UN human rights expert visits Haiti

GENEVA, Switzerland, Monday January 30, 2012 – The United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Haiti, Michel Forst, will visit the Caribbean country Tuesday to conduct an evaluation.

Forst will travel to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and Gonaives during his January 31 to February 8 trip.

He will meet with the new Haitian authorities, Members of Parliament, the national human rights institution, the diplomatic corps, representatives of peacekeeping force MINUSTAH and the UN System in Haiti, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and civil society.

“I will focus on issues of human rights in the context of the humanitarian crisis, the implementation of a human rights-based approach to reconstruction, preventing impunity for serious human rights violations and the pursuit of reforms in the area of rule of law,” Forst said.

“I also would like to propose to Haitian authorities a work plan for 2012 with activities addressing the enjoyment of economic and social rights in particular.”

Some 500,000 people are still living under canvas in the Haitian capital, a little more than two years after the January 2010 earthquake left an estimated 300,000 people dead and more than 1.5 million homeless.

The expert, appointed in 2008 by the UN, said he would also be following up on recommendations made in his last report to the Human Rights Council since his last mission in September 2011.

He is scheduled to present a preliminary statement on the final day of his visit.

Forst serves as General Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of France and author of different publications on human rights, extreme poverty and the United Nations. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)