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You. Me. We. is a disaster response law and policy center that defends human rights in disaster struck communities. We conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy reforms, and promote government accountability at every stage of disaster readiness, response, and recovery.
Our organization is small, but our impact is global. We have been coordinated the distribution of emergency aid after the levees broke in New Orleans, and exposed human rights violations in shelters that housed evacuees. We have defended the rights of independent journalists working in the disaster zone, and supported grass-roots advocacy on behalf of displaced voters. We continue to promote racial justice and environmental protection for residents of the Gulf Coast. Outside of the U.S., we are working to improve conditions inside displacement camps in Haiti, and to hold the government accountable for human rights abuses committed against earthquake survivors. We have been in Turkey, promoting gender mainstreaming as a strategy for reducing post-disaster sexual assault. And we are advising aid workers in Pakistan on potential human rights violations in the early aftermath of the flooding. Some key initiatives include: HAITI
- Preparing a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of earthquake survivors forcibly evicted from displacement camps;
- Petitioning the United Nations and the Government of Haiti for a moratorium on forced evictions;
- Submitting comments on the UN Protection Cluster’s draft policy on housing, land and property.
- Guiding humanitarian workers on coordinating activities with the UN’s cluster system;
- Drafting and distributing 'best practices’ guidelines for preventing human rights violations in the initial phases of aid distribution;
- Publishing a mental health symptom checklist for camp residents and volunteers.
NEW ORLEANS AND THE GULF COAST
- Supervising law students involved in preparing for wrongful eviction action;
- Briefing law enforcement officers on international standards regarding shelter facilities;
- Chronicling reports of sexual assault inside evacuation shelters.
- Jennifer Piscitello
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