This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Haiti signed the CRC on 26 January 1990, and ratified it on 23 December 1994. It was then published in Le Moniteur, the official gazette of Haiti, on 7 July 1995. Together, these actions officially incorporated the CRC into Haitian law. According to the Constitution, the CRC abrogates any national laws which are in conflict with it. There are no specialised court procedures or mechanisms for cases involving children’s rights violations, nor is there any formal system of state-subsidised legal assistance for victims. A case would likely be initiated in the Justice fo the Peace Courts, the Courts of First Instance, or taken to the Office of Citizen Protection. Impunity and corruption are very problematic in Haiti, meaning that many government officials are not held accountable for their actions. Many human rights activists or defenders have suffered violence, threats and intimidation. A lack of resources and funding has lead to a backlog in the courts, and children’s cases are rarely prioritised or taken seriously.