That Haitian diaspora has the potential to be a strong force in the cholera justice movement, particularly because it is strongest in countries that have major influence on the United Nations–the United States, Canada, and France. The renewed calls for cholera justice were reinforced this week by Haitian cholera victims’ delivery of over 2000 letters to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. For the first time, several governments have also called for justice. If all of these groups continue to come together for cholera justice, the UN will have no choice but to be accountable.
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Moving Closer to Justice for the Victims of Cholera in Haiti
Beatrice Lindstrom, Boston Haitian Reporter
May 12, 2016
Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou
Haitian cholera victims and diaspora leaders abroad are turning up the pressure on powerful governments around the world, asking them to use their influence to press the UN to provide justice and reparations to the hundreds of thousands who have suffered from the cholera that UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010. This targeted pressure is showing encouraging signs of new progress—in recent months, several governments have for the first time called for a just response, and UN member states are reportedly in conversation with the UN Secretariat about compensation for the victims.
The pressure on governments is coming from all sides and taking various forms—from personalized appeals to high-level political meetings. This week, victims of cholera in Haiti are delivering over 2,000 personal letters addressed to members of the UN Security Council to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. The letters implore the world leaders to support Haitians’ human right to a remedy. For example, cholera survivor Gerald St Fleur wrote in one of the many letters: “It is with great sadness that I am writing this letter. It is an opportunity to remind you that human rights should be respected no matter which country one is from.”
The community groups leading the letter writing campaign explained that “[w]e know that the fate of cholera victims ultimately depends on the willingness of member states of the UN Security Council, who have the power to ensure that the UN lives up to its own principles… We ask you to feel the injustice we have suffered.”
The Haitian diaspora living abroad is also doing their part to call on their governments to hold the UN accountable. Countries that are home to large Haitian diaspora—such as the United States, Canada and France—are some of the most powerful in the world and wield significant influence with the UN.
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