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Norway's Statement. Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Haiti

President,

Norway thanks the Independent Expert for his excellent report and for his statement.

Norway shares the concern of the Independent expert regarding the human rights situation in Haiti. We agree that urgent action is needed to address the five human rights areas identified in the report.

The issue of illiteracy must be considered in connection with the broader issue of lack of access to quality education. Combatting illiteracy must be a priority in a renewed effort to fulfil the right to education in Haiti. 

Pre-trial detention has been the object of numerous recommendations that Haitian governments have failed to address. The international community and the Haitian State must take practical steps to end this practice. 

Corruption is an underlying theme for many of the problems affecting Haiti. Corruption takes a heavy toll on the daily lives of the Haitians. Norway is worried about what seems to be a lack of effort to address this issue comprehensively, both by the State and the international community.

Norway also wishes to express its deep concerns about the fate of Dominicans of foreign descent, many of whom run the risk of being stateless. The risk of instability due to the large number of persons potentially concerned cannot be underestimated and could have implications for the entire region.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity and pose the following questions to the Independent expert:

1.         The report mentions a literacy campaign supported by Latin American states. Although the population reached is deemed insufficient, could the expert elaborate on whether this campaign could serve as a model for other donors?

2.          In the previous report, the expert recommended that a small group of judges assisted by law students examine cases of prolonged pre-trial detention, and the recent report repeats this recommendation.  Has there been any reaction from Haitian authorities to this suggestion?