The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jen Nessel, CCR,, (212) 614-6449
Nicole Phillips, IJDH,, (510) 715-2855
Melinda Miles, TransAfrica,, (413) 923-8345


International Human Rights Hearing on Housing Crisis in Haiti's Displacement Camps

Press Conference Wednesday October 26


This Wednesday, rights groups will meet with the government of Haiti before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. to discuss solutions to the unlawful eviction crisis in Haiti's displacement camps.

After the hearing, which is closed to the public, petitioners will hold a press conference.

WHAT: Press Conference on the housing and eviction crisis in Haiti.

WHEN: 11:15 a.m. -12 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WHERE: 1889 F Street NW, Washington, D.C., in the lobby of the OAS building


Mario Joseph, Av., Managing Lawyer of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, represents displacement camps threatened with evictions and will speak about the need for government accountability to address the increasing human rights crisis.

Etant Dupain, Director of Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye, a Haitian grassroots organization, will present on the evictions crisis affecting displacement camps. Bri Kouri is a partner of TransAfrica's Let Haiti Live project and is a team of community mobilizers and citizen journalists.

Nicole Phillips, Esq., Staff Attorney with Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and Assistant Director for Haiti Programs, University of San Francisco School of Law, will speak about the lack of progress by the international community and Haitian government in implementing a post-earthquake housing plan.In response to a legal petition the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and the Center for Constitutional Rights submitted last November, the IACHR issued urgent precautionary measures directing the Haitian government to steps to protect Haitians living in displacement camps as a result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. The petition called for immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis being caused by unlawful evictions in Haiti's displacement camps.

As an IACHR member state, the Haitian government is legally obligated to uphold commission's ruling. These measures require the government to cease illegal evictions from Haiti's displacement camps and to take steps to assure that victims of forced eviction are relocated to housing that meets minimum health and security standards.

"This Wednesday's meeting presents a rare opportunity for representatives of displacement camps to discuss the eviction crisis with the new Haitian government led by President Michel Martelly," according to Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at Bureau des Avocats Internationaux that represents displacement camps threatened with evictions. The IACHR is expected to ask the government to take responsibility for its failure to provide housing and protection from unlawful evictions to earthquake victims, and its failure to implement the precautionary measures issued by the Commission last November. Mario Joseph and Etant Dupain, Director of Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye, a grassroots organization working with displaced communities, will participate in the meeting.

To read the legal petition submitted to the IACHR in full and a statement by the IACHR against unlawful evictions, click here and here.