Human Rights Work

          In addition to supporting the law school, HHP collaborates with partner organizations to advocate for human rights.  In particular, HHP works with law students, attorneys and other advocates in Jérémie to ensure that a rural perspective is included in the international arena.  

          International Advocacy:  HHP members engage in fact-finding on a variety of areas, including criminal justice issues, gender-based violence, education, and the situation for LGBT individuals. HHP then works with partner organizations, including MADRE and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, to include the information in submissions to the UN or other publications. For example, in February and March 2012 HHP conducted fact-finding to include in a submission to the UN’s Human Rights Committee in advance of Haiti’s review.  HHP members interviewed government officials and representatives of nonprofit organizations on issues related to gender-based violence in Jeremie. HHP worked with several universities and organizations to prepare a memorandum suggesting that the Human Rights Committee place a special emphasis on gender-based violence and LGBT rights, which have not been addressed properly by the local government. HHP’s fact-finding helped to shed light on underreported gender-based crimes in rural areas, thereby adding a rural perspective to the reports submitted to the Human Rights Committee.  

          Human Rights Trainings: HHP has also engaged in human rights trainings with youth activists in Jeremie.  In 2012, HHP was invited by the Haitian Health Foundation to conduct a training with more than forty youth who are organizing in their communities.  The training focused on developing effective messaging for the media or other audiences.  The participants created short statements on a “human right” they felt was most important to them, and short clips are available on our youtube page here [link to youtube]. 

          Inter-American Commission Work:  In the past, HHP members also worked on the ground breaking case to drop charges against the former Prime Minister of Haiti, Yvone Neptune. In 2005, along with other US and Haitian attorneys, UC Hastings students filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on behalf of Neptune to have all charges against him dropped. This led a Haitian Appeals Court to drop all charges against Neptune, due to the unconstitutional manner in which they were filed. Today, HHP continues to advocate for prisoners’ rights through its fact-finding efforts and human rights work. For more information about this case and efforts to implement the Commission's decision, please visit http://ijdh.org/projects/political-prisoners/yvon-neptune.