The extent of social, political and cultural change necessary to establish a firm basis for democracy and human rights at a government and a societal level in Haiti will require a long-term and multifaceted commitment from RNDDH and its partners. This has resulted in an explicit strategy on RNDDH’s part which embraces two important components: a commitment to long-term cultural and social change, and the implementation of a variety of project activities and measures simultaneously, in order to achieve the most effective and sustainable results.
RNDDH has identified that its strengths as a non-government organization are best applied via two principal activities: (i) the provision of human rights education for the purposes of building the capacity of civil society and (ii) monitoring key state institutions in respect to their obligations to protect rights and uphold the rule of law. The twin activities are linked together by the creation of a nation-wide regionalized system of human rights monitoring networks, formed and trained by the organization.
RNDDH believes that the creation of an informed, articulate and skilled network of individuals capable of monitoring the operation of the Haitian law enforcement system and other key democratic institutions will play an important role in generating the community interest and political will necessary for these institutions to function in a way which is respectful of basic human rights. RNDDH is of the view that pursuing these activities will result in evolutionary changes in Haiti’s popular and institutional culture. At the heart of these efforts is a belief in the importance of a strong and vital civil sector in Haiti that can participate in the political process and evaluate its outcomes in terms of human rights and democracy.
RNDDH believes that the effective defense of human rights can only become a reality when Haitians are educated about their rights and duties as citizens, and are thus able to prevent human rights violations, for “prevention is worth more than a cure” and “no one can speak of their rights if they do not know them.”
The roots of democracy are desperately trying to take hold in Haiti but cannot because of a flawed foundation. Here, true justice is not applied to those with power and influence, money and eminence. In Haiti, different socio-economic status means different status before the law. In addition, Haiti’s primary state institutions are weak, lacking credibility, objectivity, accountability and overall professionalism. The result is the suffocating noose of impunity and corruption, accompanied by a deliberate disrespect for basic human rights.