The Coordination Europe Haiti appeals to the European Union to support a new governance for a democratic and peaceful future in Haiti
The Coordination Europe-Haïti is launching an urgent appeal to the European Union to support the efforts of Haitian civil society to form a transitional government supported by a large majority of the Haitian people. Only a credible transitional government can create the conditions needed to restore security, organise free and fair elections and restore hope to the desperate population.
The situation in Haiti is becoming increasingly chaotic, with the rise of armed groups terrorising the population. Since the assassination of President Moise in 2021, these gangs have multiplied, extending their control over the capital and certain regions. Violence, murder and rape are on the increase, causing massive displacement, food insecurity and limited access to healthcare and education. Humanitarian organisations and the United Nations are alarmed by this escalation in violence. The Haitian state is in a state of collapse, incapable of protecting its population. There is an urgent need for the international community, in particular the countries and institutions that make up the Core Group, like the European Union, which are playing an important role in this crisis, to critically re-examine the current approach and finally support the Haitian civil society players in their efforts to find a lasting Haitian solution to this interminable crisis.
During the first week of June 2023, which coincided with the start of the hurricane season, two disasters once again hit Haiti: floods in at least seven (7) departments and two earthquakes in Grand-Anse. As always, human lives were lost, animals drowned and property destroyed, the environment damaged. And as always, those who have the responsibility of managing the country are absent. Which makes more than one say that without a drastic break with this way of governance, we risk losing Haiti definitively.
The Coordination Europe-Haiti (COEH) has been informed of the restrictions on freedom of movement imposed by the Dominican authorities and the infringement of the reputation of Pierre Espérance, director of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).
On April 28, 2023, the main Haitian farmers organizations published a note of solidarity with Haitian farmers. The signatory organizations denounce the acts of repression, land grabbing, arrests and unrestrained violence throughout the country. The organizations also strongly denounce the inaction of the Haitian state, which suggests that this violence against peasants serves the interests of the government and certain powerful groups.
French organizations in solidarity with Haiti call for an immediate end to “racism” in the Dominican Republic
The Collectif Haïti de France, member of the CoEH, and the French Platform for Solidarity with Haiti join forces to denounce the scandalous way in which Haitian nationals and Dominicans of Haitian origin are repeatedly treated in the Dominican Republic. They also ask the French government and the European Commission to intervene urgently in this sense with the Dominican government and to support the United Nations. As Coordination Europe-Haiti, we fully support this demand.
The recent announcement of the Haitian government to increase once again the prices of petroleum products caused people nationwide to protest against this decision. At the same time Haitians are flabbergasted by statements of high UN representatives ánd their own prime minister who are not only downplaying the seriousness of the current situation, but also comparing Haitian demonstrators with violent gang members, causing international media to pick up on fake news. Haitian NGOs and activists such as our representative in Port-au-Prince Colette Lespinasse tell the true story and explain what is really happening.
The situation in Haiti has deteriorated rapidly over the past two weeks. While until recently protests and gang violence were mainly concentrated in the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, since early September the unrest has spread to the rest of the country. The rise in gasoline and food prices, which have reached unprecedented heights, is the basis of these mobilizations. We share information on the situation drawn from various sources, including among others the representative of the COEH in Haiti, Colette Lespinasse.
Last week marked the first anniversary of the heavy earthquake that hit the southern part of Haiti, causing lost lives and much damage. A conference was organized where local organisations and authorities shared their experiences with aid and crisis management with each other and with NGOs. Colette Lespinasse was present and reports.
“Violence in Haiti. Dozens dead fighting for control,” read the BBC News headline in mid-July. Is it still relevant news? Or take this headline, three days later: “Gang Violence in Haiti: The ‘UN prohibits the trade in small arms”. Will this decision of the Security Council contribute to curbing the influx of heavy weapons? Haitians suffer from violence, insecurity, the economic crisis, the lack of almost everything. Human rights organizations are sounding the alarm, the UN Security Council is meeting, the press is reporting, and the Haitian government is silent.
This was the theme of an online conference on June 8, 2022, organized by the Coordination Europe Haiti (COEH) and the Collectif Haiti de France (CHF), to initiate a debate on the issue of international aid to Haiti. More than a hundred people and institutions from the world of NGOs, various associations, universities, international cooperation, state institutions, etc. responded to the invitation and attended the webinar.
Haiti/Dominican Republic: The construction of a wall at the border concerns organizations in both countries
On February 21, 2022, the Dominican authorities launched the much trumpeted construction of an electrical wall approximately 380 kilometers long on the border with Haiti. The control of migratory and commercial flows, smuggling, drug and human trafficking are the arguments put forward to justify this project. Not everyone within the ruling party or in civil society organizations in the two countries is in agreement with the decision of the Dominican government. Colette Lespinasse is informing us.
At the initiative of the Greens/EFA deputy, Ms. Caroline Roose, of the European Parliament and supported by the Belgian Tricontinental Centre (CETRI), 3 Haitian women took part, on February 8, 2022, in a webinar about the situation in Haiti. Colette Lespinasse, COEH correspondent in Haiti, attended the webinar and wrote about it.
Six years ago, Haitians were mainly concerned about the economic situation. In a survey, lack of security received less than 10 percent of the vote. But according to a recent survey, gang violence, kidnappings and murders – in short, security – now completely dominate the residents. Everything else is secondary. Meanwhile, Haitian civil society and foreign countries think differently about how to tackle the crisis.
On December 16, 2021 Haiti’s traditional soup joumou was awarded protected cultural heritage status by the UNESCO. A well-deserved award, for which we congratulate all our Haitian friends. Our representative in Haiti, Colette Lespinasse, talks about the importance of the soup and shares her recipe. Bon apeti!
A month ago, representatives of peasant organisations, labour unions and NGOs met in Port-au-Prince to discuss agroecology as a strategy to achieve food sovereignty. At the end of the three-day forum discussion, the participants adopted a declaration committing themselves to promote and defend the agroecological family-based agriculture and to fight against land grabbing. Colette Lespinasse attended the meeting and shares her impressions.
In a few days, the COP26 will take place in Glasgow. In Haiti, where social injustice and environmental destruction are extreme, the association GAFE, Groupement Francophone pour l’Environnement, has joined forces with the citizens movement Alternatiba. In a particularly difficult context, a dynamic and original movement was born, anchored in civic engagement and a territorial approach to development. The latest initiative of GAFE and the Alternatiba-Haiti Movement concerns a Pact for the Ecological and Social Transition in Haiti.
An assassinated president, a massive earthquake followed by a tropical storm, and thousands of migrants seeking a better life stopped at a border. Armed gangs that control much of the capital. And now number one on the list of countries with the most kidnappings per capita. Haiti is having a hard time. And yet there are people who believe there is a future.
The special envoy of the United States to Haiti, Mr. Daniel Foote, appointed barely two months ago, has given his resignation. Whatever the reaction of the American government to the resignation of Mr. Foote, it will have consequences for the future positioning of the United States with regard to the Haiti case. can we expect a repositioning of the entire international community in relation to Haiti? And will the Haitian society be able to seize this opportunity? These are some of the observations and questions posed Colette Lespinasse.
COEH representative Colette Lespinasse visited the Great South, the peninsula hit by a devastating earthquake on August 14. She has written a moving account of what she has seen, and concludes that Haiti must rethink its building system, the development of its territory , risk and disaster management aimed at a better protection of its population. After this new disaster and an extremely difficult and volatile political context, will the Haitian people still find the necessary strength to recover?
Communication from the Steering Committee of the Europe Haiti Coordination in solidarity with the Haitian people, after the assassination of Mr. Jovenel Moïse
After the assassination, on July 7, 2021 of Mr. Jovenel Moïse, de facto president of Haiti, the Coordination Steering Committee of the CoEH wishes to express its solidarity with the Haitian people, for months victim of a spiral of violence, corruption, destruction of institutions of which Mr. Jovenel Moïse became one of the many victims, after having been an important actor.
More than 150 Haitian, European, Latin American, Canadian and African organisations
(trade unions, NGOs, associations, peasant movements, feminists, citizens), among them the COEH, are calling for a
change in international policy towards Haiti.
The situation in Haiti has been turbulent for quite a while, but covid-19 infections fortunately remained few during the past year. This now seems to be changing as the number of infections is increasing rapidly, while vaccines are not yet available. Meanwhile, armed gangs are blocking the major access roads of the capital Port-au-Prince. The government is taking no actions. The residents are trapped. This article is taken from the Dutch website La Chispa (www.lachispa.nl ).
The political crisis in Haiti continues as Mr. Jovenel Moïse, whose mandate as president, according to many, ended in February 2021, has plans to organize a much criticized referendum amid an increasingly insecure and violent situation. Colette Lespinasse explains how the referendum will further aggravate the situation.
On the occasion of the bicentennial of the death of Napoleon 1er, the CoEH wishes to highlight the essential contribution of the Haitian people in sanctifying the universality of human rights without distinction of condition or “race”, and thus pursuing the ideals of the French Revolution the emperor eventually thwarted for economic reasons.
CoEH press release on the occasion of the international day of peasant struggles – Free zone project in Savane Diane
The current degradation of food security in Haiti is of great concern for the members of the CoEH (Europe Haiti Coordination), who reiterate their full support to local farmer organizations. They denounce Jovenel Moise’s illegal and inappropriate decision to re-assign lands initially dedicated to the country’s food security for the production of export goods. This decision will indeed deprive many families from a land access that is essential to their survival.
In view of the current developments in Haiti, the COEH is appealing to the European Union and its member states to distance themselves from Mr. Jovenel Moïse, unlawfully holding power in Haiti since February 7, 2021, the anticipated date of his resignation according to the constitution. We ask that the European Union instead listens to and supports the Haitian civil society, which for the last two years has been proposing alternatives for a peaceful transition towards a truly democratic and open society.
On January 25, four Members of the European Parliament (three from France and one from Germany) of the Greens/European Free Alliance have written to Vice-President Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, about the crisis situation in Haiti.
Eleven years after the earthquake the destruction process of Haiti, and not of its Reconstruction, is continuing. It is as if the Haitian people are still living among the rubble, like the first day of the disaster. Will the country find the necessary internal energy and solidarity to win this bet? Colette Lespinasse is sharing her opinion on the current situation.
There does not seem to be an end to the political and socio-economic crisis in Haiti. President Jovenel Moïse, accused of corruption and fraud, governs by decree and without parliament. Due to gang violence and other circumstances, fair elections are impossible. 82 organizations in Haiti and abroad are denouncing impunity, corruption and above all the complicity of the international community with the current government. This article was written in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the COEH.
The representative of the COEH in Haiti, Colette Lespinasse, participated at the presentation of a successful programme of GAFE (Groupe d’Action Francophone pour l’Environnement). GAFE adapted their strategies to implicate all actors involved in the production of garbage and in waste management: the street vendors who are selling next to the schools, parents, students, teachers as well as local authorities.
This month marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of cholera in Haiti, due to the neglect of United Nations troops belonging to the MINUSTAH (United Nations Mission for Stability in Haiti). To mark this occasion, various Haitian organisations conducted a popular tribunal to symbolically judge the United Nations, the Haitian State and the company Sanco SA for serious neglect causing the death of more than 8.000 people.
The CoEH is one of 82 organisations (trade unions, NGOs, movements of farmers, feminists, citizens) from Haiti, France, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Germany and Benin that call for an end of silence and international complicity with the Haitian government.
The human rights situation and the political crisis in Haiti have worsened over the weekend of September 20. Armed groups have attacked the residents of Bel Air, a neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. And the forming of a new electoral council, without consensus or participation of the opposition has been announced by the president. Colette Lespinasse, representative of the COEH in Haiti is sharing her analysis.
Haiti : Increase of school disparities at a background of insecurity, Covid-19 and labour union repression
Schools have reopened in Haiti, but many children are unable to go to school as their parents cannot pay for uniforms and fees. Insecurity is another problem, and many teachers are on strike, demanding payment of their salaries. Still, exams are being planned for October. The disparity between private and public schools causes a situation of apartheid. Only a general reform of the state will bring the required change, as explained by Colette Lespinasse.
Haiti : Intensifying manoeuvres for a new constitution and the organisation of elections against a background of great insecurity
Against a background of growing insecurity and fear, the president of Haiti is talking about the need to reform the constitution, and planning elections at the same time. It reminds Colette Lespinasse of moments in history, when the making of a new constitution paved the road for presidents to turn dictator…
Sunday August 23, Haiti has been hit by tropical storm Laura, which has caused much damages. A first inventory talks about nine people being killed, two disappeared and many houses flooded. Laura arrived at a country already in crisis, politically and economically. The country is lacking a good policy of land management in order to prepare itself against hurricanes and storms. Colette Lespinasse shares her analysis.
The situation is changing rapidly in Haiti. Not only is the country in the middle of the covid-19 crisis, but while the economic and food situation are getting worse, a political crisis is growing. The BINUH seems to support the president’s plans for a controversial reform of the constitution.
Colette Lespinasse, representing the CoEH in Haiti, writes to us about the current situation in her country. She tells a story of a country where the pandemic is gaining ground while the people are left to fend for themselves, without any clear actions of the government.
Recent attacks against Haitian human rights organisations RNDDH, partner of various members of the CoEH, are the reason that we decided to ask for impartiality on the side of government institutions as well as an investigation into the shots recently fired at the RNDDH office.
By exception we publish a text of some of our Haitian partner organisations only in French, without translation in English. However, we hope our readers will be able to get the message: Remembrance, understanding and perspective will the guiding principles in 2020.
Ten years after the earthquake, Haiti still has not recovered from the catastrophe. The Haitian state is not taking action to assist the people. Some Haitians despair, but others are trying to develop a new sense of community and have decided to stand up and take charge. Colette Lespinasse has written about these developments.
Port-au-Prince, December 3, 2019 The Agricultural and Environmental Commission (CAEC) of the Connection Frame Inter-Organisations (CLIO) has been aware of the current discussions about the food situation in the country and of the provisions being taken by humanitarian...
Nearly ten years after the strong earthquake Haitians are rightfully showing their anger about the lack of real progress, argues Marcel Catsburg. This article has been published in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, October 30, 2019
Haiti is facing an unprecedented crisis while the international community is looking away. On behalf of our partner organisations in Haiti we, the members of the COEH, are demanding the attention of both the media and the European Union to support the demands of the Haitian people. In an open letter to the press and to the institutions of the European Union we explain the current situation.
In two weeks, Haitian children will return to school after their summer holiday. But where going to school has never been easy for most children in Haiti, it has become even more difficult with costs rising to up to 100%. Parents are revolting, backed by a law on school fees. Will this be the start of a citizens revolt? Colette Lespinasse is commenting on the situation.
A new report by MINUJUSTH on the massacre in La Saline, Port-au-Prince, November 2018, painfully shows that the Haitian government fails to provide basic security for its citizens.
Because of the political and economic situation thousands of Haitians are demonstrating these days and are demanding the departure of president Jovenel Moïse. But the environmental crisis should worry the population more than the political and economic crisis. Environmental recovery and sustainable protection is the top priority for Haiti today, says COEH representative in Haiti, Colette Lespinasse.
The EU Delegation in Haiti has expressed its concerns in view of the general situation in the country, which remains the same for almost two months, while awaiting the ratification of a new government. The Coordination Europe-Haiti, in solidarity with the Haitian people, supports the EU’s efforts to contribute to a genuine dialogue and publishes here the statement of the Delegation.
After « operation locked » in February, life in Haiti seemed to continue as before. But a close look is showing something else: a country plagued by violence of armed groups, with an economy in crisis and without a response from the government. The Haitian people are asking themselves: who is at the steering wheel? Colette Lespinasse, representative in Haiti of the COEH, analyses the current situation.
Haiti is in turmoil. The government announced an “economic state of emergency”, and all over the country people are taking to the streets, demanding the departure of president Jovenel Moise, who has been in power just two years. What is behind this political and economic crisis? And will there be light at the end of the tunnel? Colette Lespinasse, representative of the COEH in Haiti, explains the situation and shares her views.
Haiti 2018 : The COEH is standing by Haitian and international NGO’s promoting and defending family agriculture
In November of 2018, the Agricultural and Environmental Commission (CAEC) of the NGO-network CLIO organized a debate on public policies supporting family agriculture in Haiti. Colette Lespinasse wrote an introduction to the link of a video of the debates.
[:en]On Saturday 6 October, the earth trembled again in Haiti. But even after the large earthquake of 2010, Haiti is still lacking a general policy on housing construction, as well as strong institutional structures to check the quality of new constructions. Let us hope that the new earthquake will contribute to a greater awareness among citizens and government leaders, says Colette Lespinasse.[:fr]La terre a de nouveau tremblé en Haïti le samedi 6 Octobre 2018. Même après le grand tremblement de terre de 2010, Haiti manque une politique publique en matière de construction de logements ou un vrais contrôle du respect des normes parasismiques au moment de construir des bâtiments. Espérons que ce nouveau tremblement contribue à réveiller les consciences des citoyens et dirigeants, dit Colette Lespinasse.[:]
Corruption and neglect of its duties by their government are causing the Haitian people to demand accountability. Especially the case of the embezzlement of funds from the Petrocaribe Fund is causing increased protests. But without a general social mobilisation, the predators will continue to plunder the public treasury. Will Haiti be able to get out of this vicious circle?
Saturday July 14, in the middle of a parliamentary hearing Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant presented his resignation, after a turbulent week which left seven dead and much damage. Colette Lespinasse presents her analyse: the systematic violations of fundamental rights are the root cause of the unrest.
A few weeks ago, President Moïse paid a visit to Taiwan, in search of financial support. At the same time, Haitians are looking at the People’s Republic of China for possible loans and investments. Are relations with both countries compatible? And what do the Americans think of all this? This article appeared first in Dutch at La Chispa.
Hurricane season : the cry of the people in the South of Haiti[:fr]Saison cyclonique : Le cri des habitants du Sud d’Haïti[:]
At the start of the hurricane season, June 1, people in the South of Haiti gave a cry of alarm to the Haitian State; almost two years after hurricane Matthew destroyed their houses many of them are still living in tents and self-made sheds. They are demanding the building of thousands of homes. Colette Lespinasse reports.
In April, a roadmap, result of a broad national consultation, has been presented and approved, in the presence of more than 300 persons from all over the country. It is a national book of overviews, proposals and strategies that will enable the prime actors to agree on how to use the information to convince the authorities to put in place effective public policies. Colette Lespinasse was present at the presentation.
On Friday March 16, CLIO (Cadre de Liaison Inter-organisations-Haïti) organized a debate about the role of NGOs in strengthening small farmers’ agriculture in Haiti. Colette Lespinasse, representing the Coordination Europe – Haïti, was present and shares her impressions of the meeting.
October 11, 2017, in the margin of farmer and food related international days, such as World Food Day, a number of Haitian farmer associations and agricultural institutions presented their views on Haitian agriculture, demanding that the new Moise/Lafontant government takes into account the importance and needs of Haiti majority of small farmers. The full document can be downloaded via the link.
The recent approval by the Haitian parliament of the controversal national budget for the new year is causing waves of rage and protests throughout the nation. Pieter Thys, cooperant of the Belgian NGO Broederlijk Delen explains why the Haitian population is outraged.
At the start of the new school year, Marcel Catsburg wrote an article about the importance of Creole as language of instruction at the Haitian schools.
UN mission MINUSTAH is nearing the end of its mandate, while the government of Haiti is talking about reinstalling the army, sent home twenty years ago. For the Dutch online magazine La Chispa (www.lachispa.eu) Els Hortensius wrote the following analysis.
President Jovenel Moise talks a lot about the agrarian development of Haiti and has already taken some initiatives. But, which is the most appropriate production model for Haiti? And are the small farmers and their needs taken into account? Colette Lespinasse shares her view.
In this article Colette Lespinasse, CoEH representative in Haïti, analyses the ‘Caravane de Changement’ launched by President Jovenel Moïse. Is it reason for enthusiasm, or rather for skepticism?
Here’s a second article about the Agritrans banana plantation. This time, farmers from Trou du Nord give their impressions about the impact of the plantation in their lives.
Respect for human rights is key for sustainable development in Haiti. Over the past years the Coordination Europe-Haiti has frequently …
Without pretending to be complete, this article presents a brief overview of the programmes supported by our members in response to hurricane Matthew. We hope the information will be of help to members and Haitian organisations alike.
In their monthly newsletter, COEH’s member organisation Collectif Haïti de France published an interesting analysis of the different agrarian sectors in Haiti. From pigs to coffee, sugar and fruit. What is the importance of each sector for the Haitian economy, how are they organized and what projects are being implemented to improve the yield? To find out, please read the article (in French) in November’s newsletter.
Both national and international NGOs have been very active after the earthquake in 2010. Did they take into account the Paris Principles during their interventions? Naomi Gilhuis wrote her thesis about this.
Early October, Haiti has been hit very hard by hurricane Matthew. The Coordination Europe-Haiti expresses its profound solidarity with the families of the victims.
Colette Lespinasse, coach of the Programme for Engaged Citizenship, presents the key elements of this programme, which is a contribution of Haitian human rights organisations to the reconstruction of Haiti after the earthquake.
Marcel Catsburg, senior lecturer in international organisational communication in the Netherlands, analyses the root causes of the crisis in Haiti after the earthquake. For building back better, the fundamental causes of the crisis need to be addressed.
Pieter Thys, programme officer Broederlijk Delen for capacity building and human rights in Haiti, presents the outcomes of a forum on the right to food at the University of Limonade, 24-25 May 2016, Haiti.
Els Hortensius, member of our platform’s Steering Committee, gives an update of the electoral process in Haiti.
Joris Willems, PhD Student from Ghent University (Belgium), presents his analysis of the EU’s observations of the second round on 25 October. He offers a critique on the permissive attitude of the EU Electoral Observation Mission.
Greet Schaumans, member of the Steering Committee of the Coordination Europe-Haiti, makes an analysis of the Agritrans project in Trou du Nord, Haiti, which aims at export of bio-bananas.
At this time of contested elections, Frédéric Thomas, political scientist and researcher at CETRI, provides arguments why it is now time for ‘revoting better’ in Haiti.
According to Jean Marcelson Abraham, Haitian with an MA in European Studies, the political dialogue between the EU and Haiti has been non-existent so far.
Sustainable development in Haiti is only possible if public authorities engage with civic initiatives and organisations in Haiti. Their closeness to local communities and individual
Over the years, the Coordination Europe-Haiti has consistently lobbied for strengthening Haiti’s food sovereignty.
The objective of the political dialogue between the EU and the Government of Haiti is to exchange information, to encourage mutual understanding, to define common…
The economical and commercial collaboration between the EU and Haiti is intended to promote an increasing integration of Haiti into the global economy, while…
The central objective of the cooperation between the EU and Haiti is the reduction, and finally the eradication of poverty, the achievement of sustainable development…
Sharing information from Haitian civil society with the European Commission and the European External Action Service, Keeping Members of the European…