Haiti has ratified the following documents:
  • American Convention on Human Rights
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Haiti:
  • Beijing +5: Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Beijing Platform for Action
  • Cairo Programme of Action
  • UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The documents listed above require Haiti to protect and promote the following rights:

Right to development
Right to education
Right to equal protection of the law
Right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment
Right to highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Right to housing
Right to just and favorable work conditions
Right to liberty and security of the person
Right to life and survival
Right to marry and found a family
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of age
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability (i.e. HIV positive)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of marital status
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
Right to private and family life
Right to receive and impart information
Right to the benefits of scientific progress

Constitutional Protection of Rights

The Constitution of Haiti can be viewed at http://www.travelinghaiti.com/history_of_haiti/haiti_constitution.asp

The Constitution of Haiti is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights.

The Constitution enables Haiti to translate international agreements into domestic law, and obliges all branches of government to respect and ensure the rights it enunciates. It explicitly refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 19).

The Constitution provides for the protection of the following rights, among others. This empowers individuals in making reproductive health decisions, and helps create the economic and social conditions conducive to good sexual and reproductive health.

Right to an adequate housing (art. 22)
Right to education (art. 22, art. 32)
Right to equality before the laws (art. 18)
Right to food (art. 22)
Right to freedom of association (art. 31)
Right to freedom of expression (art. 28)
Right to health (art. 19)
Right to liberty (art. 24)
Right to life (art. 19)
Right to non-discrimination on the ground of marital status (art. 17)
Right to non-discrimination on the ground of sex (art. 17)
Right to own private property (art. 36)
Right to privacy (art. 49)
Right to social security (art. 22)
Right to work (art. 35)

The Constitution includes other provisions that promote and protect rights relevant for good sexual and reproductive health.

It specifically obliges Haiti to "ensure for all citizens in all territorial divisions appropriate means to ensure protection, maintenance and restoration of their health by establishing establish hospitals, health centers and dispensaries" (art. 23).

It empowers working women by granting them a right to equal pay for equal work (art. 35-2).

It also requires Haiti to provide maternal education (art. 32-5), and to disseminate knowledge of international treaties Haiti is a party to (art. 40).

Why is that important? This provision provides strong support to human rights training within Haiti.

The Constitution imposes a duty on citizens to respect the rights of others (art. 52-1.m).

The Constitution also provides for the accountability of government officials and employees in case of violation of rights (art. 27-1).

Why is that important? It is the value added of human rights to public health to make public authorities accountable for failing to ensure rights. Accountability is also a mechanism to ensure implementation of policies and laws, including those adopted to further individual rights. For further information or research, please contact the Human Rights Working Group.