Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part One)

How are nonprofits recognized in Haiti? To understand the decree which was written September 14, 1989, for nonprofit organizations, we must dissect the statute. To begin, in 1989 Haiti was under a  Human Rights Watch and Prosper Avril took office. I strongly believe that the decree needs to be reformed due to the fact that this sector has evolved over the past twenty-eight years. Most recently, 257 nonprofits were given noticed to comply with the Haitian government thanks to Article 32 or risk being banned from operating in Haiti. 

We begin by exploring the document found on MPCE’s website. We must also have an understanding of certain articles found in the Haitian Constitution such as Article 8, 53, 56, 78, 136, and 246.

Article 8-The territory of the Haitian Republic comprises:

  1. The western part of the island of Haiti and the adjacent island of La Gonave, La Tortue, I’Ile a Vache, les Cayemittes, La Navase, La Grande Caye and the other islands of the Territorial Sea;
  2. It is bounded on the east by the Dominican Republic, on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south and west by the Caribbean Sea or Sea of the Antilles;
  3. The airspace over the land sea of the Republic.

8-1-The territory of the Haitian Republic is inviolable and may not be alienated either in whole or in part by any treaty or convention.

Article 53-The conditions under which aliens may be admitted to or remain in the country are established by law.

Article 56-An alien may be expelled from the territory of the Republic if he becomes involved in the political life of the country, or in cases determined by law.

Article 78-[Amended by the Constitutional Law of 9 May 2011 / 19 June 2012] Each Department is administered by a council of three (3) members elected for four (4) years by the Departmental Assembly.

Article 136-The President of the Republic, who is the Head of State, shall see to the respect for and enforcement of the Constitution and the stability of the institutions. He shall ensure the regular operations of the public authorities and the continuity of the State.

Article 246 The State encourages in rural and urban areas the formation of cooperatives for production, processing of raw materials and the entrepreneurial spirit to promote the accumulation of national capital to ensure continuous development.

I already predict the anger while embarking on this decree. Again, it has been twenty-eight years since this decree was written for non-governmental organizations. We cannot exclude the fact that this sector consists of various NEEDS from alleviating poverty and child malnutrition to providing education and clean water. The list goes on. This decree excludes the fact that Haiti is still considered as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Natural disasters are their biggest problems apart from government corruption, insecurity, unemployment, and other factors. I find it quite ignorant of MPCE to not modify this decree.

Decree Overview

Chapter 1-Definition and Mission of Non-Governmental Development Assistance Highlights

Article 2

  • Non-Governmental Organizations Development Assistance are domestic and foreign.
  • A national NGO is the one established in Haiti and having its registered office in the country.
  • Is considered foreign NGOs any subsidiary of NGOs based abroad and having its registered office outside the territory of Haiti

Article 4

  • NGOs can form associations or federations to run programs, projects, or activities of common interest.
  • However, associations or federations are bound to recognition provided for in Article 8 of this Decree.

Part Two


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