The Importance of Reforming Haiti’s Social Sector Policies
While States are free to regulate the registration and oversight of organizations, the right to associate freely without interference requires that a State ensure that those legal requirements not impede, delay, or limit the creation or functioning of these organizations.
- That of the law of September 19, 1953, modified the law of July 23, 1934, on Foundations;
- The Act of September 12, 1961, on the Labor Code, amended by the Decree of February 14, 1984, regulating the operation of trade unions;
- The Decree of April 2, 1981, governing the organization of cooperatives and the different forms of associations having the cooperative society as its basis has not been modified;
- The Decree of September 14, 1989, amending the Decree of December 13, 1982, regulating the establishment and operation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for development aid; The law of June 10, 1985, and the Decree of July 30, 1986, regulating the functioning of political parties.
- Grassroots Community Organizations (CBOs), the largest civil society organizations (CSOs), have no specific legal status in Haiti.
For a law to be considered for reforming, a Senator needs to address it to Parlament.
The legitimate role of nonprofits activities could contribute to a more favorable environment for the full exercise of freedom of association. In addition to facilitating the registration of organizations, freedom of association includes the right to set into motion their internal structure, activities, and program, without any intervention by the public authorities that could limit or impair the exercise of the respective right.
In any society, an organization needs to be “formal” thus the procedure to obtain legality needs a Special Rapporteur to consider the best practice procedures which are simple, non-onerous or even free of charge and expeditious. Countries like Japan and the United States, make it easy for an application to be filled online. Countries, such as Bulgaria, the application process is free of charge. The process to register in Haiti is rigorous and is not something you can complete online.
The term nonprofit has significantly changed over the past two decades, and Haiti’s social sector is still behind. The country depends more on aid which is not distributed correctly. International nonprofit organizations are rapidly growing, making it harder for local organizations to compete.
A face-to-face conversation between the sector and the state has not been established. However, as of 2017, there is the “Nonprofit & NGO Summit” which invites nonprofits and one (1) municipality to discuss “Nonprofit.” Nevertheless, there aren’t any sustainable changes within the government, and they don’t hold public hearings before issuing rulings regarding any case that might affect the lives of the citizenry in general. The government does not have a program that permits nonprofits to propose bills that will affect them.
To reform its policies for the social sector is acknowledging that what we currently have in place needs to adapt to the changes in this sector as well as accommodating to the advancement of technology to better grow with this sector.