GPC Operations Cell: gpc[at]unhcr.org
Gender-Based Violence: chase[at]unfpa.org
Child Protection: rpouwels[at]unicef.org
Housing, Land and Property: jim.robinson[at]nrc.no
Mine Action: unmasgeneva[at]un.org
Haiti is facing a multi-faceted protection crisis, compounded by a human rights and governance crisis. The earthquake that struck the country on 14 August 2021 and other natural disasters caused significant damage in the Great South of the country. Moreover, the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince is marked by a strong resurgence of armed violence. Approximately 3.5 million people living in gang-control areas have borne the brunt of the violence and have seen their protection situation worsened. Citizens are suffering from direct physical and mental harm as a consequence of gang-armed violence. The situation triggers violence-induced displacement and control of freedom of movement. For the first time since the 2012 earthquake, new displacements are recorded due to gang violence – affecting mostly women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities. The number of victims of killings, injuries and kidnappings have surged dramatically and are extremely high for a context that is not classified as an armed conflict. Sexual and gender-based violence is used by the gangs as a weapon to humiliate, terrorize and reinforce their control over the local population. Access to gang-controlled areas is one of the major challenges faced by national and international actors to respond to the humanitarian and protection needs of the most vulnerable groups.
The impact of growing armed violence in gang-controlled areas continues on multiple fronts with protection threats deepening for many parts of the population. An estimated 4.9 million Haitians, over 40% of the population, require emergency assistance, including 1 million for protection – mostly child protection and GBV services. In some areas, sexual violence is used as a "weapon of war" (subjugation of populations, recruitment rites, sexual slavery). Young men and boys are particularly vulnerable to forced recruitment into gangs due to lack of socio-economic alternatives.
The Protection Sector is co-led by the Haitian Office of the Ombusdman (Office de la Protection du Citoyen, OPC) and OHCHR and includes the following Areas of Responsibility (AoR), which are referred to as sub-sectors or working groups: Working Group on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Working Group on Child Protection, and Working Group on the Protection of Migrants and IDPs.