Victims of the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers have been seeking justice for almost six years. The UN has dodged accountability through a clause in its Charter that grants the organization immunity from lawsuits. Even when incidents occur within the UN, whistle-blowing is discouraged and whistleblowers often face retaliation. These are just two of the barriers to seeking justice from the UN.
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Policy change is needed to hold UN responsible for its crimes
Rasna Warah, Daily Nation
August 29, 2016
In 2010, United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal were implicated in the spreading of cholera that killed more than 9,000 people in Haiti and made hundreds of thousands of others very sick.
Apparently, the Nepalese peacekeepers were not using proper sanitation at the base where they were camped and raw sewage was dumped into Haiti’s largest river.
Despite scientific evidence that showed that the strain of cholera in Haiti matched the one prevalent in Nepal at the time, the UN failed to take responsibility for the deaths. To add insult to injury, it began a fund-raising campaign to deal with the cholera epidemic.
Ironically, Haiti had not suffered a cholera outbreak for more than a century until the peacekeepers arrived. The disease is now classified as endemic in the country.
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