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Journal Article

Citation

Gibbons E, Garfield R. Am. J. Public Health 1999; 89(10): 1499-1504.

Affiliation

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), New York, NY, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1999, American Public Health Association)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

10511830

PMCID

PMC1508819

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This report examines the impact of an economic embargo from 1991 to 1994 on health, well-being, and human rights in Haiti. METHODS: Data from surveillance systems for nutrition, reportable diseases, and hospital diagnoses were combined with survey data and interviews with affected women, governmental representatives, diplomats, and staff of nongovernmental organizations. RESULTS: Changes included declining income, rising unemployment, poorer nutrition, declining infant mortality, rising mortality among 1- to 4-year-olds, decreased attention to children's well-being and education, and family breakdown. Survival strategies among poor Haitians included changed dietary habits, informal-sector economic activity, moving in with relatives, selling domestic goods, increased informal unions among couples, decreased school attendance, and indentured servitude among children. CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of economic sanctions in Haiti resulted in extensive violations of rights; the impact was greatest on the most disadvantaged Haitians. Many Haitian and international supporters of democracy were unaware of the extensive negative impact that sanctions could have. The impact continues now, 5 years after sanctions ended. Modified policies reduced some of the burden of sanctions, and international assistance prevented what otherwise might have become a humanitarian disaster during sanctions.


Language: en

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