Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Experts Urge Accountability for Haiti Cholera

For the first time, UN experts have filed an allegation letter against the UN and not a government. In the letter, they explain that the UN violated Haitians’ rights by causing Haiti’s cholera epidemic and not providing any method for victims to file claims. That letter, and the UN’s response, have been made public. This is yet another demonstration that even the UN needs to be accountable for its actions.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haitians’ Rights Were Violated Over Cholera Outbreak, UN Experts Assert

Rosa Freedman, PassBlue
April 20, 2015

Haiti cholera victim

In September 2014, four United Nations human-rights experts wrote to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon alleging that the UN had violated human rights through the cholera epidemic in Haiti, which broke out in October 2010. This is the first time that an allegation letter — a formal complaint procedure typically used against governments — has been filed against the UN. The letter and the UN’s response have, finally, been leaked to the public.

The 34-page response from the UN is the longest and most substantive explanation that the world body has provided so far on the cholera epidemic, despite years of questions from the media and rights groups on the UN’s responsibility on the matter.

It appears that the UN is much more willing to engage with and respond to human-rights experts than it is with the cholera victims and their legal representatives. In many respects, that is the most shocking discovery of the entire process: the UN feels more obliged to respond fully to independent experts than it does to the individuals affected by the epidemic.


Click HERE for the full text.

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