This is a powerful (disturbing) video of testimony about the crisis of rapes in Haitian refugee camps. I've written about the problem with rapes at the world social forum youth camp. I'm guessing rapes are an ongoing problem at camps around the world. It's strange - you would think having lots of people around would STOP sexual violence, not foster it! So the ask that comes with this video is a great quick click action from haitijustice.org. As they put it:
"There have been some efforts by Haitian officials and the international community to provide protection and post-rape services, but these efforts have fallen short. This is unacceptable. Numerous international standards[iii] and guidelines[iv] warn of heightened levels of gender-based violence in the wake of disaster and provide recommendations for ensuring women’s safety, care and legal recourse. Contrary to the recommendations, Haitian women have been systematically excluded[v] or underrepresented in earthquake response decisions. Women’s repeated requests[vi] for inclusion[vii] in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA[viii]) process and the UN Donor meetings[ix] on March 31 went unanswered. By leaving Haitian women themselves out of the discussion, so too were their needs.
On her visit to Haiti last weekend, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro listened to women’s fears[x] of being sexually assaulted or beaten. She also noted the critical conditions people are living in (see a video on conditions in the camps and sign a petition demanding improved aid distribution[xi]). The UN Independent Expert on Human Rights in Haiti, Michel Forst is in Haiti this week[xii] where he too will reportedly listen to women and other vulnerable populations.
The UN has taken the first step by listening to women. Action must follow. To call on the UN, and more specifically the Security Council, MINUSTAH, UN Member states and the Government of Haiti, to take the next step, sign the petition by clicking here.