World Press Freedom Day Stresses Human Rights

Anticipating World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on May 3rd, Reporters Without Borders released its 2013 status report on the standings of 179 countries on issues of Freedom of the Press. Haiti landed high up on the rankings list, in 49th place.


In conjunction with the report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a hearing at which Haiti human-rights organizations were scheduled to testify. Agencies for the protection of women and children, and human rights advocates were to have reported on human rights policies' progress and incorporation within social infrastructures. Neither showed up. Tracy Robinson, IACHR Head, permitted government of Haiti (GOH) officials to testify before the Commission.

A GOH official read a prepared statement from the Minister of Communications. It covered GOH's initiative for expanding and strengthening Haitian nationals' freedom of expression, and relevant application to Freedom of the Press. It stressed GOH's wish to make strides on domestic and international human rights issues. Also GOH's commitment to human rights programs and policies evidenced by ratification of American Convention on Human Rights Agreement. GOH's enforcement of legislation will protect on-air media Freedom of the Press rights to dissent without fear of violent repercussions. Moreover, GOH's protection of citizens' freedom of expression will be ensured by law-enforcement training. Police will learn appropriate responses to deal with freedom-of-expression conflicts between warring factions.

The statement also disclosed GOH's new strategy that will focus on human rights violations of the poorest Haitians. Law enforcement will mediate before escalation to the justice-system level.

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