Emergency Actions in Haiti

From the first hours of the earthquake in January 2010, UNESCO has responded by creating a crisis team and sent a mission to Port-au-Prince. The Organization ensured a follow-up on projects relating to educational services and mobilized the international community to discourage looting. It was necessary to take conservatory measures for a temporary ban on trade and transfer of Haitian cultural goods suspected of being stolen from a cultural institution or a place of worship.

Accordingly, based on the principles of the 1970 Convention, an appeal was launched to MINUSTAH so as to ensure the protection of emblematic sites and museums of the country, and a campaign was set up for a temporary international ban on the trade of Haitian works of art. Also based on the 1970 Convention, the Director General has alerted the WCO and INTERPOL as well as specialized police units from France and Italy so that they exercise increased vigilance from Haiti and importing countries. All of these bodies have responded positively and quickly to this alert.

In addition, further to an appeal extended to the Secretary-General of the United Nations so that the Security Council adopts a resolution for a temporary ban on the transfer and trade of Haitian cultural goods., the Director-General specified the need, in particular for art traders, to verify the origin of artifacts which could be imported, exported and/or sold on the Internet. The objective of this initiative was in no way to prevent commercial transactions of handicrafts and contemporary creations that are an important source of income for the people of Haiti.

Press release, 11 January 2012:


Press release, 19 April 2011:


Press release, 18 February 2010:

Back to top