Definition of Youth

According to their 2012 report, UNICEF was involved in providing technical support in the development of a Haitian draft youth policy, which is not publicly available. UN defines youth as aged 15-24 years, however it is unclear what definition is utilised in the draft policy.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 18
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 15
  • --

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Between the ages of 13 - 16 years, children may be subject to reformative or or therapeutic measures. Source:  Penal Code of Haiti

Majority Age


Source: Constitution of Haiti (1987)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 82.55% Male (15-24) %
  • 81.58% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 21.70% Male (13-15) %
  • 23.90% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Haiti has no current national youth policy. A draft was developed in 2011.

The UNICEF report, Children of Haiti: Two Years After (2012), chronicles UNICEF’s activities in the years following the 2010 Haitian earthquake. UNICEF describes its role in providing technical support for the development of “ [a] National Youth Policy, National Sport Policy and National Civil Action Youth Policy” which were launched by the government in 2011, “providing a foundation for the integration of youth and adolescent rights in national policies”. However, no policy could be located online and it is assumed that it is still in its draft stages.

Haiti’s 2010-2015 Operational Plan to rebuild its education system addresses issues existing prior to the earthquake (ex. accessibility, quality) as well as after (ex. destruction of academic infrastructure, displaced youth out of the school system).

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Civic Action is the governmental body responsible for youth. As described in the Projected Finance Bill for 2013-2014, the responsibilities of the ministry include develop, coordinate and supervise sporting activities, promote community life and youth leadership, and support the training of sport administrators. Its objectives for 2013-2014 are mainly centred on sport, however youth objectives include fighting against the use of narcotic drugs, improving national standards on employment and promoting citizenship and patriotism among youth.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
As described in the 2012 UNICEF report, the National Youth Council of Haiti (CNJH) represents over 16 youth organisations and was formed with the assistance of UNICEF. The National Youth Council was a member of the Haitian Coalition for the International Year of Volunteers (COHAIV), according to United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Haiti newsletter from December 2011. The coalition was supported by UNV in Haiti and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Civic Action. CNJH has no online presence.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the 2012 budget, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Civic Action spent HTG 511.0 million (USD 12.9 million) for the fiscal year of October through September 2012. It is unclear what proportion of this amount is spent specifically on youth. The World Bank lists no data on public spending on education in Haiti since 2000.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Children of Haiti: Two Years After (2012):

The education sector was facing huge challenges before the earthquake. There was low public expenditure in education (approximately 5 per cent in 2007), less than 10 per cent of Haïti’s education infrastructure was government-owned, over half of primary schools were concentrated in the West Department and approximately 23 sub-communes didn’t have any education infrastructure. It is not surprising that less than half of children were estimated to be attending school and only one third of children enrolled actually completed their primary studies. The 2010 earthquake further crippled the education system, with almost 4,000 education establishments damaged or destroyed, disrupting schooling for approximately 2.5 million students. [...]
  Child Protection  
Even before the earthquake, Haitian children were exceedingly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. An estimated 225,000 children worked as domestic servants in non-family households; more than 50,000 lived in residential care facilities; and at least 2,700 were living on the streets of Port-au-Prince alone. Vulnerable children in these groups risk exposure to exploitation such as trafficking, premature adoptions and gender-based violence. The 2010 earthquake heightened exposure to risks since it further eroded the country’s already fragile social and child protection systems, as well as the capacity of parents and caregivers to support their children. [...]
Before the earthquake, half of Haïti’s population lacked access to medicines, and 47 per cent did not have access to health care, due to the extremely centralised nature of the health system. Even when accessible, health services were generally poor in quality due to infrastructural deficiencies and a lack of human resources. The 2010 earthquake caused damage to infrastructure and put an overwhelming focus on emergency response. The cholera outbreak nine months later placed an additional burden on health facilities and personnel but this time, all across the country - especially in the most remote of areas. [...]
In Haïti, 58 per cent of the population is less than 24 years old. Only 33 per cent of rural youth and 53 per cent of urban youth attend school. Less than 1 per cent of youth in Haïti attend university, and 20 per cent of youth are illiterate. This generation has also grown up amidst political instability including military coups, civil protests, political crimes, an economic embargo, rampant corruption, drug trafficking and high rates of gang-related crime. Major hurricanes and the 2010 earthquake also had a major impact on youth - and underlined the need for individuals of all ages to be better prepared for emergencies.