AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL KENYA RESPONDS TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL’S DECISION TO DEPLOY INTERNATIONAL SECURITY FORCES TO HAITI LED BY KENYAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Nairobi, Kenya, 3 October 3, 2023: Amnesty International Kenya notes the UN Security Council decision to deploy an international security force to Haiti led by 1,000 Kenyan law enforcement officers. The Resolution includes clear, mandatory, and enforceable human rights-based parameters for the UN Mission. It is critical that UN Member States, human rights organisations and citizens thoroughly examine the mission’s human rights and humanitarian implications before deployment.
Haiti has a deeply troubling history of abuses and impunity associated with past multinational or foreign interventions. These interventions have lacked accountability mechanisms for excessive use of force and witnessed a wide range of abuses, including sexual exploitation. Acknowledging that these interventions occurred in the shadow of a cholera epidemic triggered by UN personnel is imperative.
“Clear, mandatory, and enforceable parameters must detail the operational and oversight measures preventing the unlawful use of force, negligence causing harm to local populations and other abuses before deployment. This must include robust measures to protect individuals against sexual exploitation and abuse, ensuring accessible and effective remedies for victims. The Mission must adhere to UN human rights due diligence policies to assess and address potential human rights impacts”, says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton
At a national level, the deployment of 1,000 Kenyan Police Officers requires the express approval of the Inspector General and parliamentary oversight under the Kenya Constitution. Parliament is urged to now table and discuss the proposal for this foreign mission that involves Kenyan lives.
Amnesty International Kenya also calls for meaningful consultations with Haitian civil society and mass media before the deployment of stabilisation support. We emphasise the importance of supporting Haitian-led solutions for long-term stability and actively addressing the root causes of violence in the country.
Human rights, accountability, safety and dignity of the Haitian people must remain at the forefront of this policing mission.
Amnesty International Kenya
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- For background on the UNSC Resolution see
- Amnesty International Kenya emphasises the need to thoroughly assess Kenyan security forces’ human rights track record before endorsing their deployment to Haiti. Recent reports have condemned the unlawful use of force against protestors by Kenyan police, including instances of excessive and lethal force resulting in deaths and injuries. These incidents raise concerns about the suitability of Kenyan law enforcement officers for this role. For more information see https://www.amnestykenya.org/open-letter-regarding-the-deployment-of-an-international-security-force-in-haiti/
- Haiti currently faces a severe human rights crisis, leading thousands of Haitians to seek refuge in other countries in the Americas. Unfortunately, some governments in the region have engaged in mass deportations and discriminatory policies. As per IOM data, 162 thousand Haitians have been repatriated between September 2021 and July 2023. A humane and responsible approach is essential to protect Haitians seeking safety, including fair and individualised assessments for refugee status. For more information see https://www.amnestykenya.org/kenya-police-in-haiti-whats-at-stake/