INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE HAITIAN DIASPORA

2nd ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE HAITIAN DIASPORA
TRUMP INTERNATIONAL BEACH RESORTS, MIAMI,FLORIDA
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6th – SUNDAY, AUGUST 9th, 2009

Schedule

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6th, 2009

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Exhibits/Vendor/Sponsor Check in – Bay Room
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Sponsor/Vendor/Sponsor Check in – Bay Room
3:00 PM – 10:00 PM Registration – Bay Room
3:00 PM – 10:00 PM Lost and Found – Bay Room
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM VIP Room – Ocean Room
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Sponsor Open – Bay Room
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Registration/Technology Café
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM REGISTRATION – Experts and Community leaders will address the Challenges of the Haitian Diaspora and the Daunting Sustainable Economic Development of Haiti
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM WELCOME, celebrations, get-to-know-you reception.

FRIDAY AUGUST 7 th, 2009

MORNING SESSION – HAITI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ARMS I
7:00 AM – 7:50 Registration, Breakfast, Get to Know You.
7:50 AM – 8:00 AM Invocation
8:00 AM – 8:40 AM The State of the Country
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Panel A1: Boosting Agriculture
Panel B1: Improving Water Management
10:40 AM – 12:00 PM Panel A2: Restoring Forests and Ecology
Panel B2: Education & Health
12:00 PM – 12:50 PM Lunch & Entertainment
AFTERNOON SESSION – HAITI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ARMS II
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Panel A3: Repairing and Extending Infrastructure
Panel B3: Stimulating and Preparing Tourism
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Panel A4: Promoting Artisanal and Ecotourism Industries
Panel B4: Literacy and vocational Training as arms to Sustained Job Creation
4:00 PM – 4:50 PM Diaspora Remittances & sustained development, Solidarity Fund.
EVENING SESSION – BUSINESS IN HAITI
7PM- 10:00 PM ” HAITI IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS”
“Haiti Center for Facilitation of Investments” Reception

SATURDAY AUGUST 8th, 2009

MORNING SESSION – DIASPORA COMMUNITY BUILDING AND EMPOWERMENT I
7:00 AM – 7:50 AM Faith based Breakfast – The Role of The church
8:00 AM – 08:40 AM Roll Call by States or countries and Reports on the 2008 Congress Resolutions
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Panel A5: Diaspora Immersion / Integration / Education / Health
Panel B5: Economic Development & Business
10:40 AM – 12:00 PM Panel A6: Overcoming Immigration & Justice inequalities
Panel B6: Civic Involvement
12:00 PM – 12:50 PM Lunch and Entertainment
AFTERNOON SESSION – ASSISTING DEVELOPMENT IN HAITI
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Panel A7 : Future Leaders Round table (Diaspora & Haiti’s Youth)
Panel B7: Dual National, Diaspora Vote in Haiti’s Elections, Safe Return.
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Diaspora Youth Challenges: Drop outs, violence, gangs, Deportees.
4:00 PM – 4:40 PM Deliberations and closing remarks.
EVENING SESSION
8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Diner Award Gal Celebrations.

SUNDAY AUGUST 9th, 2009

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Government Officials, Donors and Investors’ roundtable
2:00- XX OPTIONAL CRUISES / FESTIVAL
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Haitian Studies Association 2009 Conference

The Haitian Studies Association’s 2009 conference is scheduled for November 12-14 , 2009 on the beautiful campus of Indiana University  (Bloomington, Indiana ). The present theme is as follows

New Ecologies: Actualizing Global Contributions and Development in Haiti 

Call for Papers:  Click here to download English version!
Cliquez ici pour lécharger la version française!

 

 

EXTENDED DEADLINE for submission of proposals:
JUNE 30, 2009
 

Clinton vows to help Haitians chart destiny

Thursday, June 18, 2009 5:19 AM
From:
“Bob Corbett” <corbetre@webster.edu>

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From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Posted on Tue, Jun. 16, 2009
Clinton vows to help Haitians chart destiny
BY JACQUELINE CHARLES
jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

Haiti’s newest envoy made his first pitch on behalf of the impoverished Carribbean nation Monday, outlining an ambitious list of priorities he plans to tackle on behalf of the United Nations.

”I’ll do my best. It’s a formidable task,” former President Bill Clinton said at a U.N. news conference in New York alongside U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Haitian Foreign Minister Alrich Nicolas. “This is the best chance that Haitians have ever had.”

Clinton did not say when he will make his first visit to Haiti as U.N. special envoy but his focus comes as Haitian President René Préval tries to avert yet another political crisis.

A decision last month by Haiti’s parliament to raise the country’s minimum wage from $1.70 to $4.90 a day has triggered weeks of protests by a group that characterizes itself as state university students.

Last week, as Préval attempted to negotiate a compromise between the country’s leading business owners and lawmakers, protesters erected barricades, burned tires and stoned government and private vehicles around the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. They are demanding that Préval sign the legislation — or face whatever comes.

Protesters even attacked Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis’ student-oriented nongovernmental organization in Port-au-Prince. At least two dozen people have been arrested so far, and police say most are not students.

The issue has become a political football for Préval’s opponents, raising suspicions among foreign diplomats and others that the demonstrations may be less about raising the minimum wage and more an effort to destabilize the government by forcing the resignation of Pierre-Louis, Préval or both.

A study by Haiti’s garment industry argues that the wage increase would immediately cost the country’s ailing assembly industry 14,000 jobs and kill any chances of Haiti benefiting from the U.S. Congress-approved HOPE II legislation that Clinton, Ban and others have been championing as a way to create desperately needed jobs. The legislation, which already has created 11,000 new jobs, gives Haiti duty-free access to the U.S. textile market for woven and knit clothing made in Haiti using fabrics from countries outside the Western Hemisphere.

”This proposal as is would be the death of HOPE,” Georges Sassine, Haiti’s point man on the legislation said Monday soon after leaving another round of negotiations with Préval at the presidential palace.

CLINTON’S AGENDA

Clinton did not address the controversy at his news conference, instead focusing on outlining his goals in the coming months as a special envoy reporting to the U.N. secretary general. He does not intend to personally staff the Haiti office nor involve himself in the U.N.’s or Haiti’s day-to-day operations.

”We will continue to elevate awareness of both the pain and the promise of Haiti in the international community and that there are real genuine economic opportunities there,” he said, dismissing reports in the Haitian media that his $1-a-year job was part of an imperialistic plot to take over Haiti.

“All I want to do is help the Haitians take over control of their own destiny. That’s all I have ever wanted for Haiti. That’s all the secretary general wants.”

To help accomplish this, Clinton said he plans on helping the hurricane-ravaged nation rebuild by attracting private investors and alternative energy sources, encouraging better coordination among thousands of nongovernmental organizations already working on the ground, and getting the international community to ante up the $353 million in pledges it promised at April’s donors conference in Washington.

”We want to encourage the donors to honor the commitments they have already made at the donor’s conference,” Clinton said.
But getting donors to ante up their pledges may be the least of the former president’s or Haiti’s challenges.
”The current upheaval shows how much resentment toward the Préval government still lingers below the surface, driven by the government’s inability to resolve the pressing economic distress facing the country,” said Daniel Erikson, a Caribbean expert with the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

”No one can doubt Bill Clinton‘s ability to mobilize the attention and resources of the international community on behalf of Haiti. The question is whether he can somehow help to create an environment where the Haitians themselves can work together to effect positive change in their country,” he added.
“On the basis of the current upheaval, this is a monumental, and perhaps impossible, task.”

WAGE ISSUES

Observers say while Préval believes Haitians need to make a livable wage, he is concerned about how the minimum-wage increase will take away Haiti’s competitive edge as it tries to lure textile companies to its shores.

In hopes of reaching a compromise, Préval has spent the past week leading all-day negotiations. On Monday, some business leaders said he had come up with a plan that would give an immediate boost to garment workers by raising entry level pay to $2.40 a day with room to earn more for top producers. All other industries would get the $4.90 minimum wage.

But two lawmakers pushing the increase — Deputy Steven Benoit of the lower house, and Senate President Kely Bastien — both told The Miami Herald that after three days of meetings with Préval the issue still is not settled. ”There is no compromise. We are still waiting on the president to send his proposal,” Benoit said.

Special correspondent Stewart Stogel contributed to this report from the United Nations.

© 2009 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

UN report puts pressure on Canada to end Haitian slavery

34557: Durban (pub): UN report puts pressure on Canada to end Haitian slavery (fwd)

Friday, June 12, 2009 7:28 AM
From:
“Bob Corbett” <corbetre@webster.edu>

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Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com> posts this item found online…

UN report puts pressure on Canada to end Haitian slavery

By Steven Edwards, Canwest News Service
June 10, 2009

UNITED NATIONS — The chief United Nations investigator on slavery signalled Wednesday that Haiti — the only nation born of a slave revolt — has entrenched child enslavement through its long-denounced “restavek” system.

The finding by Gulnara Shahinian after she toured the Caribbean nation raises pressure on Canada and other major aid donors to the country to focus more on eliminating the blight.

Named for the Haitian francophone Creole term meaning “stay with,” the system is supposed give parents unable to care for their children an opportunity to send them to more affluent relatives or strangers in urban areas. There, the children would receive food, shelter and education in exchange for “light” housework.

But Shahinian said the practice subjects children to multiple forms of abuse, including economic exploitation, sexual violence and corporal punishment. Hours of work typically run from early in the morning until the last adult in the home goes to bed at night, witnesses have said.

While family-to-family placements have long occurred, paid recruiters now scour the country looking for children to traffic both within and outside Haiti, Shahinian found.

The majority of the demand has also shifted in recent years from wealthy families to poor ones, she reports.

“This practice is a severe violation of the most fundamental rights of the child,” said Shahinian, an Armenian national.

“(It) reinforces a vicious cycle of violence. It should be stopped immediately.”

The International Labour Organization estimates that 300,000 children work as restaveks in Haiti, population eight million.

Shahinian reports children are delivered to work for urban families “as child slaves in domestic work and outside the home in markets.”

A UN summary of her visit says witnesses gave her “various accounts” of the practice as she visited the capital, Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes in the southwest, and Ouanaminthe on the northern part of the border with the Dominican Republic.

She “expressed deep concern,” says the summary. “She considers it to be a modern form of slavery.”

As part of the $555 million in Canadian aid to Haiti over five years, the Canadian International Development Agency has provided millions of dollars to cover school fees and lunches for thousands of Haitian youngsters from impoverished backgrounds.

But Shahinian said more needs to be done to give poor families the means to keep their children and send them to school.

“The issue should be put urgently on the highest priority agenda of the (Haitian) government and the international community,” said the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

Haiti is Canada’s biggest overseas aid focus after Afghanistan.

“The agency is aware of the restavek problem, and we’re investing in a wide range of programs that we believe will attack it and other ills in Haiti,” said Jean-Luc Benoit, spokesman for International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda.

Shahinian acknowledged that decades of political instability and a series of recent natural disasters “have further deepened poverty and enhanced human insecurity” in Haiti, the western hemisphere’s poorest country.

She also noted the Haitian government had taken some steps to try to protect the rights of restavek children, despite being cash-strapped.

But a law stating employers must pay people from age 15 for work has often resulted in restaveks being thrown onto the streets at that age.

Among a series of recommendations, Shahinian called on the Haitian government to place greater administrative focus on “vulnerable children.”

She also called on the government to ensure “compulsory and free primary education,” and to help children in rural areas gain better access to schools.

Edwidge Danticat Wins Nicolas Guillen Prize

 Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:33:33 -0700
Subject: Nicolas Guillen Prize
From: caribphil2@gmail.com
To: caribphil2@gmail.com

Dear CPA members and friends,

I am delighted to inform you that the winner of the 2009 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Nicolás Guillén Prize is Edwidge Danticat.  Danticat is a prominent writer who was born in Haiti and came to the United States when she was twelve.    She earned a degree in French literature from Barnard College, and an MFA from Brown University.  Her works include Breath, Eyes, Memory, Krik? Krak!, and Dew Breaker, among others.  She has won several prizes for her work including the American Book Award for The Farming of the Bones.  And her 2007 Brother, I’m Dying was a finalist for the National Book Award.  We hope to count with her presence in Miami!

 

Here is a link: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/vg/Bios/entries/danticat_edwidge.html

 

Sincerely,

 

Nelson Maldonado-Torres

CPA President