Statement of the United States of America,
as delivered by Maria Alejandra Ferreira Sachero
Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 21, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
The United States congratulates Haiti on its democratic presidential election and the peaceful transition of power following an extended electoral period and while recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
We express gratitude to Independent Expert Gustavo Gallón for his report and work in Haiti.
As the Government of Haiti endeavors to improve the human rights situation, it must make a serious commitment to improve accountability and the rule of law at every level. Haiti can improve transparency by committing to serious budget reforms and implementing modern accounting systems at the central bank. Haiti can also enhance accountability by prosecuting the dozens of corruption cases prepared by its anticorruption agency that have not yet been assigned to a judge. Mr. Gallon, what other steps can Haiti immediately take to improve accountability and enforce the rule of law?
In order to modernize its judiciary and begin to make the systemic changes necessary to eliminate prolonged pretrial detention and prison overcrowding, Haiti needs to pass penal code and criminal procedural code reform. Haiti should fully fund its Superior Council of the Judiciary to provide judicial oversight, and implement electronic case tracking systems. What other immediate steps can the Government of Haiti take to reduce the number of prisoners who are suffering from lengthy pretrial detention?
While Haiti has made strides in the fight against human trafficking, with three convictions in the last 12 months under its 2014 anti-trafficking law, there is still a great need for services for trafficking victims. Haiti should commit resources to help victims of human trafficking receive the services they need to recover from their trauma. What are your recommendations for the Government of Haiti to address this issue, and how might the international community support the government’s efforts?