The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Ms. Bintou Keita, visited Haiti from 5-9 February, her first official mission to the country. During her visit, Ms. Keita stressed the importance of a close partnership between the UN and Haitian institutions, as well as strengthened rule of law and human rights in the country.
A new peacekeeping mission created by the Security Council in October 2017 will be in Haiti for a short period of time. From now until spring 2020, MINUJUSTH, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, will back the professionalization of the Haiti’s National Police and strengthen the rule of law, including Justice institutions and correctional services, to ensure human rights promotion and protection, as well as gender equality and equity in the country.
During her stay in Jeremie, Ms. Keita visited the local prison to see for herself the conditions faced by the 304 inmates—including men, women and children—incarcerated in cells that could technically hold only 100 prisoners in total (the standard in Haiti is 2.5 m2 per prisoner). This superpopulation was described as « awful & unbereable » by the Assistant Secretary-General at a press conference held at Port-au-Prince on 9 February.