We engaged representatives of these institutions in our interviews, pressing them in the questions to find out: what they outlined their role in the camps to be, why they were not acting to stop the forced evictions, whether they were implicitly facilitating the forced evictions, and what they felt would be the right solution to the problem. Sometimes mayors were forcing IDPs out of camps on public land and other times the same threatening of and actually enforcing a forcible removal concerned private land, in many cases involving the Catholic church as the private landowner.
We left Haiti, and forced evictions are of course still happening. They continue to happen, despite the Inter American Commission on Human Rights granting a petition for precautionary measures declaring a moratorium on forced evictions. Individuals are forced to live fear of the day when the incessant verbal threats of violent and forcible removal will be realized. We were however encouraged by the story told by one of the ministries that the individual leaders from an IDP camp brought forward a copy of this petition when the landowner tried to evict them. The presentation of the petition lead to opening a negotiation between the landowner facilitated by the ministry and other international actors. IDP camp leadership asserted their rights and somebody listened. Small scale encouragement shows that the work can make a change. It is just that this change needs to happen in not just one case, but every case.
What we can do, is collect our documented findings and move closer toward working to develop solutions and submit recommendations to suggest more coordination and institutional changes based on what each actor's mandate actually is. We can work to find a better solution to minimize the problems and decrease the number of cases of forcible eviction. We can make progress in addressing this old problem, while acknowledging that new problems will surface in the future.
Haiti's problems will not be solved over night, but they will be bit by bit.