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Despite the globally known political crisis, there are still serious problems Haitians still struggle with.

Haiti has encountered several issues that affected the country on a large scale. According to “Haiti Between Pestilence and Hope: The Progressive Ideals from the Revolution of 1804 Set the Pace” by Fritznel D Octave, published in 2022, the country is facing political corruption and the economic aftermaths of the earthquakes that shook it. Other than the ideas about business and personal growth by Octave, the book also tackles missed opportunities that could have opened doors for Haiti.

The following are some serious problems Haitians still struggle with nowadays:

The Justice System is dysfunctional.

On July 7, 2021, president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated. Out of the 42 alleged suspects that were imprisoned, none of them were charged. Without a new president and a functioning Senate, the justice system does not function well.

Prime Minister Henry took charge of the government without a constitutional mandate even if he had not received parliamentary approval.

The Moïse case took an active investigation. The judicial officials conducting the initial proceedings of the case were reported to have received threats, which resulted in the resignation of the three, while the fourth one was accused of corruption. A fifth judge was appointed in May 2022.

The gangs are actively terrorizing.

With a dysfunctional justice system, Haiti faced violence from gangs. Ninety-two (92) gangs are reported to be actively operating in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Sexual violence continues to be at high levels. As of August 2022, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) reported 1,349 homicides and 877 kidnappings. No one is charged with the crimes.

Human rights defenders and journalists are threatened.

Human rights defenders and journalists fight for their lives and careers in Haiti as they receive threats from gangs. There have been reports of journalists and human rights defenders who were killed. Two journalists have been murdered while investigating a murder case of a police inspector. An influential figure is reported to have been in connection with the gangs. However, no progress or resolution has been made for the murders as of June 2021.

Water, food, and healthcare are not easy to access.

Haiti also faces problems with its environment due to deforestation and degradation of watersheds, resulting in floods, soil erosion, and undermined agricultural production. With these, food and water become difficult to access. The 2021 earthquake also created an impact on food and water accessibility as the disaster devastated business infrastructure. As of October 2022, only one percent of the Haitian population had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Cholera was also on the outbreak, resulting in a high mortality rate. With limited resources and shelter, healthcare is struggling.

The difficulty in protecting human rights is high.

Haitians don’t fully enjoy the rights to education, women’s and girls’ rights, disability rights, and LGBT rights.

Haiti does not have a law that protects LGBT people, so individuals who fall under the LGBT umbrella are prone to being harassed, abused, or murdered.

Sexual abuse is also actively experienced by women and children. Since abortion is illegal in the country, the physical and mental health danger of pregnancy from rape is high.

Since the earthquake in 2021, the country is still struggling to rebuild the destroyed classrooms, keeping the children out of the classrooms in addition to the cholera outbreak and gang violence. A huge percentage of the population aged 15 and above are illiterate.

The number of people in need of humanitarian support skyrocketed to 4.9 million as of 2022.

Check out Haiti: Events of 2022 to learn more about what’s happening in the country so far.

People escape Haiti but are returned to their country.

Some Haitians, by the thousands, have tried escaping the violence in their country to start a new life elsewhere. However, countries like the U.S. and the Dominican Republic returned Haitians to their country. The returnees requested asylum in the United States but were denied.

These serious problems Haitians still struggle with impact the people on a large scale. People find it hard to escape the terror they are facing in their own country. 

This information is also supported in Fritznel D Octave’s book, Haiti Between Pestilence and Hope: The Progressive Ideals from the Revolution of 1804 Set the Pace. You can learn more about the author and his works here.

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