Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) applauded the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ passage of their bipartisan Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act (S.1104). First introduced in April, the bill prioritizes the protection of human rights and anti-corruption efforts in Haiti by fostering strong relationships with independent civil society groups. The legislation also requires the U.S. State Department to report on human rights abuses that have taken place in Haiti. The bill further supports the efforts of the Haitian government to identify persons involved in human rights violations as well as significant acts of corruption and to hold them accountable for their actions.
Rubio is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
“The people of Haiti continue to confront unimaginable hardships in their desire to keep strong democratic institutions and their quality of life,” Rubio said. “Unfortunately, the country has been plagued by crime, violence, corruption, and has been negatively affected by multiple natural disasters. A secure and stable Haiti not only benefits Haitians on the island, but also America. I welcome the committee’s passage of our bipartisan Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act. We must continue to support Haiti’s democratic process, push for transparency and accountability in the ongoing investigations, as well as help strengthen Haiti’s future.”
“Everyday life for the Haitian people remains a constant struggle as one disaster piled on top of another,” Cardin said. “We are greatly concerned that an unstable Haitian government, rife with corruption, will ignore or even enable further human rights abuses. UNICEF has reported that 1.6 million people, including 800,000 children, in Haiti are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The United States must take a more active role in helping our neighbors emerge from this ongoing crisis.”