Pierre Esperence began his tenure as a Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights after a ceremony held in Turkey. It was the first time that honor had been bestowed on a Haitian, and it no doubt came on the heels of Esperence's work as the RNDDH's (National Network for the Defense of Human Rights) head. The members of the international federation span over 100 countries and in his post, Esperence is set to vote in matters that will affect millions worldwide.
Cheryl Little is the Executive Director of Americans for Immigrant Justice. She recently received the David Lawrence Champion for Children Award.
As a children's advocate, she began at Haitian Refugee Center in 1985, her report Haitian Children Awaiting Visas, aiding almost 200 children's return to their families.
David Lawrence said Little was deserving of the award because she has gone up against the system repeatedly to procure for Haitian youth the same opportunities as American citizens.
There are many women of courage in Haiti, but last year, the United States Embassy in Haiti honored one such woman, Marie Yolene Gilles-Colas. She serves as the RNDDH's programming officer and was honored for the steps she has made to promote and advance the public's deference to human rights. A journalist at the start of her career, Mrs. Gilles-Colas became known for her defense of free press. She has been exiled, arrested, and faces continued threats, but perseveres in her fight to bring the awareness of the continued struggle for human rights in Haiti to the forefront of world news.