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[16days_discussion] Feb 22, 6-8PM @ NYU: Human Rights Law and Gender-based Violence in Haiti

Lisa D ldavis at
Wed Feb 2 18:11:57 EST 2011

*What: **Human Rights Law and Gender-based Violence in Haiti: New Paths
toward Prevention and Accountability*

*Where:* Room 206, Furman Hall (245 Sullivan Street), NYU School of Law

*When:* Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 6-8 PM (followed by a reception)

Please RSVP to ryank at


*Malya Villard-Appolon*, Co-Founder of Haitian Women’s Rights Organization

*Lisa Davis, Esq.*, Human Rights Advocacy Director, MADRE, Adjunct Professor
of Law for the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, CUNY

*Meg Satterthwaite*, Faculty Director, CHRGJ; Associate Professor of
Clinical Law, NYU Global Justice Clinic

*Yifat Susskind*, Executive Director, MADRE

More than 1.5 million people were displaced by the devastating earthquake
that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. Since that time, accounts of
incidents of gender-based violence in camps for internally displaced people
have spiked, causing alarm among camp residents, civil society
organizations, NGOs, and other concerned actors. This violence is taking
place in a context of extreme resource scarcity, lack of security, weak
judicial and security sector capacity, and vulnerability for vast swaths of
the IDP population. These factors are aggravated by what has largely been
viewed as an inadequate response by both the Haitian government and the
international community, complicated by—among other elements—the resumption
of deportations of undocumented Haitians from the US to Haiti and stalled
disbursement of pledged aid by the US government as Haiti undergoes a
significant political transition.

Despite these many obstacles, several groups are fighting against the tide
to document, advocate, and litigate against gender-based violence in Haiti.
This panel discussion brings together representatives from several groups
who are tackling this issue from multiple angles, including through a survey
on the connections between GBV and access to food and water in the camps; a
petition for precautionary measures before the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR) to require that the government of Haiti and the
international community take such immediate action as ensuring security and
installing lighting in the camps; several cases being filed on behalf of
victims within the Haitian judicial system; and extensive efforts at
creating stronger networks for outreach, referral, and protection on the

Please join us in welcoming a distinguished group of panelists who will
discuss both the obstacles and possible avenues to justice for GBV taking
place in the Haitian context today.

*About our Moderator*:

*Lisa Davis, Esq.,* Human Rights Advocacy Director

For over ten years Lisa Davis has worked as an advocate for human rights and
has written extensively on international women's human rights issues,
including on LGBTQ rights and sex worker rights. Lisa currently serves as
the Coordinator for the Lawyers' Earthquake Response Network (LERN) Gender
Working Group. She is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s
International Human Rights Committee and the National Lawyers’ Guild Working
Group on Haiti. Lisa is also an Adjunct Professor at CUNY Law School,
teaching in the International Women's Human Rights Clinic.

*About our Speaker*s:

*Malya Villard-Appolon*, Co-Founder of KOFAVIV

Malya Villard-Appolon is a co-founder and leader of KOFAVIV in Haiti
(Komisyon Fanm Viktim pou Viktim, The Commission of Women Victims for
Victims). Based on her experience as a rape survivor, Malya, along with
Eramithe Delva, set up KOFAVIV to address the medical and psychological
needs of rape survivors in 2005.

After the January 2010 earthquake, the years of Malya's community engagement
allowed her to act quickly, distributing humanitarian aid to the most
vulnerable displaced people. When rapes began to escalate in the camps, she
organized to provide urgent medical services, demand an end to impunity and
rebuild communities.

*Margaret Satterthwaite,* Associate Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School
of Law, Faculty Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice
(CHRGJ) and director of the Global Justice Clinic.

Professor Satterthwaite’s research focuses on economic and social rights,
human rights and counter-terrorism, gender and human rights, and
rights-based approaches to development and emergency. Her connections to
Haiti began when she was hired as an investigator for the Commission de
Verité et de Justice (Haitian Truth and Justice Commission) in 1995. Since
then she has made Haiti a focus of her writing and advocacy. Along with
collaborators from CHRGJ, Zanmi Lasante, Partners In Health, and the RFK
Center for Justice and Human Rights, she co-authored the human rights report
Wòch nan Soley: The Denial of the Right to Water in Haiti (2008) and a
journal article with the same title, published in Health and Human Rights
(2009). She is Chair of the Haiti Advocacy Committee of RFK Memorial Center
for Justice and Human Rights, serves as an Advisory Committee member for the
newly-formed service organization HaitiCorps, and is currently engaged in a
project on gender-based violence and economic and social rights in Haiti.

*Yifat Susskind*, Executive Director, MADRE

At MADRE, Yifat Susskind has worked with women’s human rights activists from
Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East to create programs in their
communities to address violence against women, economic development, climate
change, and armed conflict. Coupling this experience with her extensive
writing on US foreign policy and international issues, Yifat enables
audiences to grasp the real-life impacts of their government’s policies on
women and families around the world, offering people concrete ways to take
positive action. Her critical analysis has appeared in online and print
publications such as, Foreign Policy in Focus, AlterNet, and
been included in books such as The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women. Before
becoming Executive Director of MADRE, Yifat was part of a joint
Israeli-Palestinian human rights organization in Jerusalem, using
journalism, advocacy and political organizing in her work for peace.

Veerle Opgenhaffen

Senior Program Director

Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ)

NYU School of Law

139 MacDougal Street, Room 514

New York, NY 10012

Email: opgenhaffen at

Office: +1-212-992-8186 <tel:+12129928186>

Cell: +1-917-526-1972 <tel:+19175261972>

Fax: +1-212-995-4646 <tel:+12129954646>

Lisa Davis, Esq.
Human Rights Advocacy Director
MADRE: Demanding Rights, Resources & Results for Women Worldwide
121 W. 27th Street, Room 301 - New York, NY 10001
212.627.0444 (p) - 212.675.3704 (f)
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