World March 21, 2024 | 3:04 pm

UNHCR urges refugee protection for Haitians

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) emphasized on Wednesday that Haitians should receive refugee protection and not be repatriated to their country, where gangs reign terror.

In response to the chaotic situation, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and concerns about a potential mass exodus, the UNHCR has anticipated and updated directives to ensure the protection of vulnerable Haitians.

Elizabeth Tan, head of UNHCR’s international protection division, stated, “The lives, security, and freedom of Haitians are threatened by the growing gang violence and human rights violations.”

Ariel Henry, currently handling affairs, acknowledged the recent surge in gang violence in Haiti and the need for the establishment of a transitional presidential council following his announced resignation.

The UNHCR stressed the imperative for countries to grant Haitians international refugee protection status and urged all states not to forcibly return individuals to Haiti, including those whose asylum requests were rejected.

The agency highlighted that various Haitian groups, including political activists, journalists, judges, and lawyers combating corruption and crime, could benefit from the 1951 Refugee Convention. It also underscored the protection extended by the 1984 Cartagena Declaration to individuals affected by widespread violence in gang-afflicted areas.

Expressing concern over Haitians embarking on perilous journeys, including by sea, the UNHCR cautioned against this trend.

Meanwhile, negotiations to form transitional authorities progressed in Haiti on Wednesday, amidst ongoing evacuations of US citizens due to gang-related insecurity. Armed gangs have terrorized Port-au-Prince in recent weeks, prompting Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s resignation and the planned establishment of a transitional presidential council.

The country has faced instability since President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination in 2021, compounded by the absence of elections since 2016. The new authorities, composed of representatives from political parties and civil society, are tasked with electing an interim prime minister and forming an inclusive government to address the persistent insecurity, possibly with assistance from an international mission.


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March 21, 2024 4:07 pm

With all due respect, the UN can kiss our pretty behinds. DR already has a cumbersome immigration dilemma will illegal migrants from that voodoo nation and now we’re supposed to take in MORE “refugees”???… Nah, DR government better not even entertain this nonsense, we’re not having it.

Last edited 26 days ago by DCamp21
John Gracefield
March 22, 2024 8:08 pm

The Dominican Republic has a trade surplus of nearly $1 billion dollars with Haiti This is well beyond the extra expenses resulting from Haitians being in the country. Show the world some compassion to your neighbours during a time of need.

March 23, 2024 2:19 pm

You have no idea how much the DR has already done for Haiti and its people. Our charity and generosity have a limit, and our sovereignty is non-negotiable.