Advocacy, Fragile Settings, Americas

Statement on the Escalating Violence and Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti 

7 March 2024

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is deeply concerned about the recent surge in violence in Haiti, which has and will continue to have devastating consequences, particularly for women and children. We have been in contact and stand in solidarity with our member association, the Association des Sages-femmes d’Haiti (ASFH), and all of those affected by the violence, but especially with girls, women, newborns and young children.

Together with our global community of midwives, ICM urges for an end to the violence in Haiti, the restoration of crucial infrastructure and the safeguarding and support of healthcare workers, facilities and educational institutions. It is critical that health services, including reproductive health services, be safeguarded. In addition to health facilities, we are concerned about with the targeting of educational institutions, including midwifery schools. All students, including midwifery students, have the right to get an education without the fear of violence.

The escalating violence in Haiti is worsening the already difficult health situation in the country, already weary after decades of conflict, natural disasters and other crises. Recent attacks on hospitals and challenges in accessing medical supplies further exacerbate the violence, hindering midwives from doing their work, threatening access to essential sexual and reproductive health services, leaving women and newborns without vital care during pregnancy, birth, and postnatal periods.

ICM calls on all involved parties to prioritise human rights and work towards peace. We urge authorities to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, including refugees fleeing violence. Safeguarding access to essential healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive health services, is crucial to prevent further harm and build a healthy, prosperous, peaceful future for Haiti.

ICM stands with ASFH and all midwives in the region and emphasises the importance of upholding the rights and well-being of women, newborns, and children under all circumstances. We call for midwives and governments globally to show solidarity and support for the people of Haiti, and call for peace.

*Photo used with permission of Patrice Noel