Friday, 27 May 2011

Haitian Mayor's Office Vows to Destroy All Refugee Camps, Launches Violent Campaign |

Protection from Eviction a Legal Right
Displaced persons are protected by both Haitian and international law. Article 22 of the 1987 Haitian constitution guarantees “decent housing” for everyone. Article 25 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees every individual a “standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including… housing.” Many sections of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declare protection from displacement, notably for victims of disasters. In a ruling last November, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights directed the Haitian government to stop evicting IDPs unless it provided them safe alternative shelter.

Interviewed by phone on May 26, attorney Florvilus said, “The president [Michel Martelly] who just came to power must take up his historic responsibility. He promised people [in his inaugural address] he would take them out of the tents in the camps in six months. He must now clarify if this was the formula he had in mind for accomplishing that end. Was the mayor the only one behind this attack?”

Florvilus said, “This destruction of people’s property is a violation of the penal code. The government will have to face the nation and the justice system, if not today, then tomorrow.”