Haiti: Call for UN to protect Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls from sexual abuse during relief efforts
Amnesty International has called on the United Nations to put in place measures for the protection of human rights and the most vulnerable among the survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake.
In particular the organisation has called for the authorities co-ordinating the relief efforts to ensure that the rights of girls and boys caught up in the disaster – particularly those orphaned – are respected. Girls in particular are at higher risk of sexual abuse and attack.
Amnesty International’s Haiti Researcher Gerardo Ducos said:
“The current situation of lawlessness in Haiti and the increased vulnerability of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights create the perfect environment for human rights abuses and crimes such as rape and sexual abuse to take place undetected and go unpunished.
“Protecting vulnerable groups from sexual violence is as important as providing relief.”
Following the massive earthquake that erupted on 12 January, Haiti’s national police and judicial system are severely compromised as most of its infrastructure has collapsed and many officials remain unaccounted for. Amnesty has previously documented shocking levels of sexual violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls across the country and fears that this natural disaster may exacerbate the situation.
Gerardo Ducos added:
“Before the devastating earthquake, Haiti was unable to effectively protect human rights and in particular, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls from sexual violence. Unless action is taken now while relief efforts are ongoing, the situation is only likely to deteriorate.”