Crimes against humanity charges against Haiti’s former dictator are an important step towards justice, but the country could signal its full commitment to ending impunity by joining the ICC. You can help by taking action now!
This month we are calling on Haiti to ensure protection under the rule of law for future generations of Haitians as part of our Campaign for Global Justice.
Baby Doc Duvalier prosecution an important step towards ending impunty
After 25 years in exile, Haiti’s ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as “Baby Doc”, returned to Haiti after having been charged with crimes against humanity for events that occurred under his dictatorship between 1971 and 1986.
These crimes include disappearance, torture and execution of hundreds of people carried out by the National Security Volunteers militia, also known as the “tonton macoutes.”
Mr. Duvalier returned to Haiti from France in 2011 and was charged with corruption and crimes against humanity, but a judge in 2012 dropped that charge, leading to appeals.
The three-judge appellate panel announced that the human rights charges could go forward, rejecting an argument from Mr. Duvalier that the statute of limitations had expired and that international law under girding the charges did not apply.
This decision was seen as a major step in the long legal path to hold Mr. Duvalier accountable for his crimes, strengthen Haiti’s democracy, and bring justice to the citizens of Haiti.
Consolidate gains by joining ICC
Nonetheless, Haiti has yet to complete the process of ratification to the Rome Statute, which criminalizes crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Haiti signed the Rome Statute on 26 February 1999, but unfortunately, international criminal prosecution by the ICC cannot be carried out without the ratification of the Statue.
As of today, 122 countries are state parties to the Rome Statue.
We are now calling on Haiti to take a step forward in its commitment to international justice and accede to the Rome Statute as soon as possible.
By joining the ICC, Haiti will not only contribute to ending impunity, but it will further strengthen the global voice at the Court and result in a more robust and meaningful participation in the international justice system.
Support our call to the government of Haiti to accede to the Rome Statute and implement into national law.