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  4. HAITI: HAITIAN FAMILIES AGAIN FACING FORCED EVICTION

HAITI:
HAITIAN FAMILIES AGAIN FACING FORCED EVICTION

Update info:
21 Jun 2012
Country:
HAITI
Subject:
Residents of Grace Village camp
Gender m/f: Both
Period:
27 Jul 2012
Distribution date:
21 Jun 2012
UA No:
172/2012

Hundreds of Haitian families are facing forcible eviction from a refugee camp where they have been living since the January 2010 earthquake. Representatives of the landowner, and local police officers, have been threatening and harassing them.

Amnesty International delegates visited the Grace Village refugee camp, in the Carrefour commune, in May, and received assurances from the representative of the man claiming to be the landowner of the camp that residents would not be forcibly evicted. However, since then, more shelters have been marked for demolition, and residents continue to be threatened and harassed.

On the night of 11 June, Grace Village’s site manager and four local police officers armed with firearms and machetes entered the camp and destroyed at least 15 makeshift shelters. The shelters were allegedly empty and marked as such after the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) conducted a census in the camp. However, Amnesty International was informed that some residents were sleeping in some of these shelters when the attack took place. One of the shelters was occupied by a pregnant woman and a nursing woman; in another shelter, two boys were sleeping when the police officers and the site manager set out to destroy it. They were kicked by the police officers as they tried to flee. Although according to camp residents no one was forced to leave the camp, those that had their shelters destroyed on 11 June were not offered compensation or alternative accommodation.

The site manager has marked 47 additional shelters for demolition, including the shelters of camp residents that were registered during the IOM census. Amnesty International believes this is in retaliation against camp residents and women in particular who complained about threats, intimidation and sexual harassment from the site manager. Fourteen shelters in sector 12 of the site have been identified for relocation to another area which is prone to flooding. Camp residents from another sector who were forced to relocate to this area had to abandon camp Grace Village altogether without being offered any alternative accommodation.

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Additional Information

Over the past few months the tension has been rising in the camp and the authorities have so far failed to protect the hundreds of families that built makeshift shelters at Grace Village after the January 2010 earthquake.

The landowner has prohibited humanitarian organizations from providing assistance to the inhabitants at Grace Village camp. Carrefour’s mayor also imposed restrictions on organizations or individuals providing services to those still living in makeshift shelters in camp Grace Village. Although camp Grace Village is on private property, no organization or private individual one is allowed to operate there without his personal authorization.

Amnesty International delegates visited the site in May 2012 and issued an urgent action (UA 135/12, AMR 36/003/2012, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR36/003/2012/en). Following a request for a meeting, on 22 May an Amnesty International delegation met with a representative of the man claiming to be the owner of the land where Grace Village camp, in the Carrefour area of Metropolitan Port-au-Prince, is located. He gave assurances that residents would not be forcible evicted.

Twenty-eight months after the devastating earthquake, more than 400,000 people are still living in makeshift camps where their rights to adequate housing and access to basic services are denied. Internally displaced persons in at least 60 per cent of the camps are under threat of forced evictions. Thousands of families have already been forcibly evicted since the earthquake without any due process and were made homeless once more. Durable solutions to provide adequate housing to those affected are slow to be implemented.

Name: Residents of Grace Village camp
Gender m/f: Both

UA: 172/12 Index: AMR 36/006/2012 Issue Date: 15 June 2012

Take action

Please write immediately in French or your own language:

  • Call on the authorities to ensure that none of the residents at Grace Village camp is evicted without due process, adequate notice and consultation, and that all those affected have access to adequate alternative accommodation;
  • Urge them to ensure that camp residents are protected, and launch an investigation into the threats, harassment and violence they say they have suffered at the hands of site manager employed by the landowner and police officers from Carrefour district.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 JULY 2012 TO:

Prime Minister
Laurent Lamothe
Primature d'Haïti 33, Boulevard Harry Truman, Port-au-Prince, Haïti - HT-6110 Email: ecrire@laurentlamothe.com
Twitter: @LaurentLamothe "Calling on Haitian PM @LaurentLamothe to stop illegal forced evictions in Grace Village camp #Haiti Please RT"
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre/Dear Prime Minister

General Director of the Haitian Police
Mario Andrésol
Directeur Général de la PNH
Route de l'aéroport, Clercine #13 (Base SWAT),
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Email: marioandresol@yahoo.fr
Salutation: Monsieur le Directeur / Dear Director

Carrefour Mayor
Yvon Jerome
Mairie de Carrefour,
Hôtel de Ville, 63 Diquini, Route de Carrefour, Haiti
Email: mairiedecarrefour@hotmail.com
Salutation: Monsieur le Maire Principal / Dear Mayor

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.