Haiti: Canada's Shame

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Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture
Haiti: Canada's Shame

Quote:

Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought, a report said Tuesday.

The Pan American Development Foundation's report also said some of those children — mostly young girls — suffer sexual, psychological and physical abuse while toiling in extreme hardship.

A Capitalist Paradise

Fidel

Sounds like a poor version of imperial Kuwait without the Philippino wage slaves. I guess even poor people living in thirdworld capitalist countries don't fancy Haiti, "the freest trading nation in the Caribbean" as a destination.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Wonder if we'll help?

 

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/749823---disaster-and-chaos-in...

'Disaster and chaos' in Haiti after major earthquake
Hospital and buildings collapse; officials expect many casualties[/url]

 

Quote:

Most of Haiti's nine million people are desperately poor, and after years of political instability the country has no real construction standards. In November 2008, following the collapse of a school in Petionville, the mayor of Port-au-Prince estimated about 60 per cent of the buildings were shoddily built and unsafe in normal circumstances.

Tuesday's quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, and some panicked residents in the capital of Santo Domingo fled from their shaking homes. But no major damage was reported there.

In eastern Cuba, houses shook but there were also no reports of significant damage.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/13/our-role-in-haitis-p... role in Haiti's plight[/url]

Quote:
Any large city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti's capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it's no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone. Much of the devastation wreaked by this latest and most calamitous disaster to befall Haiti is best understood as another thoroughly manmade outcome of a long and ugly historical sequence.

NDPP

Hundreds of Thousands Feared Dead in Haiti

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/hait-j14.shtml

"more than 100,000 are dead," Felix Augustin, Haiti's consul general at the United Nations told reporters Wednesday..'

Sarann

It is perhaps time Canadians - and that includes the Governor General because she can't be unaware of the situation - looked themselves in the eye regarding Haiti. Our businesses treat is like a sweatshop reducing the citizens to abject poverty, then we the ordinary taxpayer is asked to send aid to keep it cobbled together somehow. They have no real resources to combat even a little crisis. As long as we don't object to what's going on we will keep paying and they will keep living in poverty. In the meantime I guess they need all the help we can give.

Sean in Ottawa

The only type of government that would help the people there is the same type of government foreign powers (including Canada) would not tolerate.

It is hard to be hopeful.

For now though that's another day as we should be supporting the best NGOs to deliver aid right now. I do hope that those delivering the aid do so in the context of an understanding that more will have to be left behind in this country than would be needed in a country that has more resources to pick up after the first responders leave.

The country does not even have heavy front end loaders to move the concrete-- it is that bad.

I like the equalization approach we have in Canada. I think a formal program like this needs to exist globally-- foreign aid should not be optional and countries that want to stop paying poorer countries would need to stop their policies designed to exploit them and keep them poor.

 

safar

Here's for the children:

http://www.freethechildren.com/

 

Michelle

Another good organization to donate to:

Partners In Health

This is what our former editor, Derrick O'Keefe, quoted from an article about them on FB:

"Partners in Health, or in Haitian Creole, Zanmi Lasante, has been the largest health care provider in rural Haiti... Fortunately, it also offers a solid model for independence -- a model where only a handful of Americans are involved in day-to-day operations, and Haitians run the show.  Efforts like this could provide one way for Haiti, as it rebuilds, to renew the promise of its revolution."

Then Derrick said, "This is an amazing org that, along with Cuban medical volunteers, has provided much of the basic health care in Haiti for years."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for that, Michelle! It looks like a great organization.

Unionist

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8674076.stm]Haiti protestors demand removal of President Preval[/url]

Quote:

Police in Haiti's capital have fired tear gas as more than 1,000 protesters rallied to call for President Rene Preval to step down.

The protest was called in Port-au-Prince by opposition groups angry at what they say is Mr Preval's plan to stay beyond his term.

There are concerns elections may not be held before the due date because of records lost in January's earthquake. [...]

Some demonstrators called for the return of exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

 

Unionist

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_america/10144137.stm]U.N. probes Haiti jail riot deaths[/url]

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The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti is investigating reports that dozens of prisoners were shot during a jail riot soon after the 19 January earthquake.

A New York Times investigation alleges at least 12 unarmed prisoners were killed by Haitian police in the city of Les Cayes after they had surrendered. [...]

The New York Times said it appeared 12 to 19 prisoners had been killed and up to 40 wounded by gunshots.

A UN spokesman, David Wimhurst, told AP news agency that the UN had opened an internal inquiry and that a more extensive formal inquiry was possible.

"As far as we're concerned there was a major human rights violation in that prison", he said.

mimeguy

From above quote; "As far as we're concerned there was a major human rights violation in that prison", he said.

 

All Haitian prisons and jails ARE a human rights violation. Canada has helped build substandard prisons and just about anyone can buy their way out of jail with enough money. In Cite Soleil people are regularly arrested and held for bribes. One of our guides was arrested and held for a $200.00 bribe because the police needed drinking money for the holiday weekend. Two of our past work crew members have resorted to armed robbery but only one remains in jail. The other was 'bought' back by his family.

 

 

 

 

NDPP

No One Really Knows What The Canadian Military is Doing in Haiti

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-canadian-militarys-experiment-in-haiti

"The change of heart for Harper certainly raises questions, even if 34 troops is only a minor contribution. So why now - and why Haiti?

Interestingly, the Haiti deployment was kept from the Canadian public until two days before boots hit the ground..."

Unionist

Disgusting.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-haiti-united-nations-peace... police retire before hearings over alleged sexual misconduct in Haiti: Officer put on paid leave, another put on administrative duty before retiring with full pension [/url]

Unionist

This article from April provides some good background, including the reaction of the Haitian community in Montréal, when the allegations first became known.

[url=http://montrealgazette.com/news/haitian-community-reacts-to]Montreal police must take responsibility for sexual misconduct in Haiti, community leader says[/url]

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Jean Ernest Pierre, a Montreal lawyer and the director of CPAM, a Haitian community radio station in the city, says the police — and Canada — should take responsibility. 

The sanctions received by the two officers are laughable, he said. 

“The police directors don’t consider the consequences on the children, who fall into misery, being in a single-parent family in a country that’s already very poor,” Pierre said. 

As a lawyer, he’d like to help the women sue the men, but that just won’t happen. They can’t come to Montreal and file an affidavit, he said. 

But Pierre said the latest allegations are another sign of why the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti — known as MINUSTAH — should be dissolved.

Haiti doesn’t need soldiers and tanks, he said – it needs bulldozers. 

“MINUSTAH has been in Haiti for 12 years and the results are catastrophic,” he said, adding that it was UN peacekeepers who also brought cholera to the country after the devastating earthquake of 2010, killing thousands more.

“What MINUSTAH brings us is misery, cholera and black and white babies — because the millions and billions that it spends is money that goes back to the U.S. and Canada and doesn’t stay in Haiti.”

 

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

Disgusting.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-haiti-united-nations-peace... police retire before hearings over alleged sexual misconduct in Haiti: Officer put on paid leave, another put on administrative duty before retiring with full pension [/url]

Bot how different is this from the way any public employee would be handled in similar circumstances, where(as seems to be the case here), no laws were broken, just regulations?

Let's say, for example, that a teacher is accused of shouting obscene insults at a student, but before the disciplinary hearing, he announces he's gonna quit. Can he be made to show up for the hearings anyway? I'm not sure what the point would be, since, in the absence of an actual crime, all that's likely to happen is he'll be fired, or have his pay docked, penalties which are made redundant by his having quit.

And if someone quits before a disciplnary hearing, is there usually a rule that he forfeits his pension? I'm asking these questions because I really don't know.

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

Bot how different is this from the way any public employee would be handled in similar circumstances, where(as seems to be the case here), no laws were broken, just regulations?

Do you actually believe a worker ("public employee" or not) has to break some "law" in order to be disciplined or fired? This is a rhetorical question.

Quote:
Let's say, for example, that a teacher is accused of shouting obscene insults at a student, but before the disciplinary hearing, he announces he's gonna quit. Can he be made to show up for the hearings anyway?

Certainly not. But the case could then be heard in their (voluntary) absence, and a disciplinary decision could be rendered that could serve to avert future offenders, as well as showing clearly where the employer stands on various egregious offences. Wouldn't expect the fucking RCMP to exhibit that level of integrity, of course.

Quote:
And if someone quits before a disciplnary hearing, is there usually a rule that he forfeits his pension? I'm asking these questions because I really don't know.

No. You don't forfeit your pension (assuming you had adequate age and years of service at the time to retire, otherwise presumably you'd be eligible for a reduced commuted value or deferred pension). But you might very well forfeit any other ongoing benefits (retiree health plans, etc.).

The point here is that no action, whatsoever, is taken against these scumbags in a timely fashion. Because... they're cops. They're not suspended, they're not cut off pay, nothing.

So I don't blame these 2 scumbags. I blame successive Canadian governments which help organize coups against democratically elected governments, send in soldiers and cops to protect Canadian imperial interests, treat the "natives" like subhuman sex toys and other varieties of scum, and then throw up their hands and say, "well, oh gee, whoops, what can we do?"

Justin Trudeau isn't retired yet. He should be held to account.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of your comment is. Surely it's not to whitewash the crimes of foreign powers against the people of Haiti. So enlighten me as to your motives.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Well, I think there are some similarities between this and the Forcillo case that both of us have also posted about today.  Specifically, it seems that either with or without the Ontario PSA, cops accused of crimes or misdeeds don't really seem to suffer much, and can in fact prolong their own comfort by avoiding, as long as possible, the sort of conclusive outcome that might see them suffer.

My suggestion, which will never see the light of day, would be this:  when an officer is accused of a crime or of misconduct, their pensionable hours or years should be frozen, pending the result of that conclusive outcome (either a criminal trial, or an internal hearing, or whatever is appropriate).

If the conclusive outcome is such that the officer is exonerated then it would be as though those hours/years were never frozen.

If the conclusive outcome is such that the officer is found guilty then it would be as though he/she were fired on the day that the freezing began.  If you want to retire to avoid an internal review, go ahead, but your retirement entitlements would be calculated only up to that day.  Any paid leave, suspension with pay or desk duty would not be counted.

I guess I'm thinking of this, from my link in the other thread:

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Some police associations purposely drag out cases with extended trial dates and appeals even when they know full well the member will be convicted — simply to allow the member to reach a pensionable position. Wonderful. These officers have let down their colleagues and the public they serve, but are protected and allowed to sit at home on full pay while other good cops pick up the slack — then qualify for a lifelong pension.

This wouldn't fix everything, but it could fix that.

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

Quote:
Let's say, for example, that a teacher is accused of shouting obscene insults at a student, but before the disciplinary hearing, he announces he's gonna quit. Can he be made to show up for the hearings anyway?

Certainly not. But the case could then be heard in their (voluntary) absence, and a disciplinary decision could be rendered that could serve to avert future offenders, as well as showing clearly where the employer stands on various egregious offences.

The issue I was getting at was how you discipline someone who has already quit their job. You can take that as being the basic point of my comment.

Obviously, we can't fire them. And, according to what you have written here, they can't lose their pensions either. So I guess that leaves the revoking of "retiree health plans, etc". Is that you think should be done to the police officers in question?

Or is it that you think that "successive Canadian governments should have made acrions like those of these police officers into a crime?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Obviously, we can't fire them. And, according to what you have written here, they can't lose their pensions either.

They wouldn't lose it if they were eligible for it.

So I suppose this could still be an incentive, or disincentive, to someone with 8 years of service.  But if you're Sgt. Murtaugh, with one day left until retirement, you can still totally go along with your unhinged parter's plan to shoot out the tires of a school bus, or whatever.

mimeguy

From the article.  {The RCMP, which oversees Canada's UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), strictly prohibits intimate or sexual relations with members of the local population, due to "the difference in real or perceived power and authority."}

This is the real issue. In Canada no consent is given if the accused (by abusing a position of trust, power or authority) induces the complainant to engage in the act.  This is sexual assault and considered a crime. When committed during peacekeeping operations or by any UN staff or by aid workers it is considered “misconduct” and punishable not by criminal prosecution but by dismissal, fine, or other such sanction. Haiti’s MINUSTAH mission is among the worst cited in reports.

(From Executive summary) http://tinyurl.com/j9syxyh

 {Executive Summary Since 2003, the United Nations has developed and implemented a three-pronged strategy of prevention, enforcement and remedial action to address sexual exploitation and abuse (henceforth SEA) by military, police and civilian personnel of peacekeeping missions. This evaluation assessed the results achieved in the enforcement and remedial assistance prongs of the above-mentioned strategy. Despite an overall downward trend since 2009, SEA allegations persist. In 2013 they increased slightly to 66 from 60 the previous year. SEA allegations involving minors accounted for over one third (36 per cent) of all allegations from 2008-2013. Four missions have accounted for the highest number of allegations: the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and United Nations Missions in Sudan and South Sudan (UNMIS and UNMISS). The largest number of allegations involved military personnel, followed by civilians and then the police. While civilians constituted 18 per cent of mission personnel, they accounted for 33 per cent of allegations.}

Secretary-General’s Bulletin Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

http://tinyurl.com/hvct9nz 

{Section 3 Prohibition of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 3.1 Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse violate universally recognized international legal norms and standards and have always been unacceptable behaviour and prohibited conduct for United Nations staff. Such conduct is prohibited by the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules. 3.2 In order to further protect the most vulnerable populations, especially women and children, the following specific standards which reiterate existing general obligations under the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules, are promulgated: (a) Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal; (b) Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence; (c) Exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance; (d) Sexual relationships between United Nations staff and beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics, undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of the United Nations and are strongly discouraged; (e) Where a United Nations staff member develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual exploitation or sexual abuse by a fellow worker, whether in the same agency or not and whether or not within the United Nations system, he or she must report such concerns via established reporting mechanisms; (f) United Nations staff are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Managers at all levels have a particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.}

Peacekeepers are generally protected by immunity.

“Based on the model of diplomatic immunity that protects heads of states and ambassadors from charges when abroad, the U.N. staff enjoy immunity as part of an international civil service. There are different rules for troops "bought in" by the United Nations, but generally no member of a peacekeeping mission may be prosecuted by the country in which they commit rape or sexual abuse.”  CNN article May 25, 2015 http://tinyurl.com/jow5wo3

Despite a lot of talk, reports, intentions, process development, etc. for almost two decades the main problem is the immense bureaucracy of the United Nations and getting the necessary number of countries to agree on definitions.  The solution can be developed in Canada by the government unilaterally as it pertains to Canadian citizens serving as international aid workers, UN staff, military, and police personnel.  Extraterritorial Legislation is already in existence as it relates to sexual exploitation of children.  Canada can and should extend its definition of sexual assault as a criminal offence to apply to any acts committed overseas by Canadian citizens.  In this manner the issue of whether an individual retires, resigns, or otherwise leaves her/his occupation becomes irrelevant and criminal prosecution can proceed. Canada’s Extraterritorial Legislation needs to be updated, if it hasn’t already, to remove the requirement of first obtaining a request for prosecution from the country in which the act was committed and make it a requirement of Canadian Embassy or Consul staff to proceed with a request to seek prosecution.  Not a perfect solution but one which in some cases may be able to bypass UN bureaucracy and/or deception and set an international standard.    

http://tinyurl.com/hsltyzp  {Extraterritorial Legislation -- Canada imposed ET legislation against the sexual exploitation of children in 1997. Prosecuting a person for violating Canada's ET legislation requires that the government of the country in which the crime took place request that Canada initiate prosecution. Commentators criticize this requirement as an impediment to successful enforcement of Canada's ET legislation. In 1997 Canada passed ET legislation that extraterritorially extended Canada's legislation against sexual crimes against children.  The legislation applies to citizens and permanent residents of Canada. In debating passage of the ET legislation, Canada's Parliament noted that successful prosecution depended upon cooperation by destination countries. Canada's ET legislation requires that a destination country's government, or that an overseas Canadian consular officer, request that Canada's attorney general initiate proceedings against a Canadian child sex tourist. Commentators note that this requirement defeats enforcement of Canada's ET law, in cases where the foreign government will not file such a request. Experts argue that countries should remove requirements for complaints from victims or requests for prosecution from foreign governments. As of March 2001, Canada's Parliament began considering legislation that would remove the requirement.}