Moun Fou: A call to address mental health in Haiti

University of Miami Psychology Professor Marie Nicolas, was just awarded for her work promoting mental health service in Haiti. 

Originally from Haiti, Nicolas obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Boston University.

 

“She has also published several articles and book chapters and delivered numerous invited presentations at the national and international conferences in the areas of women issues, depression and intervention amongHaitians, social support networks of ethnic minorities, and spirituality.”

 

Her recent books includes:

Contemporary Parenting: A Global Perspectiveby Routledge Press.
Through a global, multidisciplinary perspective, this book describes how four factors influence parenting practices: a countries historical and political background, the parent’s educational history, the economy and the parent’s financial standing, and advances in technology. Part 1 reviews each of these factors in detail. Part 2 features cases that illustrate the impact these factors have on parenting practices around the world including Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

 

Building Mental Health Capacity in Haiti through Collaborative Partnershipsby Nova Publishers.
This monograph is a guidebook focusing on how to implement mental health training programs internationally. The book is structure in a way that utilizes Haiti as an example of what scholars who are interested in global mental health can do to effectively implement a training program internationally.

 

Social Networks and the Mental Health of Haitian Immigrants by Caribbean Studies Press .
The book provides information regardingthe lives of Haitian immigrants through research at the intersection of culture, social networks, and mental health. In addition, recommendations for providing culturally sensitive and effective services are included in the book.

 

 

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“Righteous Dopefiend”

“Righteous Dopefiend” by Philippe Bourgois and  Jeffrey Schonberg “interweaves stunning black-and-white photographs with vivid dialogue, detailed field notes, and critical theoretical analysis. Its gripping narrative develops a cast of characters around the themes of violence, race relations, sexuality, family trauma, embodied suffering, social inequality, and power relations. The result is a dispassionate chronicle of survival, loss, caring, and hope rooted in the addicts’ determination to hang on for one more day and one more “fix” through a “moral economy of sharing” that precariously balances mutual solidarity and interpersonal betrayal.”

 

Parallel this portrayal with the current situation in Haiti. Recently, the U.S. DEA was under fire for a Panamanian flagged cargo-ship that made its way to a Haitian port.

According to the Miami Herald, “The sugar boat haul in April 2015 should have been exactly the kind of smuggling operation that DEA agents and Haiti’s narcotics police were prepared to take down.”

 

 

Haiti’s Penal Code

http://www.crijhaiti.com/fr/?page=article_code_penal

 

More on Heroin around the world:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/heroin-facts

http://www.unodc.org/pdf/barbados/caribbean_factsheet_heroin_2002.pdf

Taxing the Diaspora

Many countries tax their citizens living abroad. The U.S., for example, generally taxes income the same regardless of where a person resides internationally. Ironically, the Diaspora who seek a revolt against the tax would probably have to pay income tax no matter the country of their citizenship.

One of the issues is Diaspora do not feel confident in where their tax dollars will be spent. They also feel that the average quality of life in Haiti does not support such a high yearly tax. What is “high?”

“10,000 gourdes or $159 annually, depending on the exchange rate — the reaction has been no less vehement. For some 2 million Haitians living abroad, who already contribute $2 billion a year in remittances, essentially doubling the country’s annual budget, the insult is clear.” – Miami Herald

 

 

TPS Follow-up: What to do next

 

I wanted to highlight the following article from the Law Office of Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon, in Orlando and Jacksonville Florida. 

TPS was extended through January 22, 2018, but the site post lists some alternatives for persons to remain in authorized status following that date. Some of these options may include an adjustment of status, asylum, withholding of removal, or cancellation of removal.

Read the article to learn more.

Haiti’s Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.  It provides an opportunity for States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.

Hait’s most recent periodic review occurred in 2011. The National Report document the prominent legal framework in Haiti and their application. A right to food, freedom of expression and further human rights concerns are reviewed.

Below is an excerpt:

Corruption 69. The use of public office for personal gain has existed on a worrying scale in Haiti for several years and has contributed significantly to the lack of respect for the rights of Haitians as a result of the misappropriation of certain resources. Aware of this situation, the Haitian authorities reacted by establishing, in 2004, an anti-corruption unit and by ratifying the United Nations and Inter-American conventions against corruption. This led to the arrest and indictment of two directors-general of autonomous public institutions in 2008 and 2011. H. The housing problem 70. The question of housing, already a serious problem, particularly in large towns, has loomed larger since the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Political instability, lack of urban planning and rural exodus have led to an increasing proliferation of shanty towns in the capital and main provincial cities. Established in the 1980s, the Public Enterprise for the Promotion of Social Housing (EPPLS) has built low-rent housing blocks in several communes, but in insufficient quantity because of its limited resources.

The housing problem 70. The question of housing, already a serious problem, particularly in large towns, has loomed larger since the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Political instability, lack of urban planning and rural exodus have led to an increasing proliferation of shanty towns in the capital and main provincial cities. Established in the 1980s, the Public Enterprise for the Promotion of Social Housing (EPPLS) has built low-rent housing blocks in several communes, but in insufficient quantity because of its limited resources.

 

Read about the Transnational Legal Clinic who took responsibility for drafting a report on labor rights to be used in Haiti’s UPR:

https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/news/1943-transnational-legal-clinic-in-haiti-documenting#.WL2TqxIrK8U

Haiti, an “Island Luminous”

Black History month has passed but there is no time like the present to learn about the first black independent country through a successful revolution, Haiti.

Since 2004, the Digital Library of the Caribbean (DLOC) has worked with archives and libraries in Haiti to scan and preserve rare books and manuscripts.

DLOC is the creator of “An Island Luminous,” a site to help readers learn about Haiti’s history available to explore in English, French, and Kreyol. Created by historian Adam M. Silvia and hosted online by Digital Library of the Caribbean, An Island Luminous combines rare books, manuscripts, and photos scanned by archives and libraries in Haiti and the United States with commentary by over one hundred (100) authors from universities around the world.

Work on An Island Luminous started in 2009. Initially titled “Endepandan Ankò,” the site only covered the years 1934 to 1946. In 2010, the site expanded to include all of Haiti’s history.  It also took its new name, “An Island Luminous,” from a poem, “Calme,” by Haitian intellectual Jacques Roumain. Since 2010, we have invited over 100 authors to write commentary on various historical texts and photos.

You can start the tour of Haitian history at http://islandluminous.fiu.edu/learn.html. which will walk you through an engaging series of photos and corresponding facts as pictured below. It is a short tour but packed with great information for beginners and experts alike.

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Visit http://islandluminous.fiu.edu/ to learn more. Information taken from the “About” section of the site.

A Step Forward: Technology Resurgence in Haiti

Haiti may be an untapped into tech haven. For example, Maarten Boute, Chairman of Digicel (a large telecom provider in the Caribbean) has tried to help make Haiti a more tech-friendly country. This is in part, in response to the fallacy that Haiti has low internet connectivity and a no sizable English-speaking population. Digicel however, has invested in increasing internet connectivity by building fiber networks that would allow for better connectivity in major cities. This push may bring about a “call center surge” in Haiti, particularly in Port-Au-Prince, where many able bodies await work.

Internally, tech startups are also becoming increasingly important in Haiti. Chairman Maarten founded two tech startups, Surtab and Re-Volt. Both these startups have social justice oriented goals. For example, Surtab aims to better the educational system in Haiti by making the classroom experience mobile, while Re-Volt is aimed at providing affordable electricity to the Haitian people.

Clearly, programs demonstrate steps forward, as opposed to backward, in Haiti’s continuing efforts to rebuild and stabilize.

Read the full story here.

 

 

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Magdala is a second-year law student at the University of Illinois College of Law. She is the first generation of her family to be born in the United States!

Tackling the Climate Crisis

Children in Haiti hold up signs urging the international community to take action on climate change.

Pictured: Children in Haiti hold up signs urging the international community to take action on climate change.

Formally released in September of 2014 at the United Nations Climate Summit, Tackling the Challenge of Climate Change: A Near-Term Actionable Mitigation Agenda was commissioned by the Republic of Nauru, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and written by 30 leading climate and energy experts from around the world.

 

“. . .the path to the global low-carbon transformation needed to tackle the climate crisis is within reach, but requiresdecisive political action from leaders around the world, now. This paper is unabashedly prescriptive on the need for action, but recognizes that there are multiple approaches and models from around the world that can be scaled up and adapted to national circumstances. Cost-effective technologies for a low-carbon economy are being implemented throughout the world, but at nowhere the scale and speed necessary. Emissions continue to rise. With every year of delay, human suffering, biodiversity loss, and the costs of mitigation and adaptation increase. We are running out of time.”

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF 350.ORG for EarthJustice.org.

In a career shift?

The National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals released a very helpful article titled “7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Job Seekers.” Click here to access it. Hope this makes your job search a little easier. Good luck!

 

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Author- Valerie 

Valerie is a second-year law student at Brooklyn Law School with a concentration in Business law and was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We look forward to her first post!

Read more about Valerie on our members page

Valerie on LinkedIn

Registration now open for national movement conference on overturning mass incarceration

At a time when 100 million Americans are trying to move on from their criminal records, hundreds (and possibly thousands) of people will gather in Oakland, California to address their common struggle with an oppressive criminal justice system. The Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM) is made up of the directly impacted families and communities confronting a system of control; a system that has, itself, grown out of control. This two-day conference (Sept. 9-10) is the latest of many historical markers in the Civil Rights movement and represents the courageous individual and collective journeys among every organizer and participant.

Source: Registration now open for national movement conference on overturning mass incarceration