It’s now been one year since cholera “exploded like a bomb” in Haiti, as Partners In Health co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer recently described the outbreak. Last week, PIH and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights released a statement calling on the international community to protect and fulfill human rights when assisting with relief efforts in Haiti. This means working to ensure that Haitian institutions have the ability to provide and protect the rights of Haitians, such as access to potable water and sanitation to combat the cholera outbreak.

The new statement, asserts that unless a strategic focus is placed on strengthening the key pillars of the human rights framework—the responsibility and ability of governments to respect, protect, and fulfill rights and civil society participation —life-saving resources will continue to bypass Haitian public institutions, Haitian businesses, and the Haitian people. Foreign assistance should be allocated to bolster the capacity of Haitian institutions to provide essential services to the poor. Read the report’s recommendations on how the donors can operationalize a rights-based approach

This new statement, Building Back Haiti More Justly, was released as part of a briefing on Capitol Hill. It is a follow-up to a statement issued shortly after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This first statement was published by PIH and a number of partners, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, the NYU Law School’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, TransAfrica Forum and Zanmi Lasante.