ALTERNATIVE CHANCE/CHANS ALTENATIV
Haiti-based, Alternative Chance is a self-help, peer counseling program founded in 1996 that provides limited services and advocacy on behalf of Haitians who were in conflict with the law prior to deportation, while incarcerated upon their deportation to Haiti, and during their integration into Haitian society.
We continue to be a resource and support for Criminal Deportees in Haiti, & those facing criminal deportation, their families, legal services, law clinics, immigration attorneys, human rights & immigration rights organizations, policy groups, universities, media, Haitian & international agencies, not for profits and community groups, as well as to brief governments on the reality on the ground in Haiti for criminal deportees.
Alternative Chance Co-Authors report to the United Nations on Justice Sector Challenges in Haiti
LINK TO UPR SUBMISSION IN ENGLISH
From Michelle Karshan, Executive Director - July 30, 2021
Justice Sector Challenges in Haiti (UPR Submission to United Nations)
Alternative Chance / Chans Altenativ contributed a section (C. Escalating Pretrial Detention and Poor Prison Conditions) to a report to the United Nations for their upcoming Universal Periodic Review of human rights issues in Haiti. Despite the report having strict limits on its number of words, I was able to highlight some of the key detention issues in Haiti as well the withholding of medications from criminal deportees when they were detained in quarantine upon arrival. I also advocated for the rights of criminal deportees to have access to their own medical files that are transferred by ICE for their use. I made some recommendations for improvement in the section at the end. In my footnotes #191 through #215, I elaborate on some of the issues.
IJDH wrote, “The UPR report for justice sector challenges was submitted by the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Chans Altenativ, and the Reseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH), and endorsed by Project Blueprint. The report focuses on the ongoing challenges in the justice sector such as chronic impunity and the lack of an independent justice sector; lack of fair independent and effective trials; and escalating pretrial detention and poor prison conditions. Since the last UPR review in 2016, Haiti has regressed in regards to their human rights obligations to the justice sector.”
Click on link above to access report in English
Alternative Chance kicks off campaign for the rights of children to visit their imprisoned parent in Haiti's prisons.
Spring 2015 - Recognizing Haiti's current policy as a human, children's and prisoners' rights issue, as well as a public health concern, Alternative Chance kicks off campaign in Haiti on the rights of children to visit their parent in prison. At least seventy-five percent of all prisoners in Haiti’s national prison system are pre-trial and typically wait three to seven years for their case to be adjudicated. Even if they are convicted, they will still remain in prison with no contact with their children either through visitation or telephone calls. For more information or to partner with Alternative Chance on this important campaign, please contact Michelle Karshan, Executive Director of Alternative Chance at AlternativeChance@gmail.com
In 2015 Alternative Chance Conducted Wrongful Deportation Screenings in Haiti for Boston College Law Schools Post Deportation Human Rights Project
Alternative Chance collaborates on major report on conditions of Criminal Deportees in Haiti
Michelle Karshan, the Executive Director of Alternative Chance/Chans Altenativ, sits on the Advisory Board of the Boston College Law School Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (PDHRP). Karshan has been advocating for post-deportation relief for 19 years. PDHRP is the pioneering program challenging wrongful deportations after someone is deported asked Alternative Chance to conduct screenings for wrongful criminal deportation to Haiti. From February 2015 through end of July 2015, Alternative Chance conducted free screenings. Once the screening was complete, we forwarded it to the Boston College Law School PDHRP for review. Many thanks to Haiti’s Office of Citizen Protection for providing space at their office for this effort.
Alternative Chance/Chans Altenativ, a co-collaborator on recent report, AFTERSHOCKS: The Human Impact of U.S. Deportations to Post-Earthquake Haiti (Feb 2015), by University of Miami School of Law Immigration and Human Rights Clinics, and the University of Chicago Law School International Human Rights Clinic, with co-collaborators Alternative Chance, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Haitian Women of Miami (FANM) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).
See press release with quote from Alternative Chances Executive Director, Michelle Karshan
A self-help, peer counseling and advocacy program for Haitian criminal deportees
December 2014 -- Alternative Chance fought for years for the Haitian government to stop its illegal and life-threatening detention of criminal deportees arriving in Haiti. And more recently, as a Co-Petitioner to a Precautionary Measures Petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2011, we brought to light the inhumanity and illegalities of such a practice made even more deadly while Haiti’s cholera epidemic has taken lives of many detainees in Haiti including a criminal deportee within days of being deported. We also highlighted the vulnerability of the mentally ill and those suffering from serious medical conditions.
Today, the Haitian government does not generally detain criminal deportees overnight upon arrival but continues to detain some criminal deportees without due process, and in violation of Haitian and international laws. Unfortunately, we believe any suspension of detention of criminal deportees upon arrival is temporary.
Further, criminal deportees continue to be targeted by the Haitian government and its police once they are in the community and are targeted for arrest, detention in police stations or in the national prison system. Criminal deportees continue to be subjected to torture, executions and mob violence.
For further information: email Michelle Karshan at AlternativeChance@gmail.com
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A Guide to Returning to the United States After Deportation: A Guide to Assess Your Eligibility (2014)
Haiti: IACHR - Haitian Removals SYNOPSIS and attachments
The Precautionary Measures Petition filed at the IACHR of the OAS
Deportation 101: A Community Resource on Anti-Deportation Education and Organizing
The IACHR decision
Continue to suspend deportation to Haiti, by Michelle Karshan, Sun-Sentinel, January 19, 2011
Alternative Chance, together with Five other Civil and Human Rights Groups, File Emergency Human Rights Petition To Stop Imminent Deportations To Haiti: Earthquake, Cholera And Violence Is Death Sentence