A multi-party, semi-presidential republic, the island of Haiti gained independence in 1804, making it the first modern independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory

Constitution and government

The Haitian constitution and other laws and policies generally protect and, at the same time, respect religious freedom. However, there were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

Religious privileges

Despite Roman Catholicism’s status as the official religion in the country coming to an end with the adoption of the 1987 constitution, an 1860 concordat between the Holy See and the state is still in place, and Catholicism retains traditional authority socially, as well as privileges from the state. The Haitian government confers monetary assistance to Catholic priests, bishops and archbishops.

Education and children’s rights

The government provides financial support to some Catholic schools in the country. This assistance is not available to other religious groups.

Organised missionary groups and missionaries who identify with a broad range of religious groups operate privately-funded schools and orphanages (as well as clinics and hospitals.)

Family, community and society

The Islamic community and Voudou (Voodoo) practitioners in Haiti are prevented from acquiescing legal recognition with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religious Denominations (MFA).

Muslims married in a religious ceremony are restricted from receiving the same government recognition afforded to Christian marriages and can only acquire government recognition through a civil court.

LGBT rights

Although there were no laws criminalizing the changing of one’s gender or sex, local attitudes in Haiti remain unfriendly to openly LGBT identification and expression. Despite an ever burgeoning advocacy and activism by sexual minorities and human rights groups in the country, LGBT individuals still experienced a particularly high degree of hostility from more conservative areas of society, including government officials. Religious and other conservative groups in Haiti have actively prohibited the social integration of LGBT individuals. Parliamentarians in the country have publicly declared that they would not and should not acknowledge any particular type of LGBT rights legislation, including marriage equality.

Furthermore, religious groups in Haiti protested against marriage equality in 2013 and reportedly threatened to burn down parliament.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

The law in Haiti typically affords freedom of speech and press, and, in practice, the government generally respected these rights. The independent media were active and free to express a wide variety of views. However, there were allegations of officials and security agents bothering and even causing threat to some journalists who criticised the government.

Support our work

Donate Button with Credit Cards
whois: Andy White WordPress Theme Developer London