Advocacy group calls on CARICOM to implement rights-based approach for protection of Haitian migrants

A call is being made for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to implement a rights-based approach for the protection of Haitian migrants and refugees in the region.

The call from advocacy group, Freedom Imaginaries comes ahead of tomorrow’s meeting in Jamaica with CARICOM leaders.

The leaders are convening with various Haitian stakeholders, including Prime Minister Ariel Henry to discuss Haiti’s state of affairs and other matters critical to the stabilization of security in that nation.

In an open letter to CARICOM Chair, Dr. Irfaan Ali, Freedom Imaginaries noted its concern over the escalating cycle of migration-related abuse targeting Haitians who seek refuge in Caribbean countries.

It said amid the devastating crisis in Haiti, some Caribbean countries are carrying out repressive measures against Haitian migrants and refugees, with reports of arbitrary detentions, forced returns, and collective expulsions, without due process or an individualized assessment of protection needs.

Human rights lawyer attached to the group, Malene Alleyne lamented that even as CARICOM leaders convene in Jamaica, Jamaica is seeking to forcibly return 37 Haitian asylum seekers to a country in the throes of catastrophic violence, without giving them an opportunity to be heard.

Citing Dr. Ali’s summation of Haiti’s crisis, Ms. Alleyne said Jamaica’s move is concerning, as the situation on the ground in that nation remains dire.

Meanwhile, Haitian police worked Saturday to retake several streets in the nation’s capital after gangs launched massive attacks on at least three police stations.

Guards from the national palace accompanied by an armored truck also tried to set up a security perimeter around one of the three downtown stations after police fought off an attack by gangs.

The unrelenting gang attacks have paralyzed the country for more than a week and left it with dwindling supplies of basic goods.

Haitian officials extended a state of emergency, which was initially set for 3 days, until next month.

The United States, this morning noted that it has airlifted non-essential embassy staff from Haiti, as the country spirals further into gang violence.

The Americans have also boosted security at their mission in Port-au-Prince.


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