Global Justice Clinic Partner Rejects Statements on Mining from Haiti’s New Prime Minister

On Sunday, September 16th, the Haitian Parliament ratified Jean Henry Céant as the new Prime Minister.  His ratification came more than two months after the former Prime Minister, Jack Guy Lafontant, stepped down amid unrest and widespread discontent. In his Policy Statement, Céant encouraged the Haitian Parliament to pass a draft mining law and proclaimed that the law has attracted a “broad consensus.”  If passed, the law, drafted with the support of the World Bank, would unlock Haiti’s metal mining sector.

The Kolektif Jistis Min (“Mining Justice Collective” or “KJM”)  released a press statement to discredit Céant’s proclamation about the mining law and to reiterate concerns about the risks the mining sector poses to Haiti’s environment and to the Haitian people.  Further, the press statement describes the mining law as not only lacking consensus, but having been developed behind closed doors, violating the right to information guaranteed in the Haitian Constitution. The statement, available in English, French, Kreyol, and Spanish, asks Parliamentarians not to pass the law, and encourages Haitian people and progressive organizations to unite in resistance.

In May, community organizations from an area that is under an exploitation permit in Haiti—one of three in the country—released an open letter to government authorities.  The letter suggests that an operable metal mine may violate the Haitian Constitution, which offers strong environmental proections.  In 2015 the Global Justice Clinic and KJM, in close collaboration with these same community organizations, began a water study to document baseline conditions.  For more on the study, see our March 22, 2018 press release. For background on the mining sector in Haiti, see Byen Konte, Mal Kalkile: Human Rights and Environmental Risks of Gold Mining in Haiti.


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