UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti human rights official Thierry Fagart, who was a guest on the Encounter Program, talked about the human rights situation in Haiti as follows:

“First of all, I believe that the institutions in charge of public order should be reinforced. They need to reinforce the national police as well as the judiciary. It is clear that the police do not have resources for operations.

“The judiciary does not have resources for action. The police officers are sadly mistreated. Their rights are not respected. For instance, their living and salary conditions are deplorable. This is just unacceptable. How can you train a police officer telling him that he is there to have law and order respected while his own rights are not respected?

“The judiciary needs to be given the dignity that it deserves too. A magistrate should be a respectable person. A magistrate is not a person who should be suspected of corruption or dependence on the political power. So, the judiciary needs to be reinforced. They need to be given the appropriate means as well as correct salaries.

“The training of magistrates should be reinforced too. If all these needs are met, I am convinced that on the political level, there will be progress.

“On the issue concerning economic, social and cultural rights, changes need to take place too. One thing is for certain, if it is not possible to set up a fair judicial system, then we will never have financial investment in this country.

“You cannot, for example, ask a Haitian citizen who has money to invest his money in this country if he is not certain that his rights will be protected against illegal actions when he has to go to court. He wants to make sure, first of all, that he will not be facing an individual who will pay a judge to get him to say that he is right.”