PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Michel Forst, the United Nations’ independent expert on human rights in Haiti, is currently visiting the Caribbean country to conduct an evaluation.
Forst, who arrived on January 31, will meet with the new Haitian authorities, members of parliament, the national human rights institution, representatives of the peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, and the UN representatives in Haiti, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and civil society before he leaves on February 8.
“I will focus on issues of human rights in the context of the humanitarian crisis, the implementation of a human rights-based approach to reconstruction, preventing impunity for serious human rights violations, and the pursuit of reforms in the area of rule of law,” Forst said. “I also would like to propose to Haitian authorities a work plan for 2012 with activities addressing the enjoyment of economic and social rights in particular.”
Some 500,000 people are still living under canvas in the Haitian capital, a little more than two years after the January 2010 earthquake left an estimated 300,000 people dead and more than 1.5 million homeless.
Forst, who was appointed in 2008, said he would also be following up on recommendations made in his last report to the Human Rights Council since his most recent mission in September 2011. He is scheduled to present a preliminary statement on the final day of his visit.
Forst serves as General Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of France. He is also the author of various publications on human rights, extreme poverty and the United Nations.