Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) is representing Haitian women who were impregnated, and left without child support payments, by United Nations peacekeepers. The women face housing and food shortages, struggling to make ends meet for their families. However, the UN has thus far been uncooperative in the cases and withheld results of DNA tests administered to some of the women. UN cooperation is crucial to the success of these cases and in order to help the women and their families to meet their basic needs.
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Haitian mothers claim UN unresponsive over support for peacekeeper children
Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian
April 21, 2017
The UN has been accused of refusing to cooperate with a human rights group that is pursuing child support payments for women left pregnant by its peacekeeping forces.
Lawyers representing 10 women in Haiti plan to pursue child support cases through civil action, but say they need the UN’s assistance to proceed because most of the men involved are no longer in the country.
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), a legal firm in Haiti, wrote to the UN in August requesting the results of DNA tests administered to some of the women. Mario Joseph, managing attorney at BAI, said the letter, sent through Haiti’s foreign ministry, has been met with silence.
“[Life for the women] is really terrible,” said Joseph. “We’ve got more than six who live in the south of Haiti; Hurricane Matthew destroyed the south. Some of them don’t have any housing, they tried to go to relatives and they begged to get food for the baby.”
The UN stabilisation mission in Haiti (Minustah) said in a statement that it is in contact with the foreign affairs ministry regarding the cases and is awaiting further details in relation to one of the women.
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