Cholera broke out in Haiti in October 2010, and continues to constitute a grave medical emergency. Overwhelming evidence has established that reckless disposal of human waste by a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping base in Mirebalais poisoned Haiti’s rivers with a particularly deadly strain of cholera bacteria and created the epidemic. Now, despite even UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton’s acknowledgment that the UN was the “proximate cause” of the epidemic, the UN continues to refuse to accept responsibility and control cholera in Haiti.
BAI and IJDH represent Haitian victims of cholera in their quest for justice from the UN.
In November 2011, we filed 5,000 claims with the UN, seeking:
A) The installation of a national water and sanitation system that will control the epidemic,
B) Compensation for individual victims of cholera for their losses,
C) A public apology from the United Nations for its wrongful acts
In February 2013, after 15 months of silence, the UN tersely dismissed the claims in a two-line decision deeming the claims “not receivable.” Since then, their strategy continues to be denial and stonewalling the media.
On October 9, 2013, BAI, IJDH, and law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt (KKWT) filed a lawsuit against the UN in NY Federal Court. Click here for a full timeline of the events that led up to this.
The Cholera Accountability Project (CAP) works with Haitian grassroots groups and international advocates in a broad-based campaign to force the UN to take action to stop the cholera’s killing. Diarrheal disease and lack of safe water are the worst public health problems in Haiti. Our case demands the installation of water and sanitation infrastructure that will control the epidemic and save more than 5,000 lives each year.
Get involved today by:
Making your voice heard on Twitter by tweeting this.
Petition to the UN to provide clean water & sanitation in Haiti.
Donating to support the case.
Watching and sharing Baseball in the Time of Cholera.
NBC reports on the cholera march in front of the UN, asking why the fight against the UN has been so difficult. Why can’t anyone sue the United Nations? By Anna Schecter, NBC News September 26, 2013 NEW YORK — Haitian protesters gathered outside U.N. headquarters Thursday to demand that the international body admit its role in the worst outbreak of cholera in modern history and provide compensation, but experts said the protesters may find it hard to hold the U.N. accountable. Velune Noel, 24, lies with her cholera infected 12-month-old son Peterson Sharmont, on a cot at a Samaritan’s Purse cholera treatment center in the Cite Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 8, 2011. “The victims have to be compensated for what they went through,” said Marjorie Gaston, a 49-year-old Haitian-American from New York, as … Continue reading
Par Dr. Jean Ford G. Figaro, Le cholera en Haiti: dossier en dix points 22 Août 2013 « Les peuples de la terre participent à des degrés divers d’une communauté universelle qui s’est développée à tel point que la violation du droit, commise en un endroit du monde, se répercute sur tous les autres ». Emmanuel Kant La réflexion, que je souhaite développer dans ce texte, est le double standard de l’Organisation des Nations Unies (Onu) sur la reconnaissance des droits humains en Haïti. “Au 21e siècle, les droits humains se trouvent dans une situation paradoxale : d’un côté, est proclamé, dans divers textes légaux, un nombre croissant de droits civils, politiques, sociaux, économiques et culturels, qui constituent, dans l’histoire du droit, l’affirmation la plus achevée de la croyance de l’homme en sa propre dignité ; d’un autre côté, … Continue reading
Editorial Board, Cleveland August 21, 2013 The epidemic killed 8,000 people and infected more than 600,000 after Haiti’s deadly earthquake in 2010, according to the Yale University researchers. Yet the United Nations has ignored mounting evidence that its Nepalese peacekeepers started the still-raging cholera outbreak. The world body continues to turn a blind eye to its legal and moral responsibility by maintaining that, in any case, it’s immune from victims’ claims. When you’re wrong, you’re supposed to apologize and make amends. That golden rule applies to the United Nations, too. New research seems to confirm earlier suspicions that it was U.N. peacekeepers who triggered a massive cholera epidemic in Haiti. It ought to own up to its mistakes in poor, devastated Haiti and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t put other vulnerable countries at risk. At the very least, … Continue reading
Charanya Krishnaswami, Slate August 19, 2013 “Haiti”—the very word conjures images of inevitable poverty and tragedy. The nation has been so spectacularly blighted—by war, by natural disasters, by disease—that insidious whispers still echo that some ancient curse was cast upon Haiti. After all, what else could possibly explain the extraordinary misfortune of a country that, just months after a catastrophic earthquake in 2010, was ravaged by a deadly cholera epidemic? In reality, cholera was anything but inevitable. It is a manmade curse, visited on the country not by acts of God but by the grossly negligent behavior of the very people charged with protecting and stabilizing Haiti. The disease had been unknown in Haiti for more than a century. In October 2010, United Nations peacekeepers leaked cholera-infected fecal waste into a tributary of Haiti’s largest river—the same river countless Haitians use for bathing, cooking, and drinking. Eight … Continue reading
Editorial Board, Washington Post August 16, 2013 ON THIS page Thursday, the spokesman for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered a response — or something closer to a non-response — to The Post’s editorial Sunday about the United Nations’ responsibility for, and response to, Haiti’s deadly cholera epidemic . In a letter to the editor, Martin Nesirky, the spokesman, called attention to the United Nations’ wide-ranging and critically important work in providing aid and relief to victims of the cholera outbreak, to improving the country’s infrastructure so that it is less susceptible to such outbreaks in the future and to the pressing need for donors to open their wallets to help implement Haiti’s long-range campaign to eliminate the disease. However, Mr. Nesirky pointedly ignored the editorial’s central focus, which is that the United Nations’ responsibility derives not only from its mission as a major … Continue reading
Celso Perez & Muneer Ahmad, The Atlantic August 16, 2013 Despite much evidence to the contrary, for nearly three years, the United Nations has categorically denied that it introduced cholera into Haiti after the country suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010. Since then, cholera has killed more than 8,000 people and infected more than 600,000, creating an ongoing epidemic. As new cases continue to emerge, and the U.N.’s legitimacy continues to erode, it is time for the organization to apologize and take responsibility for the consequences of its actions and its inaction. In a new report, Peacekeeping Without Accountability, which was released Tuesday, members of the Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School (YLS) and the Global Health Justice Partnership, an initiative of YLS and the Yale School of Public Health, provide scientific evidence showing that the U.N. brought cholera to Haiti … Continue reading