Haiti has been an enabler of Venezuela’s descent into autocracy and chaos, even as it hosted and benefitted from 12 OAS electoral missions in the past 27 years. It voted against hearing Secretary General Almagro’s report on the state of democracy in Venezuela in 2016 and voted against a resolution at the June 2017 OAS General Assembly condemning the Maduro government’s plan to hold an unconstitutional election to choose a constituent assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution. Haiti does not contribute to the IACHR. Its rate women’s homicide makes places it sixth in the world in femicide.

Below is a breakdown of Haiti’s actions and votes at the various venues we are monitoring. For more information click on each title and summary.


Freedom House   
Freedom Status Partly Free
Aggregate Score (100 is perfect freedom and protection of rights) 38
Political Rights (scores out of 40, with 40 being the best)  16
Civil Liberties (scores out of 60, with 60 being the best)  22
Reporters Without Borders  
       World Press Freedom Index 30.21
Transparency International  
Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 18/100
 Global Rank 170/180
World Justice Project  [1]  
Rule-of-Law Index  N/A
 Regional rank N/A
 Global rank N/A
UN Human Development Index  
 Human Development Index (HDI) 0.510
 Global rank 170
Americas Quarterly [2] (last report 2016)  
 Social Inclusion Index N/A
Regional rank N/A

United Nations System:

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC or Council)

Haiti has not been on the Human Rights Council.

UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review

As part of its mandate to promote human rights around the globe, the UNHRC has instituted a Universal Periodic Review, where, once every four years, each country’s human rights record is examined. Other countries are invited to review the record and make comments and suggestions for improvement. The country under review then acknowledges each comment by either “accepting” the comment, meaning typically that they agree to focus on, or “noting” it, indicating that they disagree and will not be focusing on improvements in this area.

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As recipient: Haiti has not received any recommendations in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.

Area Received Accepted Noted
Civil society  –  –
Elections  –  –  –
Enforced disappearances  –  –  –
Extrajudicial executions  –  –
Freedom of association and peaceful assembly  –  –  –
Freedom of opinion and expression  –  –  –
Freedom of religion and belief  –  –  –
Freedom of press  –  –  –
Human rights defenders  –  –  –
Human rights violations by state agents  –  –  –
Impunity  –  –  –
Indigenous peoples  –  –  –
Internally displaced persons  –  –  –
International instruments  –  –  –
Justice  –  –  –
Migrants  –  –  –
Minorities  –  –  –
Racial discrimination  –  –  –
Sexual orientation and gender identity  –  –  –
Torture and CID treatment  –  –  –
Women’s rights  –  –  –
Total  –  –  –

Note: some comments are classified under multiple categories.

As commenter: Haiti is not a very active participant in the UPR process, making 68 recommendation, with 21 of them directed to Latin America and the Caribbean. Haiti consistently made 2-4 comments for most countries around the globe. Tanzania was the only exception, receiving 7 comments from Haiti.

Main topics of comments included: women’s rights (17 comments), rights of the child (16 comments) and the environment (9 comments).

Note: This data is for the 2nd cycle of the UPR. However, the final round of countries were reviewed in November/December 2016, and that data is not yet available to include in our analysis here.[/expandableContent]

UN NGO Committee

Haiti has not been on the Committee since at least 1993.

Inter-American System:

OAS Permanent Council

Under the new leadership of Secretary General Luis Almagro, the OAS has re-found its focus on promoting democracy around the region. This was shown most clearly in a meeting in June 2016 where Almagro presented his report on the state of democracy in Venezuela and proposed invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

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In June 2016, Secretary General Luis Almagro presented his report laying out the evidence on how and why it was necessary to invoke the Inter-American Democratic Charter in Venezuela. Haiti alongside other Venezuelan allies worked to prevent a vote on whether Almagro should present his report at all. However, the vote succeeded and Almagro was allowed to present his findings.

During the 2017 OAS General Assembly, Haiti backed and voted in favor of a CARICOM-backed resolution that asked Venezuela to reconsider withdrawing from the OAS. But it abstained from voting on a stronger resolution that urged the Maduro regime not to convene a constituent assembly that would rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. With the help from other small Caribbean nations, Haiti was able to prevent any major action or condemnation on the unconstitutional constituent assembly elections.


Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR or Commission)

Haiti has not contributed to the IACHR since 2011.

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Voluntary financial contributions to IACHR (as of Sept. 16, 2016) 

Year Contributions by Haiti Percentage of Total
Contributions to IACHR


Electoral Missions

In the past several decades, Haiti has hosted 12 OAS electoral missions, in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2000, 1997, 1995 and 1990.

Freedom of Information Laws

Since 2000 the right to information and freedom of information laws have expanded across the region. However, the existence of the laws on the books does not necessarily mean full enforcement.

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Signatory/Participant in MESICIC* Yes
Constitutional protection* Yes
Specific law enacted* No
Is there a presumption of right* No
Scope/Exceptions/Overrides* applies to everything except information concerning national security
Received information under FOIA law?** N/A
Received information within a week?** N/A
Received the appropriate information?** N/A

*Data taken from the Freedom of the Press 2016 Report, provided by Freedom House. 
**Information from the 2015 World Justice Project Open Government Index


Women’s rights:

Protecting women against gender-based violence is a human rights issue often overlooked globally even though it crosses social, economic and national boundaries. And according to the United Nations Population Fund, gender-based violence undermines the health, security, dignity, and autonomy of its victims. Although 16 countries in Latin America had modified their laws to include a specific type of crime referring to the murder of women by 2015, they are not uniformly implemented, and practices to convict perpetrators of gender-based violence are still extremely weak. A 2016 report published by the Small Arms Survey found that Latin America and the Caribbean is home to 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world.  

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Haiti has a female homicide rate of 11.5 per 100,000 women. The number places it has have the sixth highest rate of femicide in the world. Rape became a crime in 2005, before then, rapists were able to pay off or marry their victims to avoid conflict. Rape and sexual violence against women and young children was used as a weapon during the military rules of 1991 to 1994 and after the coup d’état that saw the removal of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The situation for women and children worsened after the 2010 earthquake left Port au Prince in shambles. The Inter-American Commission on Human rights responded to a request from groups representing women and girls in Port au Prince and issued precautionary measures requiring the Haitian government to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

According to a 2012 New York University Center for Human Rights and Global Justice report, 14 percent of displaced households identified at least one member who had been a victim of sexual violence. And an additional 70 percent indicated that their fear of sexual violence increased since the earthquake. In 2017, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) advised that rampant sexual violence in the country should be treated as a public health issue and that more care should be available for survivors. According to a report by MSF, four in every five people who sought free medical and psychological care at their Pran Men’m clinic had been raped. Sexual violence is a major issue in Haiti. Not only is there a need for increased protection of women’s rights but of children’s rights, as more than half of the 1,300 survivors of sexual violence treated at one clinic run by MSF were children.


[1]WJP Rule-of-Law Index measures 4 principles: 1) The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law; 2) The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights; 3) The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient; 4) Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
[2] AQ Social Inclusion Index uses 23 different factors to measure how effectively governments are serving their citizens, regardless of race or income, and is published annually by Americas Quarterly at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
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