ABOUT THE AUTHORS. Wòch nan Soley: The Denial of the Right to Water in Haiti - PDF

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) brings together and expands the rich array of teaching, research, clinical, internship, and publishing activities undertaken within

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) brings together and expands the rich array of teaching, research, clinical, internship, and publishing activities undertaken within New York University (NYU) School of Law on international human rights issues. Philip Alston is the Center s Faculty Chair; Smita Narula and Margaret Satterthwaite are Faculty Directors; Jayne Huckerby is Research Director; and Veerle Opgenhaffen is Program Director. The International Human Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law (a program of the Center) provides high-quality, professional human rights lawyering services to individual clients and nongovernmental and intergovernmental human rights organizations, partnering with groups based in the United States and abroad. Working as legal advisers, counsel, co-counsel, or advocacy partners, clinic students work side-by-side with human rights activists from around the world. The Clinic is co-directed by Professor Smita Narula and Professor Margaret Satterthwaite of the NYU faculty; Mattie Johnstone is Clinical Fellow and Michelle Williams is Clinic Administrator. Partners In Health is a Boston-based non-profit organization committed to eradicating poverty, improving health and strengthening social justice around the globe. More than 20 years ago in Haiti, Paul Farmer began what would become a worldwide movement to provide community-based health care to those who need it most. While Haiti is PIH s largest project site, PIH also works in Boston, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi. PIH operates by forming lasting relationships with in-country sister organizations that coordinate all program activities. Its sister organization in Haiti, Zanmi Lasante (ZL), is an independentlyregistered local organization. ZL is responsible for day-to-day operations of the health, socioeconomic, education, and other projects successfully operating in Haiti. Today, PIH and ZL have become one of the largest health care providers in central Haiti, reaching a catchment area of nearly one million people. Beyond its full-service hospital and socio-medical complex in Cange, PIH and ZL provide medical care through eight public health centers and hospitals in central Haiti and the Artibonite, where they have renovated dilapidated clinics, trained staff, and provided essential supplies, medicines, and equipment to a population of over 1 million. In addition, PIH and ZL implement other key projects including building houses, treating and preventing malnutrition, providing clean water, and improving access to education for children and adults to meet other critical needs of some of the most impoverished citizens in Haiti. The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights (RFK Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the human rights movement through long-term partnerships with courageous human rights defenders around the world. The RFK Center works under the direction of partners on the ground recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award using innovative tools to achieve sustainable social change. These tools include litigation, technical initiatives, advocating with governments, UN and other international entities and NGOs, and launching consumer campaigns aimed at fostering corporate responsibility. By forging longterm partnerships with international human rights leaders and taking on their social justice goals, the RFK Center ensures that its work concretely contributes to important social movements and impacts the global human rights movement. CHRGJ, PIH, RFK Center, Zanmi Lasante In 2002, the RFK Center awarded its Human Rights Award to Loune Viaud, the Director of Strategic Planning at Zanmi Lasante, one of the leading health NGOs in Haiti and the world. In partnership over the past six years, the RFK Center and Viaud have worked to transform the international community's interventions in Haiti, many of which undermine human rights, including the right to health. They have launched aggressive advocacy plans for government accountability in international financial institutions and to ensure that funds entering Haiti are implemented within a human rights framework. The RFK Center is part of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial (RFK Memorial) which was created in 1968 to carry forward Robert Kennedy s unfinished work supporting social justice and human rights. His family and friends created a living memorial that would inspire young people, fight injustice, and apply renewed energy and bold solutions to seemingly intractable problems. In addition to the RFK Center, the RFK Memorial supports investigative journalists and authors who bring injustice to light and encourage the human rights movement through the RFK Book and Journalism Awards. The Speak Truth to Power program educates the public on the value of the human rights and the courage of its defenders. NYU SCHOOL OF LAW CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND GLOBAL JUSTICE, PARTNERS IN HEALTH, RFK MEMORIAL CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, ZANMI LASANTE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC)/Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University (NYU) School of Law, Partners In Health (PIH), the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights (RFK Center), and Zanmi Lasante (ZL) are enormously grateful to the following individuals for their contributions in the preparation of this report. Investigative Team Dieuna Guay (Ecole Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie) Jude Jean (Zanmi Lasante) Amanda Klasing (IHRC, NYU School of Law; RFK Center): Primary Investigator Evan Lyon, M.D. (PIH) Principal Authors and Researchers Mary Kay Smith Fawzi, DSc (PIH): Research design, data analysis, and report drafting Melany Grout (RFK Center): Report drafting Jude Jean (Zanmi Lasante): Co-investigator and bio-ethics advisor Mattie Johnstone (IHRC, NYU School of Law): Project management and report drafting Amanda Klasing (IHRC, NYU School of Law; RFK Center): Research design, Primary Investigator, and report drafting Evan Lyon, M.D. (PIH): Public Health Investigator, report drafting Margaret Satterthwaite (IHRC/CHRGJ, NYU School of Law): Project design, direction, and report drafting Tammy Shoranick (IHRC, NYU School of Law): Project management and report drafting Monika Kalra Varma (RFK Center): Project design, direction, and report drafting Review and Editorial Donna Barry (PIH) Jayne Huckerby (CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Veerle Opgenhaffen (CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Additional Research, Writing, Production, or Other Assistance Zoe Agoos (PIH) Alexandra Bell (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Jacob Bor (Harvard School of Public Health) Daniel Brindis (RFK Center, American University Washington College of Law) Brian Buehler (NYU School of Law) Colleen Buhrer (RFK Center) Nicholas Enrich (CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Jeannie Rose Field (NYU School of Law) Jordan Fletcher (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Arlan Fuller (François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University) Mary Beth Gallagher (RFK Center, American University Washington College of Law) Andrea Gittleman (NYU School of Law) Melany Grout (RFK Center) Andrew Kau (Yale Law School) CHRGJ, PIH, RFK Center, Zanmi Lasante Carolyn Kelly (NYU School of Law) Aline Lemoine (NYU School of Law) Peter Liem (Yale Law School) Kyle Marler (CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Jena Martin (RFK Center, Howard University School of Law) Jamie McKeever (Harvard Medical School) Danielle Polebaum (NYU School of Law) Alexa Rosenbloom (NYU School of Law) Josh Rosenthal (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Kelly Ryan (CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Salvador Sarmiento (RFK Center) Swan Sallmard (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Lauren Spahn (PIH) Katherine Stehle (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Michelle Williams (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Dylan Yaeger (IHRC, NYU School of Law) Community Support and Advice Community members in Port-de-Paix, with special appreciation to: Père Miguel Dolcé, Paroisse St. Monfort Wilson Jean-Baptiste Dr. Kelly Père Rams Lapommeray, Paroisse St. Monfort Père Benedick Lazarre, Paroisse St. Monfort Non-governmental organizations working in Port-de-Paix, including Action Contre La Faim Paroisse St. Monfort, Port-de-Paix, Haiti, and all its parishioners, especially those who participated in the focus groups and meetings Participants in the focus groups, household study, in-depth medical interviews, and community meetings Legal and Technical Advice and Support Harold G. Bailey Jr. (Garvey, Schubert, and Barer) Emmanus Dorval, Engineer, Cellule EPA Engineer Ashfaq Khalfan (Centre On Housing Rights and Evictions) Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population, Département Sanitaire du Nord-Ouest Staff, including: Director Dr. Laurent Beaugé and Frantz Robert Jean, Departmental Statistician Staff of the Service National de l Eau Potable, including Engineer Michel Boucher and General Director Jena Martin (RFK Center, Howard University School of Law) Amy Morton (Garvey, Schubert, and Barer) Jean Pierre Philippe Bret Thiele (Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions) Steven Varholik (Garvey, Schubert, and Barer) General Support and Advice Brian Concannon (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) Nancy Dorsinville (Harvard School of Public Health) Père Jomanas Eustache (Ecole Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie) Mario Joseph (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux) Judith Reilly (Haitian Solidarity Network of the Northeast) Fr. Eugene Squeo (Haitian Solidarity Network of the Northeast) Advisory Committee Donna Barry (PIH) Paul Farmer, M.D., PhD., (PIH) Joia Mukherjee, M.D. (PIH) Margaret Satterthwaite (IHRC/CHRGJ, NYU School of Law) Monika Kalra Varma (RFK Center) Loune Viaud (Zanmi Lasante) CHRGJ, PIH, RFK Center, Zanmi Lasante DEDICATION To the people of Port-de-Paix, Haiti, for their gracious reception of the investigative team; for their invaluable insight, participation, and support; and, most importantly, in the hope that their time of suffering in the sun may soon end with the realization of the right to the cooling life-force of clean, accessible, and sufficient water. TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface...3 Table of Acronyms and Terms...6 Executive Summary...1 I. Politics of Power: The History of Water in Haiti...5 A. Nation in Jeopardy: Historical Burdens and Current Situation...5 B. The Legacy of Debt: A Snapshot of Haiti Today...7 II. Loans and Water: The IDB Link A. Overview of the Inter-American Development Bank...10 B. Social Sector Loans to Haiti...10 III. Haiti s Broken Water System A. Methods...15 B. Scope...15 C. Overview: A Broken System...15 D. Haiti s National Water System National Institutions The Role of the Private Sector The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations The Role of Donor States and the United Nations Proposed Water Sector Reforms...18 E. The Water System in Port-de-Paix The Water System in Port-de-Paix in The Water System in Port-de-Paix in Filling the Gap: Private Water Providers in Port-de-Paix The Role of NGOs in the Water Sector in Port-de-Paix Drinking Water for the Desperately Poor: Sous Dlo at Trois-Rivières Sanitation in Port-de-Paix: Non-existent The Status of the IDB Potable Water and Sanitation Sector Reform and Investment Program Loans...25 IV. Community Focus: Right to Water Study in Port-de-Paix...27 A. Introduction...27 B. Methods Household Survey Focus Group Discussions In-depth Medical History Interviews...29 i CHRGJ, PIH, RFK Center, Zanmi Lasante 4. Water Quality Analysis...30 a. Informed Consent...30 b. Study Limitations...31 c. Results...31 V. The Right to Water: The Sources and Content of Legal Protections...40 A. The Right to Water is Implicit in the Haitian Constitution...41 B. The Right to Water is Both Explicitly and Implicitly Protected by International Treaties Children are an Especially Vulnerable Group with a Greater Need for Clean Water Women Have an Equal Right to Water Without Water, There is No Chance for Life A Healthy Body Requires Sufficient and Safe Water Without Adequate Water, an Adequate Standard of Living is Out of Reach Education and Water: Inextricably Linked Food and Water: Basic Necessities Adequate Housing Requires Access to Water...45 C. The Right to Water is Protected by Customary International Law Universal Declaration of Human Rights Declaration on the Right to Development Millennium Development Goals...46 VI. States Obligations to Secure Haitians Rights...47 A. Human Rights Obligations: The Responsibility of Governments to Respect, Protect, and Fulfill Rights Types of Duties Whose Duties? To Whom?...49 B. Obligations of the Government of Haiti...49 C. Obligations of States when Acting within the International Community States have Extraterritorial Obligations under International Human Rights Law Obligations of States when Acting Internationally...51 VII. Recommendation: Adopting a Rights-Based Approach...54 A. The Rights-Based Approach...54 B. The Rights-Based Approach to Water Projects in Haiti...56 Appendix: The Household Survey...58 Endnotes...73 ii PREFACE Wòch nan dlo pa konnen doulè wòch nan soley. The rocks in the water don't know the suffering of the rocks in the sun. Haitian Proverb This report is the culmination of many years of work aimed at examining obstacles to achieving the right to health in Haiti. It is dedicated to the Haitian people, who have a right to clean water, to health, to food, and to a life of dignity, even though they live in one of the most impoverished countries in the world. This report is for the people of Haiti, who are so often treated as victims deserving of charity, but rarely as individuals whose rights should not be undermined by the political or other agendas of outside parties and foreign States. The four organizations that authored this report have worked together for several years to uncover and expose the actions of countries, institutions, and non-governmental actors that stand in the way of Haitians ability to enjoy their rights. What we have found and what this report demonstrates is that in countries like Haiti, where the State has inadequate resources to fulfill the rights of its own people, actors with greater resources often wield significantly more power than the State. This report argues that these powerful actors have corresponding obligations which they should observe. The impetus for our report was the disturbing reality that actions taken by particular governments, institutions, and non-state actors have persistently obstructed the rights of Haitians and the capacity of the Haitian State to ensure those rights, including the right to water. Although the United States has a long and well-documented history of this kind of interference in Haiti s political and economic matters, one of the most egregious examples of malfeasance by the United States in recent years was its actions to block potentially lifesaving loans to Haiti by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB s mandate is to provide development and financial support for Member States in the Western Hemisphere. As the most impoverished nation in the region, Haiti has long been a prime candidate for IDB loans. In July 1998, the IDB approved $54 million in loans for the Haitian government to implement water and sanitation improvements. One of the goals of these loans was to improve potable water and sanitation services and to establish a regulatory framework for the development of sanitation services. The original loan documents identified two communities in Haiti as recipients of the initial potable water assistance: Les Cayes and Port-de-Paix. The IDB had conducted extensive research on the water systems of both municipalities in 1997, focusing on the health impacts of the contemporaneous failures of the public water system and projecting that many of these health concerns would be ameliorated by the implementation of the IDB-funded water project. By their own assessments, IDB officials believed that the socio-economic impact of the project in Port-de-Paix would be overwhelmingly positive, particularly because of its potential to alleviate common and dangerous water-related illnesses, such as gastro-intestinal disease. Further, the IDB anticipated a significant benefit to poverty reduction, largely because its loans would facilitate a decline of up to 90 percent in water costs for the poor. Despite the enormous potential benefits of the loans and following approval and ratification of the loan package the United States blocked the scheduled disbursal in 2001, effectively shutting down all prospects for the projects to proceed. iii CHRGJ, PIH, RFK Center, Zanmi Lasante The widespread and devastating consequences of these actions forced our organizations to seek avenues to confront and bring to light the inevitable connections between health, water, and human rights issues in Haiti. It also forced us to recognize that the scope of complicity with policies like the one examined in this report went far beyond the United States and the IDB, to include a long list of countries and non-state actors. Those actors, in fact, played the role of passive bystanders a stance that lost all credibility by the beginning of the twenty-first century as Haitians suffered from an increase in violations of their basic subsistence rights. The IDB case exposes the dynamics behind the violation of basic human rights in the world s poorest countries. Inter-governmental organizations, including international financial institutions (IFIs) and the States that form such institutions in effect the international community are able to turn a blind eye to the impacts of such policies because they are not forced to confront the human faces of those who die or become ill through their action or inaction. The international community does not go into the homes of families who have lost young children to water-related diseases, nor does it meet those who are sick and have no access to medical care or the clean water necessary to heal them or to prevent their family members from getting sick. It is not forced to witness young children traveling miles to gather often-contaminated water for their families, nor does it have to hear parents daily anguish as they lament over providing their children with water they know will make them sick. The investigators in our study did just that. We surveyed or interviewed nearly 70 families and met with hundreds of people in Port-de-Paix before preparing our findings. The conditions we found were far worse than originally expected: at the time of the study, there were no functioning public water sources in the city and 14 of 19 different sites throughout the city that investigators tested for water quality were bacterially contaminated. Access to health care was also found to be severely limited. To make sense of these findings, and to analyze them through the framework of the right to water, we drew on two disciplines: human rights and public health. We believe that the methodologies used to produce this report which have never before been employed in this manner in respect to Haiti have allowed us to comprehend and assess violations of the right to water in what we believe is an accurate and holistic manner. We hope that our use of human rights, international law, and public health expertise engenders a rich public discussion with the capacity to spur real reforms, not only in Haiti, but in other impoverished countries facing similar challenges. In addition to examining the status of the right to water in Haiti, this report offers recommendations for all actors involved in the water sector in Haiti. Specifically, we call on all those involved in the water sector, in addition to the government of Haiti, to adopt a human rightsbased approach at all stages of intervention, from needs assessment and priority setting, to implementation and monitoring. Our hope is that, if systematically employed, the rights-based approach will not only shift the rhe
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