United Nations’ Permanent Forum on People of African Descent Calls for Justice for the Republic of Haiti, Haitian nationals, and People of African Descent During Transnational Migration


July 21, 2023

Contact: pcensale@haitianbridge.org 

New York, New York - This week, the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (UNPFPAD/’the Permanent Forum”) called on States to provide global reparatory justice to the Republic of Haiti and to end the abuse of Haitian nationals and people of African descent during transnational migration.

The Permanent Forum’s Preliminary Conclusions and Recommendations aligned with the sentiments expressed by over 900 civil society members from around the world, including the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), who participated in the second session held in New York City from May 30 to June 2, 2023. Erik Crew, Staff Attorney with the Haitian Bridge Alliance, in his public statement at the session (Written / Video), called on the Permanent Forum to acknowledge the lack of global reparatory justice for the historical injustices of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonial imperialism. He recommended that the Permanent Forum call on States to end migration policies based on ‘prevention through deterrence.’

“Haitian Bridge Alliance is committed to uplifting the voices of and solutions for Black people in mobility who are suffering under cruel migrations policies by States and ongoing violations of their human rights,” said Mr. Crew. He further praised the statements and recommendations made by the Permanent Forum, asserting that they warrant the attention of all States and advocates committed to securing human rights for Black people worldwide.

In its conclusions and recommendations, the Permanent Forum acknowledged the pioneering Pan-Africanism of the Haitian people and recognized that the neo-colonial burdens imposed on the Republic of Haiti have significantly contributed to the current crisis in the country. The Forum identified the historical crimes of enslavement, colonialism, and neo-colonialism as fundamental causes of Haitian migration. Consequently, it called on States to end practices such as arbitrary detention, deportations, and pushbacks. Additionally, the Forum urged for the separation of civil migration systems from criminal legal systems and emphasized the importance of ensuring that migration processes adhere strictly to international human rights standards and laws. The Permanent Forum further affirmed that reparations represent the cornerstone of justice in the 21st century and that achieving global reparatory justice necessitates the elimination of all forms of systemic and structural racial discrimination at local, national, regional, and global levels.

These latest recommendations add to the growing number of major human rights bodies calling on States to end the abuse of Black people in mobility. In April, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination issued a Statement calling on States to end discrimination towards Haitians in mobility after a request submitted by HBA and RFK Human Rights through the Committee’s Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure.