Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) applauded the Senate passage of the House companion to their legislation, the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act (S. 1104). 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. Department of State to report on human rights abuses that have taken place in Haiti and the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Further, the bill supports the efforts of the Haitian Government to identify persons involved in human rights violations and significant acts of corruption in Haiti and hold them accountable for their actions.
 
Amended after the assassination of Moïse in July as well as the August earthquake and tropical storm, all of which exacerbated long-term challenges facing Haiti, the bill would measure the progress of post-disaster recovery and efforts to address corruption, governance, rule of law and media freedoms. 
 
The bill was first introduced in April, passed by the House in June, and advanced in October by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives.
 
Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues. 
 
“For far too long, the Haitian people have endured the hardships of corruption, criminal gangs, civil unrest, and devastating natural disasters,” Rubio said. “As we begin a new year, the U.S. Senate is sending an important message of support to the Haitian people with the passage of our bipartisan Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act. A more secure and prosperous Haiti benefits not just the Haitian people, but also our entire hemisphere. With the Senate’s passage of this important bill, we are one step closer to making it law.”
 
“The Haitian people continue to face a long list of struggles in their daily lives, as disasters and tragedies mount,” Cardin said. “We are greatly concerned that a Haitian government that is both unstable and corrupt will allow or enable additional human rights abuses. UNICEF has reported that 1.6 million people in Haiti, including 800,000 children, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The United States must act with urgency to help our Haitian neighbors emerge from this ongoing crisis.”