Rights & Democracy honours the memory of those who lost their lives in Haiti's earthquake

MONTREAL, Jan. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - A year after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, Rights & Democracy honours the memory of the thousands of women, men and children who lost their lives, and the courage of those who survived. Rights & Democracy wishes to specifically commemorate the memory of three Haitian feminists who fought tirelessly for the recognition and respect of women's rights and who lost their lives in the earthquake: Magalie Marcelin, Myriam Merlet and Anne-Marie Coriolan.

On this commemorative anniversary, it is important to recall that the devastation caused by the January 12th earthquake was in great part due to the vulnerability and poverty of the Haitian population, whose most fundamental human rights were systematically denied. A year after the earthquake, the majority of Haitians are still being deprived of their human rights, in particular the right to housing, health, food and water.

Despite the many announcements made by the Haitian authorities and the international community, Haiti's reconstruction has not yet begun in earnest and the structural reasons for Haiti's vulnerability remain unaddressed.  Rights & Democracy is concerned by the slow rate at which the funds pledged for Haiti's reconstruction are being disbursed and calls upon the international community to respect its commitments. Rights & Democracy also urges the Haitian authorities and the international community to prioritize human rights and democratic governance within the reconstruction process.

« Strengthening the Government of Haiti and supporting Haitian civil society are two essential conditions for Haiti's reconstruction, said Gérard Latulippe, President of Rights & Democracy. Haiti's reconstruction cannot be sustainable without good governance and the active participation of its citizens. »

For more than 15 years, Rights & Democracy has worked to strengthen democratic governance, promote human rights and foster dialogue between Haitian civil society and the Government of Haiti. In recent years, Rights & Democracy has focused its efforts on fighting impunity for violence against women, promoting the right to food and the right to identity, strengthening the Office of the Ombudsman (Office de la protection du citoyen) and engaging youth in democratic development.

SOURCE RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

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For more information about Rights and Democracy's work in Haiti, please visit www.dd-rd.ca/haiti or contact:

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