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Mar072011

South Texas College of Law Professor Takes the Cause of Homeless Haitians to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 

http://www.stcl.edu/hottopics/Cause_of_Homeless_Haitians.html´╗┐

October 27, 2010—South Texas College of Law Professor and human rights activist Kathleen Bergin appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Tuesday, October 26, to discuss the plight of the 1.5 million homeless people in Haiti. Bergin has taken two trips to Haiti to investigate reports that government agents are forcibly evicting displaced people from settlement camps set up in the aftermath of the January 12th earthquake.  According to experts, nearly 30,000 people have been evicted from the camps, and another 144,000 face on-going threats of eviction.
 
Professor Bergin addressed the international commission as the director of the human rights organization You.Me.We., along with representatives from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, The Bureau Des Avocates Internationaux, the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University’s Washington College of Law, and the University of San Francisco School of Law Center for Law and Global Justice.  

The group requested the commission, an arm of the Organization of American States, to investigate reports that the Government of Haiti is violating international and domestic law in carrying out forced evictions.  “Our investigation shows that government agents are forcing earthquake victims out of the camps with no place else to go, and are withholding humanitarian aid, including food, water and medical care, from camps targeted for eviction”  says Bergin. "The police have bulldozed entire settlements, beaten and abused camp residents, and turned a blind-eye when thugs with machetes invaded the camps and assaulted the people inside.”  The group also filed a Request for Precautionary Measures with the Commission, demanding an immediate moratorium on evictions and the implementation of a human rights mechanism for protecting the rights of Haiti’s most vulnerable population.

For more information, please contact Prof. Bergin at kbergin@stcl.edu.

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