United Nations peacekeepers caused a deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010 but despite about 9,000 deaths and over 700,000 ill, they have yet to be held accountable. At the end of May, cholera victims and their lawyers filed an appeal in their case against the UN seeking accountability for the epidemic. The following week, 86 prominent Haitian American leaders, legal and international scholars and human rights organizations signed six briefs in support of the appeal. These briefs make strong arguments demanding UN accountability and a day in court for cholera victims.
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Powerful Legal Coalition Says Haitians Should Be Able to Sue UN for Cholera Outbreak
Alex Smith, RYOT
June 12, 2015
It’s been over five years since the people of Haiti were rocked by an earthquake that killed nearly 400,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless. One of the biggest tragedies of the disaster has been the outbreak of cholera. The epidemic has left 8,900 people dead and nearly 730,000 infected with the illness.
The US Center for Disease Control linked the start of the outbreak to a group of United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal, who brought the deadly strain of cholera to Haiti when they dumped raw sewage near a major river.
For years lawyers were seeking compensation for the peacekeepers’ damages but five months ago a judge ruled that Haitians couldn’t sue the UN. He said the UN had legal immunity that only the UN itself could waive.
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