Haiti's Prime Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Universal Human Rights for All Haitians

Denounces camp evictions by private landowners, stresses that 80 percent of persons displaced by the earthquake are now in safer housing through government-led programs

Apr 25, 2013, 14:00 ET from Primature Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to Amnesty International's reports of human rights violations regarding alleged forced evictions of individuals living in make-shift [displaced persons] camps, Haiti's Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe, has issued the following official statement to set the record straight.

"First, I want to categorically state that Haiti is committed to protecting the human rights of all Haitians.   Since taking office, the Martelly-Lamothe government has been committed to moving our men, women and children from these camps – where people have indeed been living in subhuman conditions.  We are doing everything possible to transition all persons displaced by the devastating 2010 earthquake, out of the camps and into shelter where they will be safer, and can resume their lives with some semblance of normalcy."

The prime minister stressed that recent statements/figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirm that of the 1.5 million people displaced by the earthquake and previously living in temporary camps, nearly 80 percent have been relocated to more permanent housing through government-led programs.

Mr. Lamothe added, "We are doing our best to insure that 100 percent of our people can either return to their original homes or to other safer dwellings.  This is a national imperative, especially as the hurricane season approaches and we face the prospect of yet another natural disaster.  We believe that people's human rights are being protected and guaranteed by the very process of transitioning them to safer dwellings."

The Prime Minister reasserted that while there were private landowners who may have been responsible for evicting individuals from their property, it was emphatically not something the government endorsed.  "The administration cannot control what private landowners choose to do with their property.  This is up to the judicial branch to resolve."

Office of the Prime Minister, Communications Unit
Gary Bodeau
(509) 44 11 11 11

SOURCE Primature Haiti