Apr 28, 2010

stand with Haitian women

Haitian Women Testify from Adam Stofsky on Vimeo.



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.

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