Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Center for Constitutional Rights Supports Cholera Case Appeal

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) submitted an Amicus Brief in support of IJDH’s cholera case appeal. This brief, in addition to five others submitted by leading law scholars, human rights groups, civil society organizations and former UN officials, argue that the UN should be held accountable for its human rights violations involved in the cholera outbreak.

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U.N. Should Not Be Immune from Accountability for Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

Baher Azmy, Center for Constitutional Rights

June 6, 2015

This week, the Center for Constitutional Rights had the honor of joining two dozen human rights organizations in support of Haitians seeking accountability from the United Nations for its role in causing Haiti’s cholera outbreak after the 2010 earthquake. CCR co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of the groups (including CCR) in support of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti’s (IJDH) case against the U.N. for negligence and recklessness that created the cholera epidemic.

In October 2010, U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, were brought to assist with humanitarian efforts in Haiti, but failed to screen their personnel or properly maintain waste treatment facilities, thereby transmitting cholera into the primary water source for the country. Cholera had not been present in Haiti for 200 years prior, yet the overwhelming medical consensus is that this virulent strain in Haiti came from the un-screened U.N. personnel. Now the largest single-country cholera epidemic in the world, it killed 2000 Haitians in the first thirty days and currently affects nearly 7% of the population. The consensus of public health experts is that the U.N. was responsible for the epidemic. Led by the efforts of IJDH and the Haitian human rights NGO Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Haitians demanded redress from U.N. officials in a variety of ways, including through the IJDH lawsuit on behalf of 5,000 Haitian cholera victims.

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