Hello everyone! I know I haven't been very active on this board for a couple of months but I'm back with an interesting article on violations of human right to food in Haiti. However, I kind of disagree with the fact that Haiti should work with Canada to solve the problem after Ottawa was clearly implicated in the mess of 2004.
New report finds pervasive violations of human right to food in Haiti
Global Research, October 17, 2008
The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development
International experts on right to food to meet in Ottawa Nov. 7 -
MONTREAL – Oct. 17, 2008 – The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy) marked World Food Day yesterday with the release of a new report detailing pervasive violations of the human right to food in Haiti. The report comes as rising food prices and the devastation of four massive summer storms have left Haitians facing severe food shortages and malnourishment.
The new report is based on the findings of an international fact-finding mission to Haiti led by Rights & Democracy and the Haitian non-governmental organization Groupe de Recherche et d'Appui en Milieu Rural (GRAMIR) in May. Site visits to areas hardest hit by Haiti's food crisis and interviews with representatives of Haiti's government, civil society and international donors all revealed that existing policies are failing to alleviate chronic hunger in Haiti.
“If the challenge is not addressed at all levels of government, the problem of hunger could escalate into a humanitarian crisis and deepen political instability in the country,” said Ernst Mathurin, a representative of GRAMIR.
While the burden of responsibility for addressing these issues rests with the Government of Haiti and its agencies, the report says Haiti's international donors, including Canada, must also take immediate steps to address food shortages in the country. For example, the report recommends that donors provide support for long-term strategies for hunger eradication including technical support for agriculture and expansion of social services in rural areas.
“The Canadian government should work with the Government of Haiti and other donors to develop a detailed strategy for the progressive realization of the right to food in Haiti,” said Rémy M. Beauregard, President of Rights & Democracy. “Only policies based on the human right to food can provide the sustainable solutions to the chronic food insecurity that Haitians are facing today.”
The fact-finding mission to Haiti was the third in a series undertaken by Rights & Democracy and its international partners. Past missions examined right to food compliance in Malawi (2006) and Nepal (2007). The purpose of these missions is to draw comparisons among countries with similar levels of poverty in order to illustrate the link between poverty and human rights violations.
Common outcomes from the three missions will be evaluated during a policy seminar that will bring local partners from all three countries to Ottawa on November 7, 2008. The seminar will feature a keynote presentation by Olivier De Schutter, the newly-appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
For more information, please consult www.dd-rd.ca or contact Steve Smith at Rights & Democracy, 514-898-4157.
Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan, independent Canadian institution created by an Act of Parliament in 1988 to promote democratic development and to advocate for and defend human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. In cooperation with civil society and governments in Canada and abroad, Rights & Democracy initiates and supports programmes to strengthen laws and democratic institutions, principally in developing countries.
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