The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will visit Haiti

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Ha&iuml ;ti


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will make an official visit to Haiti this weekend, a country plunged into a deep political crisis and plagued by gang violence, announced his office in Geneva on Monday.

Volker Türk has planned to meet in Port-au-Prince with government officials, but also with representatives of the judiciary, civil society organizations and even victims of human rights violations.

The Austrian lawyer will also travel to the north of the country, on the border with the Dominican Republic, with which Haiti shares the Caribbean island.

Scheduled for Wednesday to Friday morning, this high-level visit comes as the country records an unprecedented level of violence committed by gangs, armed bands that have already killed more than a dozen police officers since the beginning of the year.

Controlling more than half of the national territory, these criminal organizations kidnap citizens daily in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince, demanding tens or even hundreds of thousands of US dollars from the relatives of their victims, most often sexually assaulted during their stay. captivity.

“Gang-related violence has reached levels not seen in decades. Murders and kidnappings have increased for the fourth consecutive year,” Helen La Lime, UN envoy to Haiti, told the Security Council in late January.

In 2022, the UN recorded 1,359 kidnappings and more than 2,000 murders in the country, a third more than the previous year.

The gangs are all the more powerful as today Haiti is plunged into a vacuum institutional: for lack of elections organized since 2016, the country currently has no elected representative at the national level.

And more than a year and a half after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the Haitian justice struggling to advance the investigation: none of the 40 people arrested in connection with this major case has yet been charged.