The General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, at its 17th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam:

Having considered the historic crime of slavery committed against the people of Haiti by France and the illegal exploitation by the imperial powers of France, Spain and England of the people and natural resources of Haiti over a period of two centuries;

Considering further that, following the successful struggle of the people of Haiti for independence from France in 1804, France demanded the exorbitant sum of ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION (150,000,000) gold standard francs to compensate the former settlers for recognition of the independence of Haiti;

Recalling that the government of Italy recently made a formal apology to Libya and paid over five billion US Dollars in damages and interest to the government of Libya in compensation for decades of colonisation and exploitation;

Noting that the demand for restitution and compensation of Haiti by France was initiated by President Jean Bertrand Aristide during his second term in April 2003 before his illegal kidnapping by the forces of United States, France and Canada;

Considering that France has recognised slavery as a crime against humanity;

Now therefore, this General Assembly of the IADL:

DEMANDS that the government of France:

1.     Refund its immoral and unjust debt to Haiti with full interest thereon; and

2.     Make payment of reparations to Haiti for slavery as a crime against humanity and as the original source of the social, economic and cultural deprivations suffered by the people of Haiti for over two centuries since that country’s independence.

Download resolution: Haiti and the independence debt.doc (24 KB)


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