Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

New York City Bar Demands Cholera Justice

In August, the United Nations promised to reveal a new plan for eliminating cholera from Haiti sometime in October. The International Committee of the New York City Bar Association urges Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that human rights principles guide this plan.

Part of the Bar Association’s letter is below. Click HERE for the full text.

October 14, 2016

Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
I write on behalf of the New York City Bar Association regarding your office’s recent statements recognizing the role of the United Nations in the outbreak of cholera in Haiti in 2010. We welcome this acknowledgment of responsibility as an important step toward accountability and justice for cholera victims and elimination of the disease from Haiti. In order to ensure a just resolution of this crisis and to safeguard the UN’s moral leadership, we urge you to take concrete steps to ensure that the UN’s promised course of action is guided by principles of justice and respect for human rights.
The Association is a 145-year-old independent nongovernmental organization of more than 25,000 members in New York City, throughout the United States, and in over fifty other countries. Our membership includes judges, prosecutors, government officials, defense lawyers, and scholars of international and domestic law. The Association has a long history of dedication to promoting human rights and the rule of law, including within the United States, through the work of its International Human Rights Committee.

We have long been troubled by the insufficiency of efforts to eliminate cholera from Haiti and the lack of an appropriate mechanism to hear and resolve claims by cholera victims.1 As recently detailed by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, clear scientific evidence establishes that the outbreak of cholera was caused by negligent waste management practices by UN peacekeepers. According to UN figures, the cholera outbreak has killed at least 9,200 individuals and infected over three-quarters of a million Haitian to date.2 There are also troubling indications that the devastation caused earlier this month by Hurricane Matthew has undermined existing efforts to combat the disease and created the risk of a significant, renewed outbreak


Click HERE for the full text.

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