September 30, 2012
The complex and overlapping crisis in Haiti, which includes violence against civilians, flooding and a recent earthquake, and multiple public health crises, continues to have a devastating impact on the population, resulting in displacement and lack of access to food, water, shelter or basic healthcare, with particular impacts on diverse women and girls, who already face pre-existing inequality and discrimination. Human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, are facing serious risks as a result of their work. Gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual violence, which is exacerbated by the widespread trafficking of firearms and ammunition, is currently utilized by armed individuals and groups to “terrorize, subjugate and punish” the civilian population, including girls who have been abducted as a form of coercion as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, especially transgender women, who are targeted because of their gender expression. It is critical that the Security Council’s response to the crisis is informed by gender-sensitive conflict analysis and a rights-based lens. Discussions within the Council, as well as any adopted outcomes, must reinforce the importance of grounding all responses in international humanitarian and human rights law, and express unambiguous support for human rights defenders and peacebuilders, who should be allowed to operate freely and without fear of threat or reprisal. Council members must call for rights-based, survivor-centered humanitarian action that is age and gender-responsive, disability-inclusive, and provides immediate and non-discriminatory aid and quality healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health services and GBV prevention, mitigation, and response services. Finally, Council members must demand that all peace, security, political, and humanitarian processes, including transitional discussions or constitutional or electoral reform discussions, particularly those supported by the UN, require the full, equal, safe and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse women at all levels and throughout the process.