지난 1월 12일 발생한 지진으로 아이티(Haiti)의 사회기반이 붕괴되면서 경찰의 법 집행 능력과 사법제도가 거의 무용지물이 됐다.
이에 국제앰네스티는 유엔 측의 빠르고 결단력 있는 구호 지원 결정에 경의를 표하면서, 생존자들 중에서도 범죄에 취약한 계층의 인권을 보호하는데 힘써 줄 것을 당부했다.
아이티는 성폭력 관련 범죄율이 지독히 높은 국가이다. 이번 지진 사태로 부모를 잃은 어린이들 중에서도, 여자 아이들은 성폭력의 위험에 특히 더 노출될 수 밖에 없다.
국제앰네스티 헤라르도 뒤코(Gerardo Ducos) 아이티 조사관은 “현재 아이티의 무법적인 상황은 여성과 어린이를 범죄에 더 취약하게 만들어, 들키지도 않고, 처벌도 받은 채 강간∙성폭력과 같은 인권 유린과 범죄들 발생에는 완벽한 환경을 조성한다.”라고 지적했다.
현재 아이티에서는 생존자들에게 구호 물자를 제공하는 것만큼이나 국민을 성폭력으로부터 보호하는 일이 중요한 상황이다.
Protection of human rights must accompany relief efforts in Haiti
Amnesty International called on the United Nations to put in place measures for the protection of human rights and the most vulnerable among the survivors of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.
Amnesty International saluted the speedy and courageous efforts of UN, relief and development workers in Haiti and around the world assisting with humanitarian efforts to save lives, clear the devastation and restore basic services and the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
The organization also asked for particular attention to be provided to ensuring respect for human rights and protection of children and those left orphans as a consequence of the earthquake. Girls in particular are at higher risk of sexual abuse and attack.
“The current situation of lawlessness in Haiti and the increased vulnerability of women and children creates the perfect environment for human rights abuses and crimes such as rape and sexual abuse to take place undetected and go unpunished,” said Gerardo Ducos, Haiti researcher at Amnesty International.
“Protecting vulnerable groups from sexual violence is as important as providing them with relief.”
Amnesty International made the call as thousands of Haitians are feared dead after a 7.1 earthquake struck the country on Tuesday. Thousands of people are still unaccounted for and survivors await relief efforts from international donors to provide them with access to drinkable water, food and medical care.
In the wake of the disaster, the law enforcement capacity of the Haitian National Police and the justice system are severely compromised as most of its infrastructure has collapsed and many officials remain unaccounted for.
Amnesty International has previously documented shocking levels of sexual violence against women and girls across the country.
“Before the devastating earthquake, Haiti was unable to effectively protect human rights and in particular, women and girls from sexual violence. Unless action is taken now while relief efforts are ongoing, the situation is only likely to deteriorate,” said Gerardo Ducos.
Amnesty International conveys its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims and a message of solidarity to the Haitian people.