(Geneva) A UN committee on Friday called on regional states to suspend forcible removals of Haitians, noting that 36,000 of them were expelled between January and March as violence ravages their country.
In a statement issued as part of its procedure for alerting to emergency situations, the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) expresses deep concern about “these collective expulsions of Haitians which are carried out without assessment appropriate to the protection needs” of each individual.
In a statement, the committee, made up of 18 independent experts, calls on states in the region “to suspend forced returns and adopt measures to protect Haitians on the move”.
Figures from the UN migration agency (IOM) show that nearly 22,000 Haitians were returned to their country from January to November 2022, including nearly 15,000 by the United States, the committee said. .
These evictions have increased sharply this year.
Some 36,000 people of Haitian origin were deported to their country during the first three months of the year, about 90% of them from the Dominican Republic, according to the committee, still citing the IOM.
The statement also points out that “Caribbean countries, such as the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, have announced crackdowns on undocumented Haitian migrants”, while the United States has presented in January a plan to allow expedited deportations to Mexico of Haitians and other migrants.
Gang rapes, targeted children, rooftop snipers… the “terror” inflicted by gangs on the Haitian population is “spreading at an alarming rate”, according to the UN, whose Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pleaded for deployment of a specialized international armed force, in particular to help the island’s police to restore order.
UN experts also expressed serious concern that Haitians “would be victims of excessive use of force, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and racial profiling by the forces of the Order of Certain States” in the Americas region.
The committee expresses its concern at the human rights violations suffered by Haitians fleeing their country, particularly in migrant detention centers, and denounces in particular the militarization of borders and the systematic policies of detention of migrants.