Though Haiti’s 2010 earthquake claimed many more lives, Haiti’s 2010 (and ongoing) cholera epidemic is even more tragic. When peacekeepers of the world’s foremost promoter of human rights, the United Nations, brought cholera to Haiti, many expected human rights to be respected and the epidemic to be stifled. Instead, the UN has spent five years dodging accountability. What does this mean for the future of the UN in trying to uphold human rights in Haiti and other countries worldwide?
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Haiti’s Earthquake Was Devastating. The Cholera Epidemic Was Worse.
If someone had poisoned New York’s water supply and killed 9,000 people, it would have been the most litigated public health disaster of all time. But when it happened in Haiti? Nothing.
Fran Quigley, Foreign Policy in Focus
October 14, 2015
Earlier this year, the Haitian people and their supporters commemorated the fifth anniversary of the horrific earthquake that struck the country in 2010. This month marks the fifth anniversary of the horrific cholera outbreak that followed.
More of us know about the earthquake. But the cholera was worse.
Not in terms of sheer lives lost — although the epidemic claimed 9,000 lives and sickened one out of every 15 people in the country. The cholera was worse because it’s a human rights tragedy.
While the earthquake originated as a natural disaster, albeit one made worse by generations of international exploitation, the cholera epidemic was a fully human-made phenomenon. It demonstrates that the world’s most powerful nation — the United States — and its most respected international organization — the United Nations — have no intention of treating the Haitian people as fully human beings, deserving of even the most basic of rights.
Click HERE for the full text.