Norway welcomes the delegation of Haiti and the presentation of the national report.
Norway recognizes the efforts made by the Haitian government in promoting human rights in spite of the devastating consequences of last year’s earthquake. We note with appreciation Haiti’s dedication to continue working towards the fulfilment of its human rights obligations and commitments.
Norway would, however, like to provide some recommendations on human rights issues of particular concern.
Reports of increased violence against women and girls in the aftermath of the earthquake, and the high level of impunity for such crimes are extremely worrying. We thus strongly recommend that Haiti takes further measures to ensure that the police and justice system deals diligently with gender-based violence and that the country promotes better training for police officers in responding to victims of sexual violence.
Noting that women still are very underrepresented in political bodies, we also recommend that concrete steps are taken to encourage broader participation of women in decision-making processes.
Norway is concerned about the situation of victims of human trafficking. We recommend that Haiti adopts an adequate legal framework in line with its commitments under the Palermo Protocol to combat such practices. We also recommend that Haiti ratifies the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
Norway would also express its concern with regard to the statelessness resulting from a combination of lack of birth registration and deficiencies in civil registration. In view of this, Norway recommends that Haiti accede to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons as well as the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Norway commends the Haitian government for taking concrete steps to deal with the problem of overcrowding in prisons, but recommend Haiti to make additional efforts to ensure that tribunals, prisons and the police comply with international human rights standards. Norway further recommends that the government of Haiti ratifies the Convention against Torture.
Norway welcomes the Haitian government’s stated intention to improve the access to primary education. We recommend that the necessary steps be taken to guarantee free and universal primary education and build the capacity of quality control agencies.
In closing, Norway would recommend Haiti to ratify the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.