The project to combat organised crime and human trafficking in Haiti is analysing unmet needs at the borders
Haiti is the poorest and most unstable country in the Americas. The COVID19 pandemic has had a major impact on the management of the borders with its neighbour, the Dominican Republic. This has led to an increase in organised crime and human trafficking, particularly of vulnerable people, women and minors, for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation .
In this context, the border security project – financed by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP and by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – is analysing the measures required to address these crimes and improve stability and border management. As part of this project that began in September, a fact-finding field mission was carried out at the borders in Elías Piña and Jimaní between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The project is aimed at fighting organised crime in general, focusing particularly on people trafficking between Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the European Union, introducing bold measures at the four borders between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
To address this problem, the FIIAPP and IOM will be carrying out a series of activities to improve the humanitarian situation on the borders between the two countries. These activities include practical training for the institutions involved, accompanied regional operations and visits, and trips to Europe.
During the mission, needs were identified such as improving the intelligence skills of local institutions, human source management, perimeter security, the exchange of information between prosecutors, digitalisation at the border, investigation into trafficking crimes and the care of victims.
The project coordinator and security expert travelled to the borders in Elías Piña and Jimaní to hold interactive workshops with local specialists who work routinely with the people who cross one of the most difficult borders in the region.
In the coming weeks, as well as starting up the first activities, they will continue to analyse unmet needs on the other borders between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with two specialists mobilised from Europe to support the resident team.