A Lack of Law and Order: BU Law students provide relief services in Haiti

In the short time span between the end of exams and graduation, Jonathan Glick, along with two other [...]law students, Joel Schmidt and Marc Aspis, traveled to Haiti to spend a week providing medical and relief work to victims of the earthquake.

A former ski patroller, Glick had some basic medial training but found Haiti to be different than anything he'd ever experienced before because of the scale of the devastation and the amount of aid required. He found it sobering to see what a lack of law and order can do to a society.

According to Glick, his expereinces in Haiti had a significant impact on him. Enough to make him reconsider what he wants to do with his future.

- audio and production by Casey Atkins

Related story, BU Today, "Serving Street Medicine with a Smile: LAW students volunteer for week in Haiti" http://www.bu.edu/today/node/11296

www.bu.edu/law

Tags: law, haiti, ngo

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Posted by james82 (1)

Haiti’s biggest problem is education. A country is as prosperous as its educational system. I try to convince myself that the Haitian government is unaware of the high literacy rates in the country. When I left Haiti in 1996 I was 12 years old. Although I could read and write; I didn’t know anything about the history of the country until I checked out a book from UMBC’s library. Only seven presidents out of forty-five served their full term in office since 1804. The rest were either overthrown or assassinated. The song speaks the truth, “If I was president, I'd get elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, and buried on Sunday.” It is a model that most Haitians are accustomed to, and it is one of the reasons they are so quick to overthrow an elected president rather than going through the electoral process. If the UN peacekeepers were to leave Haiti, they would have overthrown the current president, Rene Preval a long time ago. The corrupt politicians and the Haitians elite do not want change in Haiti because their family is doing well and they like being worshiped by the poor. They do not want outsiders like Wyclef and others to come in to shake things up. I was surprised to learn that Haiti was following the “constitution” when Wyclef made his bid for the Haitian presidency. Hopefully, they would continue to follow that constitution because it is asked for Haiti to have a standing Army rather than security guard with guns protecting the country. If I were the president or prime minister this is what I would do:

1) Fix the Haitian educational system by appointing a minister of education to make sure kids are in school. I would ban the ideological concept of making school for profit. They would have to meet the government standard, or would be shut down. Teachers would have to be licensed and take a government test.


2) End the UN mission in Haiti once and for all. Rather, I would ask the UN and the international community to send agricultural scientist in Haiti to help show the Haitian peasants how to harvest and export goods.

3) A standing Army of 150,000 men and women ages 21 to 35. Their primary mission would be to help rebuild the country.

4) Put enforcement on the Haitian border. I would not station troops there because it is silly, I would have special enforcer from the police force station at the border to enter every car that is entering the country into a database. Cars would be stopped at random to interrogate anyone to see whether children are been trafficking into Dominican Republic.

5) I would appoint ten governors and send each one to the 10 departments to represent the Haitian government. If any mayor wants to have a word with the president, he would have to go to his governor, and made a request. The governor would try to reach the prime minister, and the prime minister would set up a conference call with the president.

6) The Haitian police force needs to be rebuilt. Police officers would be rotated throughout the country for two years. They would not be allowed to serve in the Haitian military once they become a police officer or vise versa. There need to be a separation between these two forces: One is to adhere and enforce the law while the other is there when it is called by the president to maintain law and order.

7) I would ask the world court to serve warrant to Jean Claude Duvalier and Raoul Cedras to face the Haitian legal system. It would no longer be tolerated that any president or generals would do whatever he pleases and then flee the country.

8) Revised the constitution and have the people vote on it.
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