan, applying the principle of accountability is even more important. In such states, the risk of diversion of funds and of corruption is extremely high. Three operating disciplines have been used in managing programs which have protected projects from corruption. First, the agency has built-in accountability procedures in its business model: its procurement and implementation procedures are statutorily regulated by the Federal Acquisition Rules, and offices such as the Inspector General perform concurrent audits while the programs are being implemented to ensure compliance. Second, the agency has limited prime contracting to major international firms (local firms frequently do not have the capacity to manage major infrastructure projects), but it has ensured that the selected firm subcontract to Afghan construction companies. Third, the agency has supported the Afghan Ministry of Finance to implement a number of anti-corruption programs, including an extensive customs reform program. In the last fiscal year, such programs enabled customs to exceed its budget target by 20 percent, constituting about half of all domestic revenue.29
The Kabul-to-Kandahar road project again is a good illustration of the first two factors in practice. USAID selected the prime contractor, which in turn subcontracted various pieces to local firms. For purposes of accountability, the agency built in several layers of oversight. First, the agency has an in-country engineering staff that performed quality assurance inspections of contractor work and which operated as watchdogs over the entire process. Second, USAID’s Inspector General consistently reviewed financial invoices and conducted two general audits to ensure regularity and compliance. Third, the agency contracted with the US Army Corps of Engineers to provide technical oversight functions over the contractor. The result was that the project finished to specification and on schedule.30
Based on its institutional experience, USAID follows a standard set of accountability guidelines. It distributes smaller amounts of money to local organizations to avoid overwhelming underdeveloped systems. It disburses funds only after work on a project run by a new local organization is complete or as bills arrive. The agency seldom provides up-front money to untested implementing organizations. Further, the agency provides significant financial system training to local groups to build their capacity to handle larger sums of money. Finally, USAID compiles a list of corrupt organizations and bars them from receiving future funding. Finally, the agency chooses experienced organizations as primary fiduciary agents in order to facilitate timely and accountable completion of large-scale projects. --------------------------------
The Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development are a formalization of customary USAID operating procedures. They reflect key institutional principles that most seasoned aid agencies incorporate in all their work, from ensuring local ownership and sustainability of a health clinic to flexibly adjusting a rural development program to counteract poppy cultivation.
The tragic events of 11 September 2001 ushered in a new development and security paradigm; the implications have been far-reaching, and they extend through all branches of the US government. This new paradigm means that an increasing number of complex emergencies and fragile states have heightened consequences for US national security interests. It is no longer acceptable or appropriate for us to avoid engaging with failed states; there is a contemporaneous correlation between failed states and terrorist-induced instability. The development community and the military community will continue to move toward closer and increased collaboration. Already, we are witnessing the emergence of this shift in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is critically important that the military and development communities achieve a better understanding of each other’s comparative advantages and collaborate accordingly. For example, while the military is the best instrument to enter a conflict environment and provide an immediate stabilizing force, civilian agencies are better equipped to oversee actual reconstruction and development work.
Finally, it is important to bear in mind two notions regarding the Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development. First, the Nine Principles significantly overlap with military doctrinal principles. The continued development of the military’s stabilization operations platform and the increasing frequency of civil-military collaborations means this convergence is here to stay. Second, effective reconstruction and development work cannot afford to overlook the Nine Principles. Quite simply, reconstruction is not effective when the local population does not feel a sense of ownership toward donor programs. Likewise, if donors ignore the accountability principle, not only does this set a poor example for the local population, but the legitimacy of the donor’s overall involvement is brought into question. The development discipline will continue to evolve as will our understanding of it; the Nine Principles are an important part of this continuing effort. ----------------------------------------------------
1. George W. Bush, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington: The White House, September 2002), p. 21,
2. US Agency for International Development, “White Paper: U.S. Foreign Aid, Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century,” January 2004, (hereinafter, “White Paper”); US Agency for International Development, “Fragile States Strategy,” January 2005,
3. “White Paper,” p. 5.
4. George C. Marshall, “Commencement Address at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 5, 1947,”
5. US Department of the Army, Operations, Field Manual 3-0 (Washington: GPO, 14 June 2001), para. 4-33, In the 19th century war came to be studied scientifically. Carl von Clausewitz was among the first to analytically examine war in his landmark treatise, On War. The Nine Principles of War are a result of this ongoing inquiry. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976).
6. Stability operations are: “military operations in concert with the other elements of national power and multinational partners, to maintain or re-establish order and promote stability.” US Joint Staff, “Joint Operations, Concepts,” 3 November 2003,
7. This article uses the terms “donor organization” and “donor agency” to refer to those entities that provide direct funding for development activities. Other examples of donor agencies include the World Bank, UN agencies, International Monetary Fund, and UK Department for International Development.
8. US Agency for International Development, “OTI Country Programs, Field Report: Afghanistan,” January-February 2002,
9. “Hamid Karzai Names a New Government,” Economist, 1 January 2005.
10. US Agency for International Development, “Afghanistan Reborn,” October 2004,
11. US Agency for International Development, “Afghanistan: Enhancing Education,” 18 July 2005,
12. Ibid.
13. The Brookings Institution, “Afghanistan Index,” 23 March 2005,
14. US Army, Stability Operations and Support Operations, Field Manual 3-07 (Washington: GPO, February 2003), pp. 1-19 to 1-20.
15. Louis Dupree, Afghanistan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1980), p. 484.
16. US Agency for International Development, “Rebuilding Afghanistan: Weekly Activity Update,” 2-10 February 2004,
17. The selectivity principle is instrumental in determining the amount of reconstruction assistance appropriated to Afghanistan. From 11 September 2001 through the end of Fiscal Year 2004, USAID has provided approximately $2 billion in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. Funding appropriation levels were $279.4 million in FY 2002, $356.3 million in FY 2003, and approximately $1.07 billion in FY 2004. Official Development Assistance totals reflect a similar increase in assistance: $7.7 million in 2001, $367.61 million in 2002, and $485.79 million in 2003. The rationale for this large investment is that after 23 years of conflict and suffering, the country only now has a reform-minded government in place and the beginnings of a democratic system. Thus, an infusion of development resources has the potential to bring about critical and decisive change. US Agency for International Development, “FY 2005 USAID Country Summary Allocation – Request,”; “International Development Statistics Online Databases on Aid and Other Resource Flows,” 2005,
18. US Agency for International Development, “Rebuilding Afghanistan: Road to Success,” 27 February 2003,
19. Ibid.
20. US Agency for International Development, “Rebuilding Afghanistan, Weekly Activity Update,” 11-16 February 2004,
21. Field Manual 3-07, pp. 1-19.
22. Afghanistan Presidential Election Results, Joint Electoral Management Body Secretariat, July 2005,; US Agency for International Development, “Rebuilding Afghanistan, Weekly Activity Update,” 30 September - 4 November 2004,
23. US Agency for International Development, “Afghanistan, Restoring Agricultural Markets,” 18 July 2005,
24. Bush, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, p. 22.
25. USAID’s development partners can be broadly broken down into several different categories. At one end, the agency collaborates with bilateral and multilateral donor organizations. This includes United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF and UNHCR, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and traditional bilateral entities such as the UK’s Department for International Development. Donors rarely implement projects; they tend to work with different organizations which directly manage the projects. These implementing organizations vary widely, including private voluntary organizations, indigenous groups, universities, local and American businesses, other governments, trade and professional associations, and faith-based organizations.
26. US Agency for International Development, “Afghanistan Transition Initiative: Media,” February 2005,
27. Quoted in Victoria Burnett, “Trendy Radio Station Strikes Chord with Youth, Financial Times, 7 September 2004.
28. US Agency for International Development, “Drug Eradication Program in Afghanistan,” 22 October 2004,
29. International Monetary Fund, Concluding Statement of the IMF Mission, 18 May 2005, Fighting corruption is such a priority for the agency that it released a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy at the beginning of 2005 reflecting five years of discussion and analysis. See US Agency for International Development, “Anti-corruption Strategy,” January 2005,
30. US Agency for International Development, “USAID Fact Sheet, Phase I Kabul-Kandahar Highway,” 14 December 2003,
Andrew S. Natsios (Lieutenant Colonel, USAR Ret.) is Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). President Bush also has appointed him Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance and Special Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan. Natsios served previously at USAID as director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from 1989 to 1991, and then as assistant administrator for the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance from 1991 to 1993. He is the author of U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (CSIS, 1997), and The Great North Korean Famine (US Institute of Peace, 2001). He retired from the US Army Reserve in 1995 after 23 years of service, and he is a veteran of the Gulf War.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


To Implement Modifications to the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
1. Section 5002 of the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006 (Division D, Title V of Public Law 109 432)(the "HOPE Act"), which amends the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Title II of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Public Law 106 200)(CBERA), provides that preferential tariff treatment may be provided to certain articles that are imported directly from Haiti into the customs territory of the United States, provided the President determines that Haiti meets the eligibility requirements of section 213A(d) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(d)), and Haiti is meeting the conditions regarding enforcement of circumvention set forth in section 213A(e) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(e)(1)).
2. Section 6002 of the Africa Investment Incentive Act of 2006 (Division D, Title VI of Public Law 109 432) amends section 112 of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Public Law 106 200)(AGOA) to modify the preferential tariff treatment accorded to designated lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.
3. Pursuant to section 213A(d) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(d)), I have determined that Haiti meets the eligibility requirements set forth in section 213A(d)(1).
4. Pursuant to section 213A(e) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(e)), I have determined that Haiti is meeting the conditions set forth therein.
5. In order to implement the tariff treatment provided under section 213A of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a), and section 112(b)(8) and 112(c) of AGOA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 3721(b)(8) and (c)), it is necessary to modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).
6. Title I, subtitles A and B of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (Public Law 109 432)(the "Tax Relief Act") suspended or reduced duties on certain articles that were identified under provisions of the HTS in effect on December 20, 2006. Presidential Proclamation 8097 of December 27, 2006, modified the HTS to conform it to the International Convention
on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. Modifications to the HTS are necessary to reflect accurately the suspension or reduction of duties that were enacted in the Tax Relief Act.
7. Section 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the "1974 Act") (19 U.S.C. 2483), authorizes the President to embody in the HTS the substance of relevant provisions of that Act, or other acts affecting import treatment, and of actions taken thereunder, including the removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.
8. I have determined that it is appropriate to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to perform the functions specified in section 213A(f) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(f)).
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 604 of the 1974 Act, and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, do proclaim that:
(1) In order to provide the tariff treatment provided for in section 213A of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a), the HTS is modified as provided in Annex I to this proclamation.
(2) In order to implement the tariff treatment provided for in section 112(b)(8) and section 112(c) of AGOA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 3721(b)(8) and (c)), the HTS is modified as provided in Annex II to this proclamation.
(3) In order to provide the tariff treatment provided for in Title I, subtitles A and B of the Tax Relief Act, and to make technical corrections to previously proclaimed provisions, the HTS is modified as provided in Annex III to this proclamation.
(4) The modifications to the HTS set forth in the annexes to this proclamation shall be effective with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the dates set forth in the respective annex.
(5) The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to perform the functions assigned to the President in section 213A(f) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(f)).
(6) Any provisions of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

Haiti ONA: Utilisation illegale par le gouvernement Alexis des fonds de pension des ouvriers Haitiens

Le gouvernement d'Alexis est en train de dépenser illégalement les fonds de pension des travailleurs Haïtiens. Les ouvriers Haïtiens du secteur public et prive contribuent durant leur vie active à un fond de pension se trouvant à l'ONA. Cette contribution d'environ 12% est prélevée sur leur salaire sur une période des fois dépassant trente ans. En retour l'ONA devra payé un cheque de pension aux citoyens ayant pris leur retraite. L'ONA a donc, théoriquement, dans ses caisses des millions de gourdes devant garantir le paiement des chèques de sécurité sociale des retraités. En révisant des documents de L'ONA nous avons constate que le gouvernement Alexis en finançant des activités politiques est en train de jeter à la poubelle les fonds de pension des ouvriers Haïtiens. Consultez ci-dessus la liste partielle de ceux qui ont reçu des chèques. En effet 21 parlementaires et autres ont reçu des sommes énormes de l'ONA pour des activités rocambolesques. C'est un scandale ! Les ouvriers Haïtiens qui ont durement travaillé pendant une vie entière mérite mieux. De multiples questions me viennent à l'esprit : 1. Est-ce que les fonds (des centaines de millions) devant garantir le paiement des chèques de pension des ouvriers sont toujours disponibles ou ont disparus des comptes de l'ONA? 2. Que pensent les syndicats Haïtiens du détournement à des fins politiques des fonds de pension des ouvriers Haïtiens ? 3. Que pense le secteur patronal ? 4. Que pensent les organisations de la société civile sur le détournement des fonds de pension des ouvriers Haïtiens ? 5. Que pensent les parlementaires qui n'ont pas reçu de contributions de l'ONA? 6. Que pense la Cour Supérieure des Comptes ? 7. Que pense l'UCREF ? 8. Est-ce que le parlement est dans l'incapacité de renvoyer Mr. Alexis paske neg ap touché ? Le pouvoir donne des responsabilités qui doivent êtres sanctionnées. C'est un devoir constitutionnel, c'est un devoir citoyen. Je me demande si le parlement ne devrait pas renvoyer Jacques Edouard Alexis pour son incompétence, incapacité et irresponsabilités prouvées durant dix mois? -- -- Stanley Lucas -------------------------------The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Haiti: State Department Human Rights Report

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2006Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and LaborMarch 6, 2007
Haiti is a republic with a constitution that calls for an elected president and a bicameral legislature. Its population is approximately 8.4 million. After then president Jean Bertrand Aristide resigned and departed the country in February 2004, Boniface Alexandre, chief justice of the Supreme Court, assumed office as interim president (pursuant to the constitutionally prescribed order of succession). In March 2004 Gerard Latortue was installed as prime minister of the Interim Government of Haiti (IGOH). Presidential and run-off parliamentary elections were held on February 7 and April 21. More than 3.5 million citizens registered to vote (79 percent of eligible voters according to a 2003 census), and an estimated 63 percent of registered voters participated in the elections. After a relatively stable and peaceful election process, voters selected a new president and filled 129 parliamentary seats. President Rene Preval and the new parliament took office on May 14.
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), deploying 6,668 troops and 1,692 civilian police from 45 countries, provided security in advance of and during the elections, trained and supported the national police force, and assisted the government in suppressing gang-related violence and deterring potentially violent opposition by well-armed and militant political groups.
Despite some improvements, the government's human rights record remained poor. The following human rights problems were reported: occasional extrajudicial killings by elements of the Haitian National Police (HNP); overcrowding and poor sanitation in prisons; occasional arbitrary arrests; prolonged pretrial detention; an inefficient judiciary subject to significant influence by the executive and legislative branches; severe corruption in all branches of government; ineffective enforcement of trade union organizing rights; ineffective measures to prevent violence and societal discrimination against women; child abuse, internal trafficking of children, and child domestic labor; and ineffective measure to address killings by members of gangs and other armed groups; and kidnapping, torture and cruel treatment by gang members and criminals.-------------------------------------
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS----------------------
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life -------------------
In contrast with 2005, the government or its agents did not commit any politically motivated killings. However, there were incidents where suspected elements of the HNP (acting outside of their authority) unlawfully killed citizens. The government was, for the most part, unable to conduct thorough and reliable investigations to determine who was at fault. It remained difficult to identify and prosecute suspected killings by HNP officers, sometimes due to imposters posing as HNP officers. The HNP lacked rudimentary expertise and resources and as a result was unable to conduct thorough and reliable investigations of many of these incidents. If suspects were arrested, they were often released due to the country's corrupt and inefficient judicial system.
On May 14, there were two suspected but unconfirmed deaths in prison caused by prison guards using excessive force during a riot at the men's penitentiary. The HNP, prison authorities, and MINUSTAH were unable to substantiate the deaths (see section 1.c.).
In August, media reported that an HNP officer in Gonaives shot and killed a man who was apparently arguing with the officer in front of the police station. The officer was arrested. No additional information was available.
There were some developments in multiple killings by HNP officers reported in 2005 and earlier. Four of the eight HNP officers charged with the 2004 torture and killing of five juveniles escaped from prison in February 2005. On August 30, the criminal court fined the remaining four officers and sentenced them to five years' imprisonment.
At year's end only two of the 15 HNP officers arrested for the August 2005 killings of six men during a soccer match in Port-au-Prince remained in prison and awaited trial. A judge, thought to be corrupt by one human rights organization, released the other 13 officers. Details concerning the release were not publicly available.
Much of the violence in the country stemmed from the activities of organized criminal gangs. Common criminality and armed attacks against civilians continued to create fear among the population.
On July 7, gang members deliberately killed at least 20 residents in the Gran Ravine district of Martissant, a slum area in Port-au-Prince. Many more people were injured and hundreds of homes were burned. The violence resulted from a territorial dispute between rival gangs. Subsequent turf battles in the Martissant area caused several more deaths in the weeks that followed.
On September 21, unknown assailants shot and killed Bruner Esterne, a human rights activist in the Gran Ravine district of Martissant. Esterne was an eyewitness to the HNP killings that occurred at a soccer match in Martissant in September 2005.
On September 26, gang members killed eight residents of Martissant's Fontamara district. MINUSTAH subsequently strengthened its presence in the area, but violence continued.
Suspected retribution killings also occurred. On September 14, Guy Francois, a former colonel in the now-disbanded army, was shot and killed by persons who were talking with him as he sat in his car in Petionville (a suburb of Port-au-Prince). The police have made no arrests in that case.
In response to ongoing violence perpetrated with impunity by criminals, citizens in some neighborhoods resorted to vigilante justice. There were occasional and credible reports of irate citizens in Port-au-Prince killing individuals who were suspected of rape, murder, or kidnapping.
On December 20, a crowd of several hundred citizens confronted HNP and MINUSTAH at an HNP substation under the mistaken belief that the HNP was holding a suspected kidnapper. The mob demanded that the authorities release the suspect so that the mob could kill him. The mob barricaded streets and burned a UN vehicle. HNP and UN-established civilian police (UNCIVPOL) broke up the mob, but at least two of the demonstrators were injured by gunfire and another possibly died. No further investigations were conducted at year's end.------------
b. Disappearance----------------------------------------
Unlike in 2005, there were no reports of politically motivated disappearances caused by government agents; however, there were reports of disappearances that stemmed from internal conflict.
There were widespread kidnappings of citizens from all social strata by armed and organized criminal elements. While most cases were resolved through the payment of ransom, some victims were tortured, raped, and killed while in their kidnappers' custody. There were 554 reported kidnapping victims during the year, compared with 760 in 2005. Many kidnappings were not reported.
In August and September the criminal court convicted and sentenced each of two HNP officers to seven years' imprisonment in two kidnapping cases.--------------------------
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment-------------------------------------------
The law prohibits such practices and, unlike in 2005 there were no reports that government officials employed them; however, criminal gangs frequently employed these practices.
In September the criminal court sentenced James Montas, an HNP officer, to six years in prison for the rape of Carline Seide on November 2, 2003.
During the year MINUSTAH investigated five cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors by MINUSTAH security forces. All remained pending at year's end.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
All but four of the police stations and prisons damaged or destroyed in 2004 have reopened; however, prisons remained overcrowded, poorly maintained, and unsanitary. According to the NGO National Human Rights Network for Haiti (RNDDH), prisoners and detainees continued to suffer from a lack of basic hygiene, malnutrition, poor quality health care, and the presence of rodents. Furthermore, most prisons lacked adequate food and sanitation and periodically suffered from lack of water, especially in the provinces. The incidence of preventable diseases such as beriberi, AIDS, and tuberculosis decreased during the year but remained a serious issue. Prisons were also plagued by guard corruption. There were 12 known retribution killings of prison guards outside prison walls within the last three years.
On May 14, a riot erupted at the National Penitentiary (housing adult men). Approximately 300 prisoners took over the maximum security facility within the penitentiary and held out for approximately four hours before surrendering to a combined force of prison guards, HNP crowd control CIMO officers (Haitian National Police's Company for Maintaining Order), and UNCIVPOL officers. Approximately 40 prisoners were injured (a few seriously) and perhaps two died according to UNCIVPOL officers on the scene; although the deaths have not been verified by the HNP, MINUSTAH or human rights organizations. Six police officers were injured. Information from MINUSTAH and witnesses at the scene indicated that during the riot prison guards physically abused prisoners, beating non aggressive prisoners with clubs and shooting firearms directly at unarmed prisoners. Intervention by a team of UNCIVPOL and HNP CIMO officers prevented the situation from becoming much worse.
There are separate penitentiaries for adult men and women in Port-au-Prince. The men's facility held 2,235 adult men, and the women's facility held 198 women (both adults and girls). There were 15 other local detention centers throughout the country. In those centers, space permitting, male and female prisoners were held in separate cells. Children 16 and older were confined with adults.
Most boys (109 of 154) were held in a separate facility in Port-au-Prince. By law, that facility may only hold boys ages 13 to 15, although there were a few children who claimed to be 11-to-12 and 16-to-17 years-of-age. Most girls under age 16 (27 of 33) were held in the same cells as female adults in the women's penitentiary in Port-au-Prince.
The government possessed a computerized national system for tracking the movements and status of prisoners in each of its facilities. This system was developed with the assistance of the UN Development Program and was maintained by correctional staff. The total prison population, including both pretrial detainees and sentenced prisoners in the country's 17 prisons, was 4,663. Of the 4,663 prisoners in custody, only 738 of them (16 percent) had been tried and sentenced, while 3,925 detainees (84 percent) still awaited trial.
An already burdened prison system was stressed further with insufficient facilities to hold prisoners, especially as new arrests mounted during the year. Due to lack of available space, minors and adults sometimes were held in the same cell. In addition, overcrowding prevented the constitutionally mandated separation of violent from nonviolent prisoners or convicted individuals from individuals in preventive detention. Many convicted prisoners were incarcerated for long terms in temporary holding cells, particularly in the provinces. Most severely overcrowded was the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, built in 1915. The penitentiary was originally designed to hold a maximum of 800 prisoners and was expanded in 1997 to accommodate an additional 400 inmates, for a total of 1200 prisoners. It held 2,235 inmates at year's end.
The total prison population did not include the large number of persons who were held in police stations around the country in "preventive detention" (without a hearing or charges being filed) for longer than the constitutionally mandated 48-hour maximum detention period. Inadequate record keeping and data entry at the police stations made it difficult to estimate the number of persons held in preventive detention.
The authorities freely permitted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Haitian Red Cross, and human rights groups to enter prisons and police stations, monitor conditions, and assist prisoners and detainees with medical care, food, and legal aid. The ICRC and RNDDH monitored prison conditions in cooperation with the Department of Prison Administration (DAP).
The ICRC's primary concerns related to adequate water, food, and sanitation; however, the government continued to lack the resources to implement necessary changes. -----------
d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention---------------------------------------
The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the constitution stipulates that a person may be arrested only if apprehended during the commission of a crime, or on the basis of a written order by a legally competent official such as a justice of the peace or magistrate. The authorities must bring the detainee before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. In practice officials frequently ignored these provisions. With so many detainees being held in preventive detention without the benefit of a hearing and in violation of the 48-hour rule, it was difficult to determine how many of them were arbitrarily arrested or detained.------------------------------
Role of the Police and Security Apparatus------------------------------------
The 7,700-member HNP has the sole responsibility for law enforcement and maintenance of order in the country. The HNP is an officially autonomous civilian institution under a director general who controls the force. The Ministry of Justice, through its minister and the secretary of state for public security, provides oversight.
In July 2005 the IGOH installed new HNP leadership, which then initiated a program to eliminate corrupt officers, train the remaining officers (including human rights training), and induct new classes of recruits who were cleared by MINUSTAH and UNCIVPOL. The director general installed in July 2005 purged the upper ranks of the internal affairs unit of corrupt officers and appointed a new professional inspector in charge of investigating accusations of police corruption and human rights abuses. Under the director general's leadership, the HNP conducted at times swift investigations of human rights cases and arrested suspected officers.
Reform and professionalization of the HNP continued as international programs provided: training (including human rights training) and equipment for new recruits and for existing officers, police station upgrades, security and humanitarian improvements to prisons, vehicles, computers and communications equipment, forensics equipment and training, weapons inventory and ballistics testing, and technical assistance. Nevertheless, efforts to reform the HNP remained incomplete, and HNP officers were still implicated in corruption, kidnapping, and narcotics trafficking.
The UNCIVPOL element of MINUSTAH supplemented the police and improved the HNP's capacity to maintain order. UNCIVPOL provided training (including human rights training) and operational support. Notably, with UNCIVPOL's assistance, HNP developed relatively well-trained and professional SWAT and CIMO forces.
In many cases the HNP failed to prevent or respond to societal violence, usually gang-related; the reasons being an insufficient number of officers and inadequate training. However, with the assistance of UNCIVPOL and international donors, the capacity and effectiveness of the HNP in preventing and responding to such violence improved.-----------------------------
Arrest and Detention-------------------------------------------
Police sometimes apprehended persons without warrants or on warrants not issued by a duly authorized official. The authorities occasionally detained individuals on unspecified charges or pending investigation.
Police frequently disregarded the legal requirement to present detainees before a judge within 48 hours (see section 1.d.), often because of the sluggishness of the judicial system. Consequently, many detainees were held for extended periods in preventive detention without being informed of charges against them. Prolonged preventive detention remained a serious problem (see section 1.c.).
Bail was available at the discretion of the investigative judge. Bail hearings were not automatic, and judges usually granted bail only for minor cases and based on compelling humanitarian grounds such as a need for medical attention. Detainees generally were allowed access to family members and a lawyer of their own choosing. Many detainees could not afford the services of an attorney, and the government did not provide free counsel.
Prisoners were sometimes detained after they were acquitted. According to information from the National Center for State Courts, an inefficient judicial record system occasionally caused detainees to remain in prison for weeks or months after a court had ordered their release.
Citizens deported to the country after completing prison sentences in foreign countries were often detained, although they had not violated any domestic laws. These detentions sometimes lasted several months. The government justified the practice because of the high level of insecurity in Port-au-Prince, considering those deportees with a record of violent or serious crime as potential threats to the public order. In September a court ruled that such detentions were not valid under the law; however, authorities continued to temporarily incarcerate deportees previously convicted of violent crimes. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) implemented a program to help the government reintegrate the deportees into society.-----
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial------------------------------------------------
Although the law provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the judiciary was subject to significant influence by the executive and legislative branches. Years of extensive corruption and governmental neglect left the poorly organized and poorly funded judicial system largely moribund. Judges assigned to politically sensitive cases complained about interference from the executive branch. There were widespread and credible reports of judicial corruption. Previous attempts by the IGOH to rectify problems within the judicial system were only minimally effective. The newly elected government's efforts to reform the judiciary and judicial systems included the appointment of a new chief investigating magistrate (prosecutor) for the judicial district containing Port-au-Prince.
Systemic problems--including a shortage of funding and adequately trained and qualified justices of the peace, judges, and prosecutors--created a huge backlog of criminal cases, with many detainees waiting months for a court date (see section 1.d.).
Another systemic problem in the judicial system created a barrier for crime victims. After a citizen reported his or her victimization by a crime, justices of the peace charged inconsistent "fees" to initiate a criminal prosecution. These fees varied across jurisdictions and justices. The fees effectively barred some citizens from full access to the judicial system enabled corruption.
Judges increasingly conducted legal proceedings exclusively in Creole rather than French (spoken by only a minority of citizens). However, since some proceedings were conducted in French, language remained a barrier to full access to the judicial system.
In most regions judges lacked basic resources and professional competence. An internationally funded program provided training for judges, prosecutors, and other court personnel, furnished technical assistance in drafting rules and procedures, and worked with the parliament to draft legislation to establish a judicial council that would oversee the court system. In addition, the UNDP provided training for judges and court personnel in Jacmel, Cap Haitien, and Fort Liberte. ------------------------------------------------------
Trial Procedures----------------------------------------------------
The judicial apparatus follows a civil law system based on the Napoleonic Code. Although the constitution provides for the right to a fair public trial, this right was widely abridged in practice. The constitution also expressly denies police and judicial authorities the right to interrogate suspects unless legal counsel or a representative of the suspect's choice is present or they waive this right. Most accused persons could not afford legal counsel for interrogation or trial, and the law does not require that the government provide legal representation. However, some defendants had access to counsel during trials. While the constitution provides defendants with a presumption of innocence, the right to be present at trial, the right to confront witnesses against them, and the right to present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf, in practice corrupt and ill-trained judges frequently denied defendants these rights.
At the lowest level of the justice system, justices of the peace issue warrants, adjudicate minor infractions, mediate cases, take depositions, and refer cases to prosecutors or higher judicial officials. Investigating magistrates and public prosecutors cooperate in the development of more serious cases, which are tried by the judges of the first instance courts. Thirty appeals court judges hear cases referred from the first instance courts, and the 11-member Court of Cassation, the country's highest court, addresses questions of procedure and constitutionality.
The Code of Criminal Procedure does not assign clear responsibility for investigating crimes, dividing the authority among police, justices of the peace, prosecutors, and investigative magistrates. Examining magistrates often received files that were empty or missing police reports. Autopsies were rarely conducted, and autopsy reports seldom were issued. The law provides for at least two criminal court sessions (assises) per year in each of the 15 first-instance jurisdictions for all major crimes requiring a jury trial, with each session generally lasting two weeks. However, this did not occur in practice. Criminal assises in Port au Prince, the largest jurisdiction, have met only once a year since 1998, which was a significant reason for the lengthy delays for prisoners who were awaiting trial.
In addition, each annual assise processes only about 10 jury trials. Since most of the 2,144 detainees awaiting trial in the National Penitentiary were held for serious crimes that warranted a jury trial, they were effectively denied the right to a jury trial. International donor programs allowed the government to conduct additional jury and non-jury trials during the year but did not significantly reduce the backlog.-----------------------------------------------
Political Prisoners and Detainees----------------------------------------
There were differing reports regarding whether the government was holding political prisoners. At least two respected local human rights organizations reported that the government did not hold political prisoners. On the other hand, Amnesty International stated that the government held approximately 100 political prisoners. The differing reports reflected the large number of prisoners being detained without a trial. Since most prison detainees (84 percent) were awaiting trial, it was possible that some of them were being held for political reasons.
Former high-profile detainees, considered by many to be political prisoners, who were released during the year included:
On June 15 and July 27, respectively, former minister of interior Joclerme Privert and former prime minister Yvon Neptune were released from prison after more than two years in detention. Both were charged with involvement in the 2004 massacre of Aristide opponents near St. Marc. Neptune was released for medical reasons and Privert released pending the outcome of his appeal. Although many of the 28 former Aristide government officials and Lavalas supporters who were charged in the killings were provisionally released pending trial, four remained in detention.
On January 29, Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest and pro-Aristide activist who was arrested in July 2005, was provisionally released from custody for medical reasons after he was diagnosed with leukemia.
On August 14, Annette Auguste "So Anne," a self-proclaimed pro-Lavalas community organizer, was released after charges against her were dropped. She was arrested in May 2004 and charged with being the architect of an attack on state university students and faculty in 2003. On August 14 the court also released the other Lavalas militants accused in the attack, including George Honore, Paul Raymond, and Yvon "ZapZap" Antoine, citing a lack of evidence against them.-----------------------------------------------------
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home or Correspondence
The law prohibits such actions, and unlike previous years, the government generally respected these prohibitions in practice.
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The law provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. An independent press, a marginally effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combined to ensure these freedoms. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of killing or harassment of journalists.
Internet Freedom
There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups could engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by electronic mail.
Academic Freedom and Cultural Events
There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.---------------
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association--------------------
The law provides for freedom of assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. ----------------------------------
c. Freedom of Religion--------------------------------------
The law provides for freedom of religion, provided that practice does not disturb law and order, and the government generally respected this right in practice.
Societal Abuses and Discrimination
There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination against members of religious groups, including anti-Semitic acts. The Jewish community was very small.
For a more detailed discussion, see the 2006 International Religious Freedom Report. -------
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation -------------------------
The law provides for these rights, and the government generally respected them in practice.
The law prohibits the involuntary exile of citizens, and there were no reports of its use. However, there were anecdotal reports that former government officials imposed internal and external exile upon themselves and their families for fear of retaliation. ----------------
Protection of Refugees----------------------------------------
The law provides for the granting of refugee status or asylum in accordance with the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees. In practice the government provided protection against refoulement, the return of persons to a country where they feared persecution, but did not routinely grant refugee status or asylum.
Since there were no known refugees in the country, there was no opportunity for the government to cooperate with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
The law provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in 2006 through free and fair elections based on universal suffrage.
The political system changed significantly following President Aristide's February 2004 resignation and departure from the country. Boniface Alexandre, president (chief justice) of the Supreme Court, assumed office as interim president in accordance with the constitution. The president chose Gerard Latortue as interim prime minister.
In April 2004 representatives of the IGOH agreed with political party leaders on a transition accord outlining the IGOH's mandate and committing it to organize elections in 2005. The IGOH eventually conducted primary and run-off elections in February and April respectively.------
Elections and Political Participation-----------------------------
To implement its commitment to hold elections, the IGOH appointed a nine-person Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), with representatives from several parties including Fanmi Lavalas (FL), the party of former president Aristide. The CEP proceeded with its mandate but, due to internal conflicts among the members and bureaucratic delays, deferred the original October 2005 election date to February 7 and April 21. Approximately 3.5 million people registered to vote, and 63 percent of registered voters participated in the elections.
There were 35 registered candidates for the presidency from across the political spectrum. While most parties were able to freely declare their candidates and get on the ballot, questions arose about Haitian-American businessman Dumarsais Simeus's citizenship status and a possible conflict with the constitution. Although the Supreme Court ruled twice in Simeus's favor, the CEP removed him from the presidential ballot. The CEP also disqualified another dual citizen, Samir Mourra, on the same grounds.
Despite delays, the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections occurred with relatively few administrative difficulties. The vote-counting process for the presidential election created temporary uncertainty. An abstruse CEP interpretation of rules concerning the counting of spoiled ballots led to allegations of fraud from those backing Rene Preval, whose supporters threatened members of the CEP and held mass demonstrations in his support. MINUSTAH and the HNP provided extensive election security and oversight, and there were only limited instances of violence, disruption, and corruption. Many teams of international monitors and observers provided oversight as well, lending credibility to the results. Despite shortcomings in the process, citizens and international observer groups considered the election process acceptable and the results credible. Rene Preval won the presidency with 51 percent of the votes, and 129 National Assembly members were also elected. On May 14, President Preval took office for a five-year term.
The monetary deposit required of female candidates for political office (if sponsored by a recognized party) was one-half that required of male candidates. There was one female presidential candidate, and a large number of female parliamentary and municipal candidates. Six women were elected to the 129-seat National Assembly, and there were two women in the 18-member cabinet.
On December 3, the CEP conducted elections to fill 8,820 local government positions throughout the country. There were few incidents of violence or fraud. Citizens and international observers considered the election process acceptable and the results credible. --------------------------
Government Corruption and Transparency------------------------------
The NGO Transparency International reported in November that there was a widespread public perception of corruption. Corruption remained widespread in all branches and at all levels of government. The factors contributing to corruption in the country were poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and weak governmental institutions (especially relating to law enforcement and the judiciary). The HNP, with the assistance of UNCIVPOL, continued efforts to eliminate corruption within its ranks, and the government sought to reduce corruption within the judicial system.
No law requires public access to government information, but there were no reports that the government prevented public access to government information.--------------------
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights----
A number of domestic and international human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. The government cooperated with the various human rights observation missions and generally acknowledged their views but lacked the capacity to implement their recommendations. The government permitted special missions and the continued presence of UN bodies and other international organizations such as the ICRC, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights, the UNDP, the IACHR, MINUSTAH's Human Rights Office, and the OAS Special Mission's Human Rights Office.
At the national and international levels, human rights organizations were active and effective in monitoring human rights issues, meeting frequently with government officials. Human rights organizations made media appearances and published objective reports on violations. Human rights organizations continued to focus on such persistent problems as murders, rapes, kidnappings, prison conditions, impunity for criminals, trafficking in persons, and the status of children and women.
The House of Deputies and the Senate each had a human rights commission. The new parliament took office in May and neither commission published any reports or passed any legislation during the year.-----------------------
Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons---
The law does not specifically prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, language, or social status. It does provide for equal working conditions regardless of gender, beliefs, or marital status. However, there was no effective governmental mechanism to administer or enforce these provisions. -----------------------------
The law prohibits and provides penalties for rape and domestic violence against women. The penalty for rape is a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment; for gang rape and premeditated, aggravated assault it is 15 years of hard labor. The criminal code excuses a husband who kills his wife or her partner found engaging in an act of adultery in his home, but a wife who kills her husband under similar circumstances is not excused.
According to women's rights groups and human rights organizations, domestic violence against women, including spousal abuse and rape, was commonplace, underreported, and increased compared with last year. In its January report, the UN Commission on Human Rights noted that women were involved in 85 percent of interpersonal violence cases and that the increase in rape was "disquieting." A report from Haitian Women in Solidarity (SOFA), a human rights organization for women, estimated that eight out of 10 women suffered domestic violence, and that incidence of rape increased. Women's shelters and organizations reported that local armed thugs frequently raped and harassed girls and women in districts such as Cite Soleil and Martissant. Police rarely arrested the perpetrators or investigated the incidents, and the victims sometimes suffered further harassment in retaliation and feared reprisals from the perpetrators. There were no government sponsored programs for victims of violence.
Although prostitution is illegal, it remained a widespread problem, particularly among women and girls (see section 5, Trafficking).
The law does not specifically prohibit sexual harassment, although the labor code states that men and women have the same rights and obligations. Reports of sexual harassment in the workplace were not available, though reasons suggested that incidents of sexual harassment did occur in the country. Such incidents went unreported because of high unemployment and because citizens had little confidence in the ability of the judicial system to protect them.
Women did not enjoy the same social and economic status as men. In some social strata, tradition limited women's roles. The majority of women in rural areas remained in traditional occupations of farming, marketing, and domestic labor. Very poor female heads of household in urban areas also often had limited employment opportunities, such as domestic labor and sales. Laws governing child support recognize the widespread practice of multiple father families but rarely were enforced. Female employees in private industry or service jobs, and government jobs, seldom were promoted to supervisory positions. There were no government efforts to combat economic discrimination.
Domestic women's rights groups were small, localized, and received little publicity. Some women's rights groups became increasingly involved in political and civic voter education initiatives in the pre-election season. ---------------------------------------------
Governmental agencies and programs to promote children's rights and welfare existed, but the government lacked the capacity and the resources to adequately support or enforce existing mechanisms.
According to the constitution, public primary education is free and compulsory, but in practice many children did not have access due to the insufficient number of public schools. Nearly 90 percent of the approximately 15,000 schools in the country were managed by religious institutions, community organizations, or NGOs. The official school year begins in early September and ends in early June. Many children began their school year as late as January because of their families' inability to pay private school fees. Poorer families sometimes rationed education money to pay school fees only for male children. The government implemented programs to reduce parents' educational costs by giving out 500,000 school uniforms and distributing two million textbooks across the country. According to the government, 40 percent of children never attended school. Of those who did, less than 15 percent graduated from secondary school. The Ministry of Education estimated net primary school enrollment at 65 percent but acknowledged that 500,000 children age six to 11 were not in school; the actual number was thought to be much higher). In addition, nearly 75 percent of adolescents were not in school. No government programs existed to address the educational and social reinsertion needs of youth (ages 15 to 24) who had never attended school.
According to the most recent UNICEF statistics from 2004, approximately 23 percent of all children under the age of five were chronically malnourished. According to the UN's independent expert, there were approximately 200,000 HIV-related orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV (children who have HIV, who have become orphaned because of HIV, or who live with parents who have HIV).
Child abuse was a problem. There was anecdotal evidence that in very poor families caretakers deprived the youngest children of food to feed older, income-generating children. In January the UN's independent expert stated that 47 percent of sexual assaults involved minors.
There were credible reports that children were trafficked within the country and forced to work as domestic servants, called restaveks ("to live with" in Creole) (see section 5, Trafficking).
Port-au-Prince's large population of street children included many restaveks who were dismissed from or fled employers' homes. The Ministry of Social Affairs provided minimal assistance, such as food and temporary shelter, to street children.
In 2005 a joint UNICEF/IACHR delegation expressed concern over grave violations of the human rights of children and adolescents committed as part of the ongoing violence in the country. In September UNICEF reinforced that assessment, highlighting the impact of the violence on the emotional equilibrium and development of the country's children, whether as victims or as witnesses. UNICEF attributed the violence to organized criminal gangs and called upon the government to protect and guarantee the lives and rights of children.-----------------
Trafficking in Persons -------------------------------------------------------
The law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, although there are laws that could be used to combat human trafficking, and there were reports that persons were trafficked from and within the country. Such laws include labor laws and provisions prohibiting and penalizing kidnapping and violence against women.
Internal trafficking of children for domestic labor remained a significant problem. The country was also a source for persons trafficked to the Dominican Republic, the United States, Europe, and Canada. The government acknowledged the problem of human trafficking but did little to address it.
Rural families continued to send young children, particularly girls, to more affluent city dwellers to serve as restaveks in exchange for that child's room and board. While some restaveks received adequate care, many employers compelled the children to work long hours, provided them little nourishment, and frequently abused them. The majority of restaveks worked in low-income homes where conditions, food, and education for non-biological children were not priorities.
While difficult to quantify, the government and UNICEF estimated that the number of restaveks ranged from 90,000 to 300,000.
The government acknowledged the problem of internal trafficking of children and took steps to address it by forming the Brigade for the Protection of Minors. As a branch of the HNP, the Brigade investigated cases of child trafficking and monitored movement of children across the border with the Dominican Republic. However, the lack of resources, training, and institutionalized procedures remained a barrier to its operational capacity. Also, NGOs reported a lack of cooperation by the Brigade in dealing with child trafficking cases. ----------------
Persons with Disabilities ---------------------------------------------------
There were no reports of discrimination by the government against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or the provision of other state services. However, because of widespread and chronic poverty, a shortage of public services, and limited educational opportunities, persons with disabilities were severely disadvantaged. No governmental mandates or programs operated to ensure that persons with disabilities were treated equitably or, for example, had access to public buildings.-------------------------
Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination-------------------------
Societal discrimination occurred against persons with HIV/AIDS, particularly women, but educational programs sponsored by foreign donors and efforts by HIV/AIDS activists attempted to change that stigma. -------------------------------
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association-------------------------------------------

The law allows workers, except public sector employees to form and join unions of their choice. The law also requires that a union must have a minimum of 10 members and register with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs within 60 days of its formation. The law prohibits employers, management, and anyone who represents the interests of employers from joining a union. In theory unions are independent of the government and political parties, but in practice most unions were extensions of political parties. Nine principal labor federations represented approximately 5 percent of the labor force. --------------------------------------
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively ---------------------------
While the law protects trade union organizing activities and stipulates fines for those who interfere with this right, in practice the government made little effort to enforce the law.
High unemployment rates and antiunion sentiment among some factory workers and most employers limited the success of union organizing efforts.
Collective bargaining was nonexistent, and employers set wages unilaterally. The labor code does not distinguish between industries producing for the local market and those producing for export. Employees in the export-oriented assembly sector enjoyed better than average wages and benefits.
Although workers had access to labor courts established to resolve common labor-management disputes, the courts' judgments were not enforced. The courts function under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and adjudicate minor conflicts, but unions stated that the process was inefficient. Seven labor courts operated in Port-au-Prince, and in the provinces plaintiffs utilized municipal courts.
The labor code provides for the right to strike, and workers (with the exception of managers, administrators, other heads of establishments, and public utility service workers) exercised this right in practice. The labor code defines public utility service employees as essential workers who "cannot suspend their activities without causing serious harm to public health and security."
There were few public sector strikes during the year, all relating to the failure of government to pay staff in a particular hospital or school, for example, in a timely manner.
There is one export processing zone (EPZ) located in Ouanaminthe, a town on the Dominican border. Legislation governing free trade zones provides that the labor code applies in the EPZs.--
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor --------------------------
The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including of children; however, there were reports that such practices occurred (see section 5, Trafficking).----------------------------------
d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment-------
The minimum employment age in all sectors is 15 years, with the exception of domestic service, for which the minimum is 12 years. There is also a legal provision for employment of children between the ages of 12 and 16 as apprentices. The labor code sets the minimum age for apprenticeships at 14. The law prohibits minors from working under dangerous conditions and prohibits night work in industrial enterprises for minors under 18. Fierce adult competition for jobs ensured child labor was not a factor in the industrial sector, however, children under the age of 15 commonly worked at informal sector jobs to supplement family income. Children also commonly worked with parents on small family farms, although the high unemployment rate among adults kept children from employment on commercial farms in significant numbers. According to the NGO Haitian Coalition for the Defense of the Rights of the Child, children worked primarily in domestic labor as restaveks, however, some worked on the street as vendors or beggars, and some were involved in prostitution.
Labor laws require anyone who employs a child as a domestic to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs' Social Welfare and Research Institute (IBESR) and to ensure the overall welfare of the child until he or she reaches 15 years of age. Additionally the law requires that restaveks 15 years of age and older be paid not less than one half the amount paid to an adult servant hired to perform similar work, in addition to room and board. To avoid this obligation, employers dismissed many restaveks before they reached that age.
Although the government designated IBESR to implement and enforce child labor laws and regulations, resources were inadequate to fund programs to investigate exploitative child labor cases throughout the country.--------------------------------------------------
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work ----------------------------------
The legal minimum daily wage, which was approximately $1.84 (70 gourdes), was established by the Tripartite Commission of Salaried Workers whose six members are appointed by the president (two representatives each of labor, employers, and government). This wage did not provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family. Some workers were paid on a piece-rate basis and earned more than the minimum wage. The majority of citizens worked in the informal sector and subsistence agriculture where minimum wage legislation does not apply and daily wages of $0.40 (15 gourdes) were common. Many women worked as domestic employees, where minimum wage legislation also does not apply.
The law sets the standard workday at eight hours and the workweek at 48 hours, with 24 hours of rest on Sunday. The law was not effectively enforced, particularly for HNP officers who worked 12-hour shifts six days per week. There is no provision for the payment of overtime.
The law also establishes minimum health and safety regulations. The industrial and assembly sectors largely observed these guidelines, but the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs did not enforce them effectively. There were no formal data, but unions alleged that job-related injuries were prevalent in the construction industry and public works sectors. Although they have the legal right to do so, in practice, workers were not able to exercise the right to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without jeopardy to continued employment. Fifty percent of the population was unemployed.-----------------------------------------------------------
Stanley Lucas(202) The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato