Port-au-Prince Residents Want a Say in Their Resettlement, As is Their Right

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010 15:29
Most people in Port-au-Prince recently asked by Oxfam say they do not want to move to camps outside the city. The survey also shows that most people have received very little direct information about the Haitian government’s plans to move people to new camps, leading to uncertainty about the strategy. Yesterday, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive revealed that the government itself is unclear on its relocation plan.

Oxfam states
“If new camps are set-up then people should be not be forced to go. The camps should be safe to reduce criminality and protect vulnerable groups such as women and children. They should also be seen as temporary solutions not end up as long term slums outside the city limits.”

And
According to Oxfam there is still no clarity on plans to re-site new camps and there needs to be meaningful consultation with camp residents so that they can make informed decisions.
Leaving Haitians out of the planning of their own resettlement would be a violation of their international rights. The Center for Constitutional Rights is working to ensure that Haitians know their rights not to be forcibly relocated, including their right to be involved in the planning of their resettlement, that “Displaced people must be provided with safe access to food, water, shelter, clothing, medical services and sanitation,” and that “Humanitarian assistance to displaced persons cannot be diverted for political or military reasons,” among other rights under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.