Congresswoman Wilson Introduces Resolution Calling for End to Gender-Based Violence in Haiti

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) introduced a resolution calling for the United States to work with the Haitian Government to end gender-based violence.
“Now is the time for the United States to renew its commitment to Haitian women and children, and for us to make the issue of ending gender-based violence a priority for both our countries,” said Rep. Wilson.
As the two-year mark of the tragic January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake approaches, official estimates show that almost 600,000 Haitians are still living in internally displaced person (IDP) camps without adequate housing, sanitation, healthcare services, lighting or security. Many people outside these camps have also been living in precarious situations since the quake.
Though deep-seated gender discrimination and violence against women and children have long marred Haitian society, as they do in many countries worldwide, those living in displacement camps and other impoverished communities have experienced increased vulnerability to sexual and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
Against heavy odds, the Haitian government is working to address these issues through their Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Parliament and other government offices.
This resolution would:
·         Reassure the people of Haiti, particularly vulnerable women and children, that the United  States remains a committed partner in the fight to end all forms of gender-based violence in Haiti;
·         Encourage the Administration, through the State Department and USAID, to support the Haitian Government’s proactive steps that are consistent with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ recommendations on sexual violence in IDP camps, to eliminate gender-based violence; and
·         Reinforce the efforts of the Haitian Government as it contemplates comprehensive legislative reforms aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls.
In addition to introducing the resolution, Rep. Wilson is co-sponsoring a forum today with Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) where leading experts and activists will discuss gender-based violence in Haiti. The panelists will include Marie Ange Noel of Fanm Deside, Emmania Duchard of KOFAVIV, Marguerite Salomon of GCFV and Margaret L. Satterthwaite of the NYU School of Law.

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