USAID and Women in Haiti

Current Programs

(Last updated: November 26, 2010)

Programs to Protect Human Rights

USAID operates on a three-year Peace & Security plan for Haiti that is scheduled to run from 2007-2010. This plan has two primary components: (1) combat torture and organized violence, particularly against vulnerable populations (i.e. women and children) and (2) prevent trafficking in persons. The following are the activities undertaken by USAID and its partner, Pan American Development Foundation (PADF):

  • Improve the capacity of both GOH institutions and NGOs to provide treatment to heal all those affected by torture, organized violence and trafficking, as well as protect individuals from future abuses.
  • Provide direct services, including rescue, shelter, rehabilitation and counsel to restore the well-being of victims which will impact not only on individual victims but also on families and communities.
  • Coordinated efforts between civil society and human rights organizations to seek sustainable changes through advocacy for national legislation and ratifying of international instruments that uphold human rights.

The program’s targeted objectives include:

  • Improved strategy for treatment of victims, leading to the healing and restored well being of persons and communities affected by torture and/or organized violence.
  • Improve quality of treatment interventions for torture and/or organized violence-affected individuals and communities.
  • Improved access to services that treat, heal and improve the well being of torture and/or organized violence that affects individuals and communities.
  • GOH protection against trafficking is facilitated, legislated and enforced.
  • Improved access to services that treat and rehabilitate Haitian victims of trafficking.

Femmes en Democratie Program

USAID has given approximately $126,000 in support of Femmes en Democratie (FED) Program in Haiti. FED is an organization that seeks to empower Haitian women by increasing their political and economic participation, while also protecting their basic human rights.

Source: FED. Haitian women attend FED event.

In aftermath of the earthquake, FED has worked with USAID to link Haitian women to domestic and foreign markets through the sale of goods at resorts and the airport in Port-au-Prince. FED provides everything from  training and raw materials to micro credit loans. USAID’s objectives are to:

  • Create or strengthen 60 entrepreneurs/micro-enterprises
  • Create between 120-240 additional durable jobs in selected micro-enterprises

Kay Justis or “House of Justice” Project

The Key Justice Project began in 2007 with the goal of improving governance and court capacity in Cité Soleil. It is supported with approximately $550,000 of USAID funding and engages in the following activities:

  • Strengthening the adjudication capacity of the Justice of the Peace Court
  • Providing legal assistance to residents through a legal aid clinic
  • Supporting community outreach activities to increase civil and legal rights education
  • Providing training to community organizations to serve as liaisons between the community and the Justices of the Peace
  • Training court personnel and community leaders in the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve conflicts.

Its targeted objectives are as follows:

  • Increase in number of cases prepared and investigated according to accepted standards.
  • Increase in number of case filings that proceed to court.
  • Public availability of information on court duties, and court procedures.
  • Improvement in number and range of cases officially reported, including civil rights cases.
  • Increase in number of civic activities organized by community groups and community leaders to share information about justice sector role and function, and absolute increase in number of participants and attendees.

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Future Programs

Spending Plan for Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010

As a prerequisite for receiving the $2.93 billion appropriated in the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, the State Department and USAID has to submit a spending plan (click to download) to Congress. This plan will ultimately shape Haiti’s reconstruction and development efforts for FY 2011.

Justice Reform and Human Rights

The spending plan earmarks over $14,743,000 for Justice Reform and Human Rights programs, many of which will benefit the women of Haiti. The plan outlines the following initiatives for USAID, the Government of Haiti, and other donors:

  • Pass and implement new criminal and criminal procedure codes
  • Support the review of pre-trial detention cases to facilitate trials or release
    Standardize case tracking
  • Train court administrators on case tracking and management
  • Improve access to judicial services at the community level through support of legal aid centers and roving justices of the peace

The targeted results are listed as follows:

  • Reduced pre-trial detainee and pre-arraignment populations
  • Systematic improvements implemented to prevent recurrence of significant percentages of pre-trial detainees
  • Mobile court system developed and implemented by March 2011
  • Harmonized standard operating procedures covering human right/child/gender abuse and civil rights protections developed and implemented within and across relevant GOH justice institutions and other institutions charge with protecting vulnerable populations (such as the Office of Citizen Protection)
  • Increased reporting of instances of human rights/child/gender abuse cases to/through the National Ombudsman’s Office and the Haiti National Police
  • Improved tracking and monitoring of cases
  • Improved law enforcement capacity to respond, as seen through identification, arrest, and successful prosecution of perpetrators
  • Reduction in the number of children sent into restavek situations or participating in criminal activities/organized crime
  • Reduced instances of tracking in women and children
  • Increased citizen confidence in GOH’s institutional capacity to protect civil and human rights, as measured through Americas Barometer

Trafficking in Persons

USAID plans to spend $5,000,000 on programs to combat human trafficking in Haiti. The following are initiatives intended to be carried about by USAID and its partner, the International Organization on Migration (IOM):

  • Give technical assistance on anti-trafficking legislation
  • Build awareness of the need for enactment and enforcement of a comprehensive Trafficking in Persons (TIP) law
  • Strengthen prevention and protection programs of both human trafficking victims and victims of gender-based violence
  • Support investigations and prosecution of cases in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Protect women from gender-based violence, including in IDP camps
  • Provide services for child and adult victims of sexual abuse during investigation of such crimes

The targeted results are listed as follows:

  • Draft legislation considered by Haitian legislature and government officials
  • Increased capacity of targeted law enforcement and social welfare agencies to recognize human trafficking victims and work with NGOs that provide direct services
  • Increased capacity of law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases
  • Expanded and enhanced protections for victims of gender based violence
  • Increased public awareness of the plight of restavek children among all sectores
  • Increase in the number of restavek children who are rescued, protected and reintegrated into communities or families of origin