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Human Rights and Justice


I- Modernization of Haiti’s Civil Registry 

Haiti’s under registration rate, estimated to be around 30-40% of the overall population in 2005, has had for long a direct impact on other social problems such as inequality and exclusion. The lack of a civil identity leaves millions of people unable to participate in the economic, political, and legal life of a democratic society. A secure civil identity is a condition required to protect other social rights, such as health and education, and economic and political rights, such as the right to vote.

Given the importance of the registry institutions, the Haitian government has embarked in a complete modernization of its Civil Registry. With the aim of consolidating the Civil Registry in a permanent institution within the National Identity Office (ONI), under the Ministry of Justice, and thanks to a generous donation from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the OAS is supporting the great efforts of the government to build a solid citizen Identification System that will contribute to social inclusion, greater equality and democracy in Haiti. The Project, by securing the right to identity of millions of people, has already significantly impacted the revitalization of democratic institutions and given greater opportunities for Haitians to exercise their rights. The cooperative efforts in this project have had a very positive impact on Haitian society, and steps to follow will consolidate the State’s capacity to continue fostering development through identity in the future. 
The overall objectives of the project are to address the chronic problem of under-registration, provide all Haitians with a secure National Identity Card recognized by all which empowers them to exercise their right to identity; and consolidate a modern, secure and universally accessible integrated Civil Registry and Identification system, which can provide accurate and reliable information to other State agencies to develop sound strategic plans for development and public services in key sectors as health, education and the environment. 
Results for Phase I of the Project (September 2007-July 2008):
·   Since the reopening of the Civil Registry in September 2007, over 600,000 adults have registered. Added to all the citizens who did so in 2005, a total of 4.2 million Haitians have registered, resulting in 92% of the adult population having a secure civil identity for the first time in Haiti. This has enabled widely participation in several election processes held, contributing to the reinstitution of democracy.
·   Haiti’s Civil Registry is now prepared with the adequate infrastructure, technology and trained personnel to continue securing the right to identity of all Haitians in the future. Ensuring the sustainability of efforts in the areas of infrastructure and personnel, have taken specific actions such as training in information technology to the engineers of the National Office of Identification and use of solar energy in 95% of the offices of identification deployed throughout the country.
· Shortly, the ONI will be equipped with its own Identity Card Printer and material to produce 700,000 IDCards. The system will be installed into ONI’s offices and its technical staff will be trained in its administration and use.
·   141 permanent Identification Offices have been opened around the country covering 100% of the population.
·   30 mobile units have been conducted throughout the country
·   Complete inventory of the historical written registration records at the National Archive, of which 1.8 million have been digitalized and entered in an electronic database. This database, which will include 100% of the information in the Books and all the data from new registrations, will constitute a secure, unified database that promotes greater efficiency on the registry’s operations, eliminates the need for written records, simplifies the process for obtaining certified copies and dramatically diminishes the possibility of fraud.
·   300 permanent jobs have been created, of which 40% are women. It has also attained the inclusion of disabled people in some productive activities.
Continuing with the modernization Project, the following activities will be implemented soon:
·   Full implementation of the Identity Card Printing System and support in the production and distribution of 600 thousand cards.
·   Massive registration campaigns for children and persons under 18 years old to reduce the under registration rate among minors. These campaigns will be executed in collaboration with international organisms and Haitian civil society organizations.
·   Continue with the digitalization of the 14 million records existent in the Registry Books, and enter all the information and digital records in an electronic database, to improve the registry operations and services.
·   Full integration of all identification systems (including birth, marriage, and death records) into a unified database that can facilitate both registration and certification of registration documents. The information in this database will serve also for the generation of Vital Statistics, which other Sate agencies could use for the development of basic public services (health, education, employment, etc.)

Improving registry infrastructure in rural areas and incorporating registration services in all hospitals and maternity centers, as well as training midwives to register the new born.  



II- Reports by the Inter-American Commission on Human  Rights 

 For over forty years, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has monitored the situation of human rights in the Republic of Haiti. For much of this period, the people of Haiti have faced many hardships, including political instability and violence, serious human rights abuses with no accountability, and exploitation and degradation of the country’s economy and infrastructure. Unfortunately, Haiti’s recent history has not revealed much progress in reversing this course. Based upon its longstanding experience in Haiti and other countries of the Hemisphere, the Commission considers that efforts to address the country’s current and longstanding problems will not succeed without urgent reforms to strengthen the administration of justice and the rule of law in Haiti. 

In this context, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights presents reports evaluating the status of the administration of justice in the Republic of Haiti in light of the fundamental rights and freedoms protected under the American Convention on Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments to which Haiti is bound. The reports are based upon investigations undertaken by the Commission, including information gathered during visits to the country as well as reports and other information provided by a variety of international and local governmental and nongovernmental organizations. 



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