Legislation aims to combat corruption, hold human rights abusers accountable
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today applauded the passage by the full Senate of their legislation, the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act (S. 1104). First introduced in April, passed by the House in June and advanced in October by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Cardin-Rubio bill prioritizes the protection of human rights and anti-corruption efforts in Haiti by fostering strong relationships with independent civil society groups. The legislation also requires the U.S. State Department to report on human rights abuses that have taken place in Haiti. The bill further supports the efforts of the Haitian Government to identify persons involved in such human rights violations and significant acts of corruption in Haiti and hold them accountable for their actions.
Amended since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July and the August earthquake and tropical storm, all of which exacerbated long-term challenges facing Haiti, the bill would measure the progress of post-disaster recovery and efforts to address corruption, governance, rule of law and media freedoms. The House of Representatives is expected to act quickly to accept the amended bill, which will then be sent to the president for his signature.
“The Haitian people continue to face a long list of struggles in their daily lives, as disasters and tragedies mount,” said Senator Cardin. “We are greatly concerned that a Haitian government that is both unstable and corrupt will allow or enable additional human rights abuses. UNICEF has reported that 1.6 million people in Haiti, including 800,000 children, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The United States must act with urgency to help our Haitian neighbors emerge from this ongoing crisis.”
“For far too long, the Haitian people have endured the hardships of corruption, criminal gangs, civil unrest, and devastating natural disasters,” said Senator Rubio. “As we begin a new year, the U.S. Senate is sending an important message of support to the Haitian people with the passage of our bipartisan Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act. A more secure and prosperous Haiti benefits not just the Haitian people, but also our entire hemisphere. With the Senate’s passage of this important bill, we are one step closer to making it law.”
The legislation can be downloaded here.