Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 12th Session
Universal Period Review of Haiti
Statement by Australia
13 October 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from Haiti and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Australia recognises that as a result of the 2010 earthquake, hurricane and cholera epidemic, many of Haiti’s institutions have been weakened. Australia is pleased to be working in partnership with Haiti and Cuba to improve the quality of life in Haiti by repairing medical infrastructure and supporting the provision of medical services in Haiti.
Australia encourages Haiti in its efforts to promote an effective and independent judiciary and a law-enforcement apparatus which are respectful of human rights. For example, the appointment of a new president of the Court of Cessation, responsible for overseeing the judiciary, and the formation of a committee to review the penal code and the Code of Civil Procedure. Australia is particularly concerned about reports of violence against women and girls and encourages Haiti to make their protection a priority in recovery efforts.
We welcome the fact that Haiti’s Constitution recognises a number of fundamental human rights and specifies that international treaty law has primacy over national law. We encourage Haiti to build on this foundation by establishing a national human rights institution that is compliant with the Paris Principles.
We commend Haiti for ratifying the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and encourage the Haitian Parliament to pass implementing legislation as a matter of urgency.
Australia recommends Haiti:
1. Ensure that the rights of women and girls are protected during the recovery process, including to protect them from violence;
2. Pass implementing legislation before the Parliament for the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and
3. Establish a national human rights institution that is compliant with the Paris Principles.