Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   No comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Clinton, Haiti And Martelly

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/28/11

Become a Fan
  (10 fans)

On New Year's Day 2012 Haiti and Haitians at home and abroad will mark the 208th anniversary of independence. I say "mark" because there is very little for Haitians to celebrate. In January 2010 -- a year ago -- Haiti suffered its worst catastrophe in its history when a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince. And one year later amidst the devastation and ruin the list of unfulfilled promises and the degree of hopelessness in Haitian society is pervasive and endemic.

And there is enough blame to go around as to who is to blame for the present situation and why the pace of clean up, progress, reconstruction and aid is so slow. Here are some facts:

-       Over 50% percent of Haiti's population is school age yet over half the population is illiterate. Many children cannot afford the costs of education in Haiti because the average family makes less than $1 a day.  The government does not provide adequate funding for public schools and most families cannot afford the costs of private education, which can be as little as $20 a year.

-       Bloody conflicts between opposing political parties, sparked by demands for fair elections frequently occur.

-       Police brutality and extrajudicial executions (executions without a trial) are numerous.

-       The ability to speak freely is limited by conditions placed upon the freedom of speech laws.

-       Labor rights are not enforced. Unions are generally too weak to engage in collective bargaining and many trade unionists are either arrested or killed during demonstrations.

-       Mob violence and armed gangs pose severe security threats in urban areas. Former soldiers and others linked to former military regimes; as well s common criminals are responsible for much of the violence, including political assassinations. A lot of the violence is directly tied to increases in both the drug trade and local narcotics consumption.

-       The judicial system is corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient, especially in rural areas. Like the courts, the Haitian prisons are not large enough to handle backlog. The largest prison, designed to accommodate no more than 1000 prisoners, routinely holds approximately 2,200 prisoners. It is estimated that 80 percent of inmates are in pre-trial detention, roughly one-third of them have been held for more than a year. Due to the overcrowding and poor conditions, getting sent to prison in Haiti is usually considered a death sentence.

-       People trafficking (neo-slavery) is a serious issue in Haiti. Currently there is no Haitian law to prohibit the trafficking in persons and the numbers of people who are sold is frightening.

Social Issues

It has been estimated that as much as 75% of the Haitian population is living in absolute poverty.

The unavailability of food is a major problem:

  • In rural households, about 60 per cent go without food on a regular basis while 20 per cent are extremely vulnerable and often do not have access to food at all
  • In urban households, about 32 per cent worry about food on a daily basis while 26 per cent are often worried about getting enough food

Negative trends are being seen in the health, nutrition and well being of the Haitian population. Currently HIV/AIDS is one of the leading causes of death in Haiti, and more than 4% of the adult population in infected with the HIV virus.

Women and Children

Children and women are particularly vulnerable in Haiti. Many children are living in extreme poverty with limited access to education and not enough food to eat. While government programs and policies are aimed at increasing gender equality and the well being of children, much work is needed in both areas.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Wordsmiths And The Delusional

Blacks Killing Blacks

2014 FIFA World Cup: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

GOP Sore Losers Brigade

Actually, Guns Do Kill People

Why Black History Is important

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments