Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Item 10
Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Haiti
Australian statement

25 March 2014

 

Australia welcomes the progress made by the Haitian Government, MINUSTAH and civil society in addressing the significant human rights challenges in Haiti. We thank the Independent Expert, Mr Gustavo Gallón, for his report.

Australia recently had the opportunity to engage directly with the Government of Haiti and acknowledges the positive steps they have taken in respect to human rights. This includes ratification of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, and Haiti’s submission of its reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Australia also welcomes Haiti’s efforts to compile a mid-term report on the implementation of the recommendations accepted by Haiti following their Universal Periodic Review in October 2011.

Despite these improvements, Australia remains concerned over the progression of the Rule of Law. This includes ongoing issues of prolonged pre-trial detention and prison overcrowding. Many detainees are held for longer than their maximum sentences and face poor prison conditions, such as severe overcrowding. In some cases prisoners have to sleep in shifts, while men, women and youths are often kept in the same cells.

Australia also remains concerned about gender-based violence and inequality, trafficking and domestic slavery of women and children.

Australia strongly encourages the Haitian Government to work collaboratively with the Independent Expert in implementing measures that will ensure human rights of all people in Haiti are met, including measures to address gender-based inequalities in the areas of reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity.