After the dust cleared…

…from the 2010 Haitian earthquake, 1.5 million people were internally displaced because their homes were destroyed. Today, 500,000 internally placed persons (IDPs) still live in tents, in camps set up by first responders or the IDPs themselves. Conditions are poor, dangerous and violent as inhabitants have little to no access to water, proper sanitation, schooling, or proper employment. With no locks, rape has become a common occurrence. Reintegration is crucial, but what is the best way to go about this? What is already being done?

CBC (“A woman stands in a makeshift tent camp for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press).” Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Voice of America, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New York Times, Miami Herald, Christian Science Monitor. Accessed April 2012 from The Latin Americanist.

Our objective: to take a legal approach in analyzing possible reintegration strategies for Haitian IDPs in light of Haitian housing’s unique historical, cultural, and legal background, as well as the country’s current political situation.

We originally began approaching this question from a comparative standpoint, searching for Best Practices as concluded from IDP reintegration efforts in other regions suffering from natural disasters. However, Haiti’s situation is so unique, we realized it would be more fruitful to think about these issues in terms of Haiti’s specific conditions, past and present.

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Site authors: Emelyn Erickson, Louise Walter

Header image credit: Blair, James P. “Haitian Girls, Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, 1987.” Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, “Haiti: Against All Odds,” November 1987, National Geographic magazine. Accessed April 2012.

Background image credit: Valmidor. Village Scene, Case Number 515. Haitian Arts. Last Modified by Jean Philemond 30 July 1999. Accessed April 2012.