Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Cholera Case Raises Questions About U. N. Accountability (World Politics Review)

Amy Lieberman, World Politics Review
December 1, 2011

A recently filed legal petition claiming that the United Nations acted negligently and recklessly in Haiti is raising difficult questions about U.N. accountability – and its legal immunity.

The petition (.pdf), submitted November 3, is already raising the possibility that a legally mandated, but rarely implemented, judicial procedure for civilians, living in the countries with U.N. peacekeeping missions will be enforced.

As a result, the petition’s implications go far beyond the particulars of the Haiti case, in which more than 5, 000 Haitians argue that the U.N. failed so far to provide them with the means of remedy after cholera was introduced to Haiti for the first time in 50 years by Nepalese Peacekeepers…

But when some affected Haitians tried to file claims for damages with the U.N. through the proper channel — the Haiti mission’s standing claims commission — they were at a loss, says Ira Kurzban, one of the four lawyers jointly representing the petitioners: The standing claims commission does not exist.

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