Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Difficult to help Haitians who want to emigrate

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A man lifts the sheet covering the victim of a shooting in the streets of Pétionville, a district of the capital Port-au-Prince, on Monday March 18, 2024.

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At a time when the crisis is hitting Haiti hard, Ottawa says it is trying to repatriate Haitians eligible for the federal reunification program, but asserts that the situation security complicates things greatly.

There are people who have applied to this envelope and who are eligible to leave, said Federal Minister of Immigration Marc Miller on Wednesday in the corridors of Parliament. The Canadian government prioritizes these people, but there is an increased difficulty in getting them out with what is happening in Haiti.

Under the Family Humanitarian Program for Colombians, Haitians and Venezuelans, which creates another option for migration to Canada, as Justin Trudeau's government wrote on December 30, Ottawa said it was ready to welcome 11,000 people with family in Canada.

Minister Miller thus described the difficulties in getting these people out of Haiti fact that the [Port-au-Prince] airport is closed and the exit route with the Dominican Republic is closed.

Haiti has been the scene of an outbreak of gang violence in recent weeks, as Haitians await the establishment of a presidential transitional council, following the announcement of the resignation of the prime minister contested Ariel Henry.

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People are detained awaiting deportation to Haiti near the border bridge separating the Haitian state from the Dominican Republic. (File photo)

On Wednesday, the UN recalled that Haitians must benefit from refugee protection and not be forcibly returned to their country, where gangs reign in terror.

Faced with this chaotic situation, particularly in the capital Port-au-Prince, and fears of a mass exodus, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has took the lead and refreshed its directives, which must ensure the protection of the most vulnerable Haitians.

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The lives, safety and freedom of Haitians are threatened by a confluence of growing gang violence and human rights violations, Elizabeth Tan, head of UNHCR's international protection division, said in a statement. p>

UNHCR has warned that it is observing a worrying trend of Haitians undertaking dangerous journeys, including setting sail in hazardous conditions .

Amy Pope, director of the UN International Organization for Migration, expressed similar concerns this week in an interview with Agence France-Presse. We are working with the governments of the Caribbean and the United States to monitor the movement of people and be prepared to respond if there is an increase in travel, she said.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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