Despite challenges such as the temporary suspension of teaching in due to budgetary difficulties, officers including 26 women eight per cent had completed in-house training by GAC Innovative work-study and ongoing graduate support programs were also established. Yet the low percentage of women graduates and the difficulty of securing stable funding from the Haitian state remained major challenges. We clearly see the convergent agency of reformers at the HNP and of their international partners at work in this domain.
However, we also observe constraints on their efforts in the resistance of some HNP officers to qualitative change rooted in traditional social norms and enduring budgetary constraints. In , about members of the 25th promotion of police agents were also deployed outside the West department, 1 mainly to reinforce departmental maintenance of order units UDMO and motorized intervention brigades BIM.
However, our field research confirmed the persistence of very low police-to-population ratios in the South about and North about departments even after increased deployments in On that basis, it concluded that while the HNP was relatively capable in the West and South departments respectively receiving 5. The plan, thus, commits the HNP to increasing deployment beyond the capital and secondary cities and linking the deployment aims to improving material conditions to attract more female recruits. Additionally, some HNP leaders and their international mentors recognized that the force should work in partnership with communities to adapt local policing strategies to prevent and reduce crime.
The — plan set out the principles of community policing CP and committed the force to elaborate and implement a CP strategy at the national level. These changes were due to the convergent agency of HNP reformers and their international partners.
Yet in , the joint evaluation of the overall HNP plan concluded that despite those advances, the IG still has difficulties extending control in all regions and financial constraints continue to affect its effectiveness, particularly in distant regions Servilien Such incidents decreased after more legitimate elections in , yet abuses linked to anti-gang operations continued. For example, in October , in retaliation for the murder of a policeman, a BOID unit entered Lilavois in the West and allegedly killed three gang members, mistreated eight others and burned down five buildings.
After losing two of their own to gunfire from gang members, they allegedly killed eight gang members and others — including personnel of the school in which the operation occurred. The impunity of security personnel is a major obstacle to the enhancement of rule of law and 2GSSR in Haiti. He would not have been able to advance this far without the support of the HNP Director General, some high-level politicians and international partners.
Yet his inability to enforce his writ on all special-order units or to ensure prosecutions, reveals constraints within the HNP and in the judiciary, as well as the limited influence of human rights organizations.
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Based on modest targets for prison reform in the — HNP plan, one can observe certain advances in this domain. Officials in the Directorate for Penitentiary Administration DAP elaborated an action plan and secured its approval in New prisons were built with Canadian and US assistance, including the model facility in Croix-des-Bouquets and smaller prisons in towns like Cabaret and Hinche Servilien Before addressing those constraints more systematically, this section concludes with an examination of the uneven national ownership of police reform processes in Haiti.
When the — HNP plan was being drafted, there was a conscious attempt by the UN and other international partners, including La Francophonie, to involve HNP officials in the process. Our interviews with many senior HNP officials between and suggested that this worked fairly well with the HNP High Command and some departmental directors, but generated little buy-in at lower levels.
Motivated by that concern and facilitated by the increasing capacity of the HNP Strategic Planning Unit, broader consultations were initiated to inform the — plan. Those consultations complemented outreach to high-level politicians in private as well as in public spaces, such as the HNP anniversaries on June 12 every year.
Despite the growing fiscal crisis and the cutbacks applied in some sectors, the government allocated a ten per cent increase to the HNP in its — budget, almost half of which is capital investment to build or refurbish HNP infrastructure MEF Those investments were partly motivated by the need to secure counterpart financing from international partners, who have covered the bulk of infrastructure improvement costs over the past decade. Yet from early onward, actual disbursements lagged far behind promises, causing severe budget shortfalls in the HNP.
The Haitian public also seems relatively supportive of the HNP. Despite professional leadership by senior HNP officials and support from their international partners, HNP development has not gained enough executive, parliamentary, civil society or public support to consolidate a shift towards transformative 2GSSR. The following section considers how HNP reform fits into larger social and political dynamics.
Despite widespread recognition that SSR should be harmonized with rule of law reforms as well as with enabling political and socioeconomic conditions, the Haiti-specific literature on those issues remains quite fragmented. To counter this tendency, this section provides a synthesis of recent studies on contextual dynamics affecting SSR in Haiti, to complement our focus on the HNP and its relations with core stakeholders. The main contextual dynamics affecting HNP reform in Haiti are understood to be: the limited reform of the justice system; the reinstatement of the army; and the wider socioeconomic crisis.
Based on his field experience and scholarly research, Berg offered a compelling analysis of limited judicial reform in Haiti. This analysis can be extended to recent developments. During that period, the Judicial Academy EMA was revived and graduated two promotions of new judges, yet it took several years for those magistrates to be placed in the system.
Recurrent labor strife and work stoppages by judges and clerks — due to chronic underfunding and new budget freezes — also led to an historic low in the number of persons tried in — and undermined the implementation of Plan Themis, which aimed to reduce the number of persons in prolonged detention RNDDH a: Despite wide recognition that judicial reform is also required to consolidate progress towards 2GSSR, in practice there has been little movement in Haiti on this crucial link in the rule of law chain. Compared to the HNP, there is limited high-level agency for reform inside the justice system, although there are reformers scattered throughout the system.
As UN officials working on justice have observed, there has also been much less international investment financial and political in justice reform over the past decade.
Until these internal and external dynamics change, the prospects for transformative 2GSSR will remain limited. Burt documents how, despite opposition from the UN, the US and Canada, the Haitian state has asserted its sovereignty by reinstating the army in recent years.
In , the Martelly government recreated the Ministry of Defense. In , personnel were recruited to form an engineering corps that received training from Ecuador and Brazil. Recent developments have stoked these controversies. Clearly, that would require budget increases far superior to those the ministry has received to date.
I take note of the steps undertaken by the Government of Haiti to re-establish the Armed Forces, just as I have heard the voices of caution and concern raised by Haitian stakeholders…It is important that the process become a unifying national project, dissociated from personal or party politics, in order to meet the challenge of creating an apolitical body, as envisaged in the Constitution…Such an initiative should not harm efforts, or redirect resources otherwise available, to strengthen the national police or to pursue broader development priorities.
UNSG b: Given the current political and economic crises in Haiti and partner country Brazil, the continued commitment to developing and expanding the army is uncertain. Recent experience, however, seems to indicate their agency and intention towards the further expansion of the armed forces. As in other domains of social life in Haiti, the economy has registered some advances and many challenges since the devastating earthquake in After a period of macroeconomic recovery, GDP growth slowed to 1.
Economists attribute this to decreased international assistance, the election-related crisis from mid to early , as well as the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in October IDB Global and national factors also converged to generate a 14 per cent inflation rate by , adding fuel to the fire of social protests linked to the electoral crisis Focus Economics Deeper problems undergirded those conflicts.
They included the persistence of extreme poverty among 24 per cent of the population and of poverty among 59 per cent of the population World Bank , as well as of dramatic inequalities: in , Haiti had a Gini coefficient of 0. The macroeconomic slowdown aggravated a stringent fiscal situation, prompting budget cuts beginning in They are hoped that the removal of fuel subsidies and the increase of value-added and public service taxes in mid — as part of an agreement with the IMF — would unlock increased budget support funding from international partners Focus Economics Yet, as pro-government Senator Youri Latortue warned at the opening of the new legislative session in January , frustrations and discontent are more and more audible across the country AlterPresse a.
When the Ministry of Finance announced a 38 to 50 per cent hike in fuel prices on July 6, riots exploded in the capital and other cities, until the government rescinded its decision the next day AlterPresse b. If the government reinstates those measures to honor its agreement with the IMF, it will probably drive recurrent social protest and political instability. The government may instruct the National Police to control those protests, further pressuring the HNP to deliver security services within a very restrained fiscal context. These factors combine to provide an environment that may not be conducive to 2GSSR in Haiti in the near future.
This article provides support for some of the concerns expressed by Rehmonco. It underscores the risk that a strengthened HNP could become the guarantor of an unjust political and economic order. Second, we have seen how different Haitian actors have used that space to advance their own interests. CSOs are also pushing for reforms in the justice system, yet they lack the power or support of politicians and magistrates at the apex of the system. What does that mix of change and continuity imply for the debate on 2GSSR? In sum, it suggests that while it is too early to pronounce the consolidation of 2GSSR in Haiti, it is also too soon to pronounce its death.
Yet even there, second-generation reforms coexist with a tendency to privilege a tough-on-crime and social protest approach while treating accountability, community policing and gender equality as public relations exercises. It confirms the view of 2GSSR optimists that there is margin for maneuver, for reformers and even for actors pursuing transformative changes, in relatively enabling contexts like Haiti, Sierra Leone and Timor Leste, where there is no war and where liberal democratic politics endure — at least formally.
In those contexts, what seems to exist in practice are variants of the biopolitical control strategies evoked by Duffield Much remains to be researched with regard to SSR across the spectrum of situations from relatively permissive contexts like Haiti to much more restrictive contexts like Syria. In Haiti, there is a need for continued research on dynamics within the HNP, as well as between the police and other key actors — from the executive and key members of parliament, to the justice system, the army and the private sector.
Our fieldwork in the North, Northeast and South departments underlined the importance of studying such dynamics beyond Port-au-Prince. Updated polling of public opinion on these issues would complement deeper field research on micro-social dynamics. At the global level, there is also a need for grounded, comparative research on a variety of cases. To foster knowledge accumulation, it would be useful for case studies to engage with the critical institutional framework used in this paper. Where theorizing is less valued, it would be helpful to at least situate case studies on the spectrum of permissive to restrictive environments as well as of conservative to transformative SRR outcomes.
It would be useful to more systematically compare the forms of 2GSSR emerging in different environments and to revisit the f actors that explain varied SSR outcomes. Such grounded research and systematic comparison may sharpen our collective understanding of what kind of 2GSSR is possible or not is distinct fragile and conflict-affected states and situations. Ball, N and Van de Goor, L. The challenges of supporting effective security and justice development programming.
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Smoldering Embers: Long and Unending Wait for Justice for the Disappeared in Panjab: 2
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