MADRE to Present Findings on Rapes in Camps to Officials in Haiti

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator (Haiti), media@madre.org, 917-477-3977
Yifat Susskind, Policy and Communications Director (New York), 212-627-0444

MADRE to Present Findings on Rapes in Camps to Officials in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - Today, MADRE staff members begin a three-day fact-finding mission
to Haiti, gathering evidence on post-disaster violations of women's
human rights to present before international and Haitian government
officials.

During this fact-finding mission, Human Rights Advocacy Director Lisa
Davis and Media Coordinator Diana Duarte will meet with MADRE sister
organization KOFAVIV, a community-based women's group that has been
responding to the rampant levels of sexual violence in the camps since
the January 12 earthquake. 

MADRE is working with KOFAVIV to rebuild KOFAVIV's long-term capacity
and to solidify services for women, such as rape counseling, legal aid
and shelter provision. This week, MADRE staff will also document
conditions in camps for internally displaced people and assess the
security situation of women in the camps.

This fact-finding mission marks the release of a report sponsored by the Lawyers
Earthquake Response Network (LERN) and co-authored by MADRE.
  This
report tracks the high incidence of rape in the camps, the lack of an
adequate government or international response, and the courageous work
done by women's groups like KOFAVIV to address these threats.  In
collaboration with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
(IJDH), the findings from this trip and from this report will be
presented to the UN, US Congressional members and Haitian government
officials.

Lisa Davis, MADRE Human Rights Advocacy Director, said today, "Our
partners in Haiti have been tirelessly working, not only to provide
urgent care for women who have been raped in the camps, but to
forcefully demand that addressing this threat be a priority in disaster
response policies.  Together, our international human rights advocacy
has kept this issue from being swept away and ignored."

Diana Duarte, MADRE Media Coordinator, said today, "In all of the media
coverage and official reports of this disaster, we have not heard enough
of the stories of the threats women are facing daily and of their
courage and determination in demanding solutions.  Our fact-finding
mission will work to shine a spotlight on these stories."

This fact-finding mission will continue until the morning of Friday,
July 30.  For additional updates, visit the MADRE blog at www.madre.org/mymadre.

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MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.

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