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Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Gustavo Gallón
March 24, 2015

Agenda Item 10

28th Session of the Human Rights Council

March 24, 2015

Mr. President,

The United States thanks the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Gustavo Gallón, for his work in Haiti.  We appreciate his concerns about illiteracy, living conditions for internally displaced persons, treatment of persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, and lengthy pretrial detention and other serious rule of law and institutional deficiencies.  Long-term, sustained capacity building is critical to establishing respect for the rule of law and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Haiti’s democratic institutions.

We also appreciate the Independent Expert’s attention to the pre-electoral situation in Haiti.  The holding of overdue elections is essential for Haiti’s democratic development and to advance gains made in reconstruction and development.  We welcome the work of the Provisional Electoral Council and the recent authorization of an electoral decree.

Rule of Law and Elections:  In your most recent report, you note that the absence of elections has had a noticeable impact on the rule of law in Haiti and on the functioning of Haitian institutions.  What immediate next steps do you recommend the Provisional Electoral Council and the Government of Haiti take to ensure elections are held in 2015 as scheduled?  What role should civil society and other stakeholders play in supporting progress toward a timely election?

Pretrial Detention:  You noted that since your last visit, there has been a lack of progress on improving the conditions of pretrial detention.  What immediate steps can the Government of Haiti take to reduce the number of prisoners who are suffering from lengthy pretrial detention?

In closing, we recognize and commend the Government of Haiti for cooperating with the Independent Expert in the effort to improve the lives of its people.

Thank you.