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Organization DBA Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
IJDH
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

We are a partnership of Haitian and US human rights advocates. We support the Haitian people in their struggle to achieve universal human rights, access to a just legal system, social justice, a society without violence, and the right to participate fully in choosing their government. Using models like the US civil rights movement, we are active in the courts, both in Haiti and internationally, in the streets and in poor neighborhoods. We work in partnership with grassroots movements, to transform the structural injustices that stand in the way of stability and prosperity for the majority of Haitians.

Mission Statement

We are a partnership of Haitian and US human rights advocates. We support the Haitian people in their struggle to achieve universal human rights, access to a just legal system, social justice, a society without violence, and the right to participate fully in choosing their government. Using models like the US civil rights movement, we are active in the courts, both in Haiti and internationally, in the streets and in poor neighborhoods. We work in partnership with grassroots movements, to transform the structural injustices that stand in the way of stability and prosperity for the majority of Haitians.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2015 to Mar 31, 2016
Projected Income $1,500,000.00
Projected Expense $1,300,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Cholera Accountability Project (CAP)
  • Defending Human Rights Defenders
  • Lawyer Training
  • Other Work
  • Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP)

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

We are a partnership of Haitian and US human rights advocates. We support the Haitian people in their struggle to achieve universal human rights, access to a just legal system, social justice, a society without violence, and the right to participate fully in choosing their government. Using models like the US civil rights movement, we are active in the courts, both in Haiti and internationally, in the streets and in poor neighborhoods. We work in partnership with grassroots movements, to transform the structural injustices that stand in the way of stability and prosperity for the majority of Haitians.


Background Statement

IJDH works closely with our sister organization in Haiti, the Bureau des Advocats Internationaux (BAI), to promote human rights in Haiti, document and disseminate accurate information about human rights violations and pursue legal claims abroad and in Haiti. 
 
BAI spearheaded the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre, the best complex litigation ever handled in Haitian courts, and one of the most important human rights trials ever in the Americas. The trial convicted the top leaders of the 1991-1994 dictatorship; obtained $400,000 in compensation; and achieved the deportation from the U.S. of several top officials, including the highest-ranked officer ever deported from the U.S. on human rights grounds.
 
After co-managing BAI from 1995-2004, Brian Concannon founded IJDH in March 2004 to: 1) pursue the BAI’s cases in U.S. and international courts; 2) bring IJDH’s fight for justice to the U.S. population by disseminating information and supporting grassroots advocacy; and 3) provide financial support for BAI, which no longer receives Haitian government support. The organizations work closely together on all their cases.

 

 


Impact Statement

Recent top accomplishments:
  • A major July 2015 court victory for residents terrorized for years by their mayor showed again that Haitian courts can deliver justice against the powerful. Les Irois’ mayor meted out beatings, shootings and arson for disloyalty. One man was murdered; others were maimed. After years fighting in court, foiled by the mayor's influence, the victims turned to BAI for help. The perps were sentenced to 7 years in prison and $55,000 in damages.
  • In January 2016, BAI/IJDH advocacy amplifying Haitian grassroots concerns halted fraudulent elections international interests were urging forward. With partners, we supported diverse Haitian voices calling for fair elections and spread their message internationally. The call was echoed by outlets including The New York Times and Miami Herald, and by U.S. Congresspersons. The calls also gained traction in Haiti and were eventually joined by business and religious institutions, until the Electoral Council lacked the legitimacy to push forward. Haiti now has another chance at fair elections.
  • In March 2016, IJDH defended Haiti’s cholera victims’ right to justice before the U.S. Court of Appeals. Our case has won support from over 80 leading scholars, human rights experts, Haitian-American leaders and former UN officials, and is one of the largest cases to seek justice for UN wrongdoing in history. It has educated the world about UN responsibility for the epidemic, spurring hundreds of television, radio and print pieces.
BAI/IJDH also helped women bring rape cases to court, trained Haitian human rights lawyers, protected activists and mobilized communities for civic engagement.
 
Top goals:
  • Keep focusing on accountability for victims of rape, cholera and the Duvalier regime, but also respond to emergent issues labeled priorities by Haiti’s grassroots.
  • Build financial reserves and raise funds to support more advocacy staff.
  • Continue building the administrative structures needed to support our programs.

Needs Statement

Our most pressing needs include:
  1. Funding: We need to raise $900,000 per year. Ideally, $1 million/year.
  2. Capacity building
  3. Training
  4. Programmatic alliances

 


CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

INTERNATIONAL

Haiti

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Alliances & Advocacy
  2. Crime & Legal - Related - Public Interest Law
  3. International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security - International Human Rights

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Cholera Accountability Project (CAP)

IJDH and BAI are pursuing a claim on behalf of victims of a cholera epidemic recklessly introduced into Haiti by UN Peacekeepers. We are seeking: 1) provision of water and sanitation infrastructure, 2) compensation for their losses, and 3) a formal apology. Adequate water and sanitation in Haiti would save over 30,000 lives in a decade. Since 2010, over 9,000 Haitians have died from and over 750,000 have contracted cholera.
Budget  $200,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Victims People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Program Short-Term Success 
The UN has invested tens of missions of dollars in healthcare, water, and sanitation in Haiti since IJDH filed its legal claims, and has agreed in principle to support the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to control the epidemic. We will continue to educate the International Community on the cholera epidemic through meetings with officials, submission of written opinion pieces, online video campaigns and live demonstrations. More current and former UN officials, international law experts, human rights advocates, students, donors, etc. will join us in calling for cholera justice.
Program Long-Term Success 
If the cholera campaign is won either via the lawsuit or as a result of other advocacy, it would overhaul Haiti’s piecemeal water and sanitation systems, providing sustainable access to these services for millions. The campaign would also result in compensation for victims’ losses and reaffirm the dignity of Haitians’ lives through a UN apology. Taken as a whole, the cholera campaign stands to establish a global precedent for accountability.
Program Success Monitored By 
a) Concrete progress in the lawsuit, including the establishment of a standing claims commission or other fair mechanism for evaluating the cholera victims’ claims;
b) concrete progress towards the provision of a comprehensive water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti; and
c) the application of pressure on the UN through press work, demonstrations and participation in conferences.
Examples of Program Success 
Successes so far include:
  • Filing complaints on behalf of 5,000 victims;
  • Obtaining favorable press coverage throughout the world, including: ABC news, Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, Democracy Now!, the Economist, the New York Times, NPR, and Time Magazine;
  • Support of our case from over 80 leading scholars, human rights experts, Haitian-American leaders and former UN officials around the world; and
  • A UN spokesman’s admission in August 2016 of UN involvement in causing the epidemic.

Defending Human Rights Defenders

Year after year, BAI and IJDH have defended human rights defenders, freeing and protecting people who were wrongfully detained or imprisoned. This includes activists and lawyers who are threatened, harassed, and arrested. Every activist or lawyer freed or defended is another voice back in the fight to advance Haiti, knowing that the risks they take are mitigated by BAI’s and IJDH’s readiness to step in.
Budget  --
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Latin America & the Caribbean
Program Short-Term Success  Getting individual human rights defenders and activists out of jail and back on the streets fighting for justice
Program Long-Term Success  A Haiti that is safe for human rights defenders and activists, with no more attacks against them
Program Success Monitored By  A decrease in the number of attacks against human rights defenders and activists
Examples of Program Success 
  • In 2015, BAI helped secure the release of political prisoner Jean Robert Vincent after more than two years of detention.
  • Also in 2015, BAI helped democracy activists in the town of Les Irois win a seven-year-long fight for justice against the town’s mayor and his henchmen, for murder and aggravated assault committed during a string of political attacks in 2007.


Lawyer Training

Through its intensive training program, BAI is preparing the next generation of public interest lawyers to work alongside Haiti’s grassroots movements to compel fundamental social change. Most Haitian law graduates will never become lawyers—the exceptions are usually those with wealth or connections. BAI challenges that norm by providing intensive mentoring and apprenticeships for law graduates committed to becoming social justice lawyers. BAI’s trainees work side by side with BAI’s all-Haitian legal staff. BAI and IJDH are also part of a global network that connects trainees with allies fighting similar fights around the world.
Budget  --
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Legal Services
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Improvements in the legal research and writing skills of the trainee lawyers at BAI
  • Trainee lawyers successfully completing their legal theses and graduating from law school

Program Long-Term Success  A Haitian justice system full of lawyers who are committed to human rights and helping the poor enforce those rights
Program Success Monitored By 
  • Trainees’ successful completion of their theses and graduating from law school
  • Trainees becoming effective people’s lawyers, working to protect the human rights of Haiti’s poor.

Examples of Program Success  Past BAI trainees have gone on to serve as top judges, prosecutors and ministry officials in Haiti; with human rights groups; and in international tribunals and public interest law organizations throughout the world.

Other Work

We are also working on the following:
  • Teaching citizens of Haiti’s Central Plateau skills that will allow them to engage effectively with the local, national and international powers that make the decisions which deprive them of their rights.
  • Prosecuting the associates of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, one of the most notorious dictators of the 20th century, who perpetrated systematic human rights abuses against Haitian citizens.
  • Advocating for a more complete and inclusive version of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program so that families who have been approved for immigrant visas will be reunited sooner.
Budget  --
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Civic Engagement: Increased leadership and civic engagement by community members in the Central Plateau.
  • HFRP: More support for expansion of the program
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Improvement in the lives of these community members through decreased vulnerability to human rights violations.
  • Justice for the victims of Duvalier's crimes.
  • Establishment of a parole program which would allow Haitians approved for immigration to the U.S. to spend the years of waiting for their visa slot with their US-based family members, instead of in Haiti.
Program Success Monitored By  Duvalier: Garnering explicit support for the prosecution from governments in the International Community, especially the U.S. government, and strengthening collaborations amongst Haitian and international groups who are trying to advance the prosecution.
Examples of Program Success 
Successes include:
  • Signing of an electoral pact between Haitian political candidates and community members, saying that the candidates would return to the community once elected and engage in protecting community members’ human rights.
  • Filing eight formal complaints on behalf of former political prisoners of the Duvalier regime, submitting boxes of evidence of Duvalier's financial crimes for the prosecution effort, recruiting and supervising three top U.S. law firms that have contributed tens of thousands of dollars in donated legal services to the case, preparing information on the Duvalier regime's killings, torture, and financial crimes.
  • We helped collect over 6,000 signatures in support of HFRPP which were submitted to President Obama and Secretary Napolitano. In October 2014 DHS announced implementation of a limited HFRP in early 2015.

Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP)

IJDH and BAI joined with grassroots groups in Haiti and international partners to launch the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP) to respond to the influx of rapes against poor women and girls in the wake of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. RAPP provides individual victims of sexual assault the legal services they need to obtain justice and compensation, while working with allies in Haiti and abroad to transform the social context that underlies the vulnerability of all poor Haitian women to assault. The Project also aims to deter future rape by punishing the perpetrators and forcing a more effective response by law enforcement and the justice system. RAPP includes four closely integrated components: legal advocacy, health care, organizing, and public advocacy.

Budget  $80,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Sexual Assault Prevention
Population Served Females Victims Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

Our short-term goals are to:

  • Push more cases through to the trial phase this year;
  • Provide direct legal services and medical care for rape victims;
  • Provide intake for all victims referred to BAI
Program Long-Term Success 
Our long-term goals are to:
  • Reduce the incidence of rape in Haiti through increased prosecution and by compelling a better police response to the rapes.
  • Help transform Haiti’s legal system and society through legal and grassroots advocacy, to make both more receptive to the needs of poor women, and to serve justice to victims of sexual violence.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brian Concannon Jr., Esq.
CEO Term Start Mar 2004
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

 Mr. Concannon co-managed the Bureau des Advocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti for eight years, from 1996–2004, and worked for the United Nations as a Human Rights Officer in 1995–1996. He founded IJDH, and has been the Director since 2004. He helped prepare the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000, one of the most significant human rights cases anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. He has represented Haitian political prisoners before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and represented the plaintiff in Yvon Neptune v. Haiti, the only Haiti case ever tried before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Mr. Concannon has received fellowships from Harvard Law School and Brandeis University and has trained international judges, U.S. asylum officers and law students across the U.S. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Health and Human Rights, an international journal. He holds an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and JD from Georgetown Law. He speaks English, Haitian Creole and French.

 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Brian Concannon Jr., Esq. Director --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice Salem Award Foundation 2014
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters conferred upon IJDH Director Canisius College 2012
International White Dove Award Rochester Committee of Latin America 2012
Zanmi Ayiti Award Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast 2005

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

IJDH is the sister organization of Haiti-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). 

In order to maximize the impact of our limited resources, all of IJDH and BAI's work involves collaboration with allies.

Haitian collaborators include: "Rezo Fanm BAI" (BAI Women’s Network), including KOFAVIV (Komisyon Fanm Viktim pou Viktim), FAVILEK (Fanm Viktim Leve Kanpe), Groupe Concertation des Femmes Victimes (GCFV), Kodinasyon Nasyonal Viktim Direk (KONAMAVID), and Zafe Fanm pou yon Lot Ayiti (ZAFALA), and over 30 grassroots groups;  Zanmi Lasante.

International collaborators include: the Center for Constitutional Rights, Partners in Heath, MADRE, TransAfrica Forum, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, several U.S. law firms and programs at Boston College, Harvard University, City University of New York, New York University, the University of Miami, and the University of San Francisco law schools, New York City College of Technology.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 27
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): More than one race
Gender Female: 4
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Ira J. Kurzban Esq.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Adjunct Professor of Law at the Univ of Miami and Nova Southeastern Univ
Board Chair Term June 2004 - Apr 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Navjeet Bal VP and General Counsel of Social Finance Voting
Brian Concannon Jr., Esq. Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Voting
Paul Farmer M.D., PhD Founder of Partners In Health, Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Deputy UN Special Envoy to Haiti. Voting
Laura Flynn Author, Teacher, and Activist Voting
Linda Dorcena Forry Massachusetts State Senate Voting
Ira J. Kurzban Esq. Attorney with Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger & Tetzeli, and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University Miami and Nova Southeastern University Voting
Joia Mukherjee MD, MPH Chief Medical Officer for Partners in Health Voting
Judy Prosper Assistant Attorney General in New York and former volunteer attorney at BAI Voting
Bryan Stevenson Esq. Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama and a Clinical Professor at NYU School of Law Voting
Irwin Stotzky Esq. Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at the University of Miami Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Karen Keating Ansara Co-founder of Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation --
Herby Duverné Principal and CEO of Taino Consulting Group --
Albert J Kaneb Retired --
Fran Quigley clinical professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law --
Mary H White MD physician at Mount Sinai School of Medicine --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 1
Gender Female: 5
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 67%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2015 to Mar 31, 2016
Projected Income $1,500,000.00
Projected Expense $1,300,000.00
Form 990s

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents

2015 Audited Financials

2014 Audited Financials

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,658,483 $1,730,310 $1,204,928
Total Expenses $1,726,675 $1,712,547 $1,291,020

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,658,483 $1,730,310 $1,204,928
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,464,322 $1,508,605 $1,096,707
Administration Expense $171,259 $134,927 $95,429
Fundraising Expense $91,094 $69,015 $98,884
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.96 1.01 0.93
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 88% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 4% 8%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $365,936 $128,742 $194,512
Current Assets $365,271 $127,645 $192,187
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $34,876 $34,103 $79,551
Total Net Assets $331,060 $94,639 $114,961

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
Flora Family Foundation $90,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
Fred & Mabel R. Parks Foundation $75,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
Albert J & Diane E. Kaneb $70,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.47 3.74 2.42

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.  This nonprofit only has audited financials starting in the year ending 2011 as they were previously housed in another state with higher audit threshold requirements.
 
Please note for FY15 the total expense amount was adjusted to reflect the total of the functional expenses listed on page 10 of the Form 990 (Statement of Functional Expenses). For FY14, the total expense amount was adjusted to reflect the total of the functional expenses listed on page 10 of the Form 990 (Statement of Functional Expenses). For FY13, the Program expense total was obtained from page 10 of the Form 990, (Statement of Functional Expenses).

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

We seek to build the rule of law in Haiti, so most Haitians know their rights as well as strategies to defend their rights, while building the Haitian justice system’s capacity to deliver equal justice to all Haitians. When this has been accomplished, all crime victims can seek justice, no matter how powerful the perpetrators; contracts for land and labor can be enforced so that people can work their way out of poverty, investing any profits in their homes or businesses or education. Further, the democratic process will be allowed to function freely, without domestic or international interference, such that the government will be accountable to the majority of Haitians and prioritize popular concerns regarding health, education and other rights. In sum, we aim to enable Haitians to build a more just, prosperous, and stable country.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

IJDH and BAI work in partnership with Haitian grassroots organizations and communities, in the courts and in the streets, to promote human rights in Haiti. IJDH and BAI
  • Use impact litigation to work with individual clients for justice in cases that will train the justice system to respond better to all victims of rape or government harassment or cholera.
  • Provide training and strategic advice to grassroots groups and communities to engage with the justice system, government officials and the media.
  • Keep activists safe while they fight for justice and get them out of jail when needed.
  • Provide apprenticeships to Haitian law graduates and host international law fellows, teaching them how to use their profession to serve the poor and create a just society.
  • Bring Haitian concerns to international media and foreign powers in places outside Haiti where decisions about Haitian rights are made, to combat anti-democratic interference.
  • Document and report on human rights violations

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

BAI is led by Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer, who has over 20 years of experience working in solidarity with Haiti’s poor majority to build justice in his country. Under his leadership, BAI’s Haitian staff—attorneys, apprentice attorneys, grassroots coordinators, grassroots trainers and support staff—have built a public interest law tradition in Haiti where none existed before and have allied with and mentored grassroots groups and communities for decades. IJDH is led by an American human rights lawyer—a top international Haiti rights expert with 20 years’ experience partnering with Haitian lawyers and grassroots communities. Under his guidance, IJDH’s small staff and dedicated cadre of volunteers, fellows and interns amplify and support the work of the BAI team.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Progress is marked by court victories; growth and resilience of grassroots movements; increased public knowledge of how and when to access the courts; increased ability and commitment of the judiciary and the rest of Haiti’s government to serve the people; improved and expanded Haitian and international media coverage of Haitian rights issues; and reduced foreign manipulation of Haiti politics. Longer-term systematic changes marking success include improved water and sanitation infrastructure, better and sustainable housing, fewer instances of wrongful imprisonment, reduced incidence of rapes throughout Haiti, increased prosecution and conviction of rapists and other criminals, and fair U.S. immigration policy towards Haitians.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

  • The 2000 Raboteau Massacre court victory set the precedent that Haiti’s justice system can hold the most powerful accountable, as well as the soldiers and police who carried out the orders. In this case, the crime was the 1994 killing of grassroots activists and their neighbors by the coup regime. The trial led to the deportation from the U.S. of the highest-level military officer ever deported from the U.S. for human rights crimes.
  • Year after year, BAI and IJDH have defended human rights defenders, freeing and defending people who were wrongfully detained or imprisoned, including activists and lawyers when they are threatened, harassed, and arrested. Every activist or lawyer freed or defended is another voice back in the fight to advance Haiti, knowing that the risks they take are mitigated by BAI’s and IJDH’s readiness to step in.
  • BAI and IJDH’s fight for UN cholera accountability has garnered more and more allies and consistent public attention. In 2013, we filed an innovative class action lawsuit against the UN in U.S. federal court on behalf of Haitian cholera victims. This case and the media response to it has put a great deal of pressure on the UN to take responsibility for its recklessness and act more responsibly in the future. Many current and former UN officials have spoken out about the need for UN accountability and the UN has agreed to lead efforts to raise $2.2 billion for water and sanitation in Haiti. Our 2015 appeal was supported by over 80 leading scholars, human rights experts, Haitian-American leaders and former UN officials around the world. A March 2016 appeals hearing had judges struggling with how to reconcile UN immunity with the rights of its victims.
  • During Haiti’s 2015-2016 election cycle, BAI and IJDH amplified Haitian grassroots concerns about fraud and other irregularities and worked effectively to curb anti-democratic international pressures to proceed to a final vote without addressing continuing issues.
  • IJDH’s campaign for a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program bore fruit in 2014, when the U.S. government announced it would implement the program starting in 2015. IJDH has been a leader in this fight for years, securing over 80 items of editorial, political, and community support. IJDH will work to expand this program’s limited coverage, as it currently only serves a fraction of those already approved for immigration.
  • As of late 2015, BAI had won convictions in 14 of 20 rape cases that had reached trial, with several more on appeal and dozens more in the investigation stage or ready for trial. Many police officers are now more responsive to rape victims than ever before, even referring them to BAI for help. Each case builds the capacity of the police, lawyers, judges and grassroots communities to respond justly to rape, which in turn increases the safety that women need to fully participate in society.
  • In the years following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, BAI and IJDH allied with grassroots activists in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps to defend the right to housing, particularly by preventing illegal camp evictions. Tools included local street protests, media engagement, winning Precautionary Measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and reporting to the UN.
  • The fight to hold the Duvalier regime accountable for its crimes achieved a historic victory when the appeals court reinstated political violence charges against Jean-Claude Duvalier in 2014. While Baby Doc himself died before the case was complete, holding his co-defendants accountable will reinforce the message that powerful murderers and pillagers of public resources are not immune from justice.
  • Much of this work will be ongoing—until human rights defenders in Haiti are no longer at risk and rape is regularly