Thank you, Madam President
Norway thanks the independent expert, Mr Michel Forst, for the quality of the report, with a concise overview of the human rights situation in Haiti. Norway supports the recommendations of the Independent expert, particularly as they relate to making the judiciary a truly independent branch of the State; to review the feasibility of setting up a country office of the OHCHR; that the Haitian civil society should be more systematically involved in the reconstruction process; and that efforts made to combat violence against women and children must be continued and reinforced.
Norway is pleased to see that some progress has taken place since the last report, and would like to highlight the following:
- The appointment of the President of the Court of Cassation and 4 judges which has enabled the first meeting of this court.
- The High Council of the Judiciary is almost operational and the Legal Service Training College is recruiting candidates to be trained as judges.
- The Presidential commission on the reform of the justice system has resumed its activities and should be supported by the international community.
- Haiti has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which we hope will contribute to mainstream a rights-based approach in the reconstruction of the country.
- Violence against women seems to be on the decrease, particularly in the camps of displaced persons.
- There has been a decrease in the population still residing in the camps.
- The closing down of a number of illegal institutions where children live.
We deplore, however, that the case of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier does not seem to have been treated with the necessary rigor by the justice system.
We would like to ask the Independent Expert to elaborate more on the following:
- What is the prospect for finding solutions for those close to 400.000 Haitians still living in camps?
- In your view, are the rights of women and children higher on the agenda under the new administration of President Martelly?
- Can we expect a targeted effort of the government to deal with the situation of the approximately 70 percent of prisoners who are still in pre-trial detention and the conditions of the prisons?
- Could you please elaborate a bit more on why the vetting process of the police does not seem to be making much progress?