Haiti faces record displacement amid escalating gang violence

“Violence, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince, has reached alarming levels, with armed groups controlling large areas and making humanitarian access difficult,” experts said. experts, including humanitarian aid agencies, said. Special Rapporteur on the rights of internally displaced persons, speak.

Clashes between gangs and the Haitian National Police have created a “widespread environment of fear, restricting freedom of movement and access to basic services,” they added.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, gang-related violence is believed to have killed or injured 2,500 Haitians, including 82 children.

Women and children are most affected, amid increased risks of violence and sexual exploitation.

Mass displacement

Many internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in “overcrowded and inadequate conditions, without basic sanitation, facing shortages of food, water, shelter and medical care.” severe health problems, including a lack of safe and private spaces for psychological support,” the independent organization said. experts said.

According to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), nationwide, 80% of IDPs are living with host families while the remainder are sheltering in place, many in high-risk or gang-controlled areas.

Nearly half of the country’s population is suffering from severe hunger, with 18% at the “emergency” level of food insecurity.

Impact on children and women

Children and women are disproportionately affected by violence and instability in Haiti, with more than 310,000 women and girls, and 180,000 children, displaced.

More than half a million children are living in neighborhoods controlled by armed groups, at high risk of violence and child recruitment.

Furthermore, the growing number of unaccompanied displaced children makes them particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and trafficking by gangs.

Violence and attacks on educational facilities also forced nearly 900 schools to close, affecting nearly 200,000 children, disrupting learning and putting children at risk.

Sexual violence against women and girls in IDP locations also increased as gangs continued to use rape as a weapon of terror. Eastern Human Rights Association– appointed independent experts said.

Call to action

Amid the alarming situation, experts call for greater women’s leadership and participation to ensure a successful political transition in Haiti.

They also called for greater efforts to address the root causes of displacement in order to build sustainable solutions for the future.

“Long-term solutions for IDPs, such as safe return, resettlement or local integration, require addressing the root causes of displacement, including violence, political instability and environmental degradation”.

Independent expert

Appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council and part of it Special proceduresThe Special Rapporteur is tasked with monitoring and assessing the rights situation in certain thematic or country situations.

They work as individuals, independently of the United Nations and foreign governments.

They are not UN employees and do not receive salaries.


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