Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Cholera Sufferers Launch Legal Action to Avail Compensation (French Tribune)

By: Nimisha Sachdev, French Tribune
November 9, 2011

Earlier in May, a UN report outlined by independent experts into cholera epidemic in Haiti had suggested that the cholera outbreak is an outcome of “confluence of circumstances” and insisted that a UN peacekeeper from Nepal had served as source for introducing the disease. In addition, the report also pinpointed that the almost collapsed safety measures have permitted human waste to contaminate the Artibonite river system and spread the disease.

It has been reported that more than five thousand people living with cholera in Haiti have lodged a legal complaint and have hailed the United Nations to provide a compensation of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to curb the epidemic spell in the region. In the legal claim, the advocates for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti demanded around US $100, 000 ($A96, 641.70) and $475,000 as compensation for every death and for infected people, respectively.

“The cholera outbreak is directly attributable to the negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and deliberate indifference for the health and lives of Haiti’s citizens by the United Nations”, added the petition, while it alleged that the United Nations has attempted to hide the actual cause of cholera outbreak, especially prior to release of a report outlined by an independent panel.

In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other leading experts have also pinpointed that peacekeepers based at a camp in Mirebalais, northern Haiti, circulated the cholera strains in the country.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization anticipated in a report that by the end of this year, the number is likely to exceed 500,000. During the outbreak, more than half a million Haitians have contracted cholera.

On Tuesday, the allegations were announced during a press conference.

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