Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti


Haiti still prone to cholera despite increased access to improved water sources, – Healio, April 27, 2017

Haiti’s cholera victims still can’t get what they need from the UN – The Conversation, April 19, 2017

Will State Inaction at UN Imperil Haiti Cholera Response? – IPI Global Observatory, April 4, 2017

What They Knew, and When They Knew It – Slate, March 30, 2017

Haiti is still waiting on promised UN help for cholera epidemic – The Boston Globe, March 27, 2017

Haïti : l’ONU « responsable mais pas coupable » – Les Echos, March 22, 2017

U.N. Accepts Blame but Dodges the Bill in Haiti – The New York Times, March 21, 2017

After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It – The New York Times, March 19, 2017

UN Fund to Fight Cholera in Haiti at 2 Percent of Goal – Voice of America, March 12, 2017

Les victimes du choléra se préparent à recevoir l’indemnisation promise par les Nations unies – Le Nouvelliste, February 22, 2017 (English translation)

U.N. Apologizes for Role in Haiti’s 2010 Cholera OutbreakThe New York Times, December 1, 2016
13 Members of Congress Demand Cholera Justice and UN ApologyCongress of the United States, November 18, 2016
IADL Bulletin of UN Activities Features Haiti Cholera and Elections, The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, November 2016
Linked to Haiti Cholera Outbreak, UN Considers Paying Millions in CompensationNPR, October 25, 2016
Statement and Question on Haiti Cholera from Jamaican AmbassadorThe Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, October 25, 2016
Statement of Lawyers for Victims of the UN Cholera in Haiti on the Report of UN Special Rapporteur AlstonIJDH, October 25, 2016
UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in HaitiUnited Nations, October 25, 2016
Dr. Paul Farmer Is “Surprised and Upset and Humbled” After Visit to Haiti, NPR, October 21, 2016
51 Florida Groups and Leaders Ask Hillary Clinton Meeting and Views on Urgent Haiti IssuesIJDH, October 20, 2016
Dorcena Forry hosts first ‘Eyes on Haiti’ conversation; focus on cholera, storm aidDorchester Reporter, October 20, 2016
IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstorm Featured by NYU Law for Cholera WorkNYU Law, October 18, 2016
Advocates Denounce UN Chief’s Failure to Acknowledge Responsibility for CholeraIJDH, October 15, 2016
New York Times Front Page on UN CholeraNew York Times, October 15, 2016
New York City Bar Demands Cholera JusticeNew York City Bar, October 14, 2016
Why the United Nations is facing pushback as it tries to help Haiti, Editorial, The Christian Science Monitor, October 14, 2016
How the US and the UN Set the Stage for a Major Cholera Outbreak in Haiti, Editorial, Alternet, October 11, 2016
After Hurricane Matthew, cholera is once again threatening HaitiThe Miami Herald, October 9, 2016
British doctor who tackled Ebola now leads fight against cholera in HaitiThe Miami Herald, September 30, 2016
President Privert Answers the Call of Cholera Victims in UN General Assembly Address, United Nations, September 23, 2016
UN Chief Issues Historic Statement on Haiti Cholera, As Experts Call For A Robust UN Response to Victims, IJDH, September 21, 2016
UN Secretary General Talks Cholera with President Obama, IJDH, September 20, 2016
President urged to demand cholera reparations at UN General Assembly, The Haiti Sentinel, September 16, 2016
Haitians Deserve the Truth over the UN’s Role in Cholera Epidemic, Editorial, The Haiti Support Group, September 8, 2016
Boston activists win an important round in battle with the United Nations, The Boston Globe, August 26, 2016
The UN in a time of cholera: Admitting incompetence in creating an epidemic, Editorial, NY Daily News, August 23, 2016
Statement attributable to Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Haiti, August 19, 2016 (SG Ban Ki-moon promises “material assistance” for cholera victims)
U.S. Court Upholds United Nations’ Immunity in Cholera SuitThe New York Times, August 18, 2016
UN Admits Role in Haiti Cholera – Media Coverage, August 18, 2016
Amid Haiti cholera epidemic, UN peacekeepers spill sewage and ignore water treatment, says internal reportFox News, August 11, 2016
Senators Markey and Rubio demand US lead on UN accountability (letter), July 25, 2016
State Dept. should demand UN take responsibility in Haiti, Editorial, The Boston Globe, July 12, 2016
The Cholera Epidemic the U.N. Left Behind in Haiti, Editorial, The New York Times, July 6, 2016
Cholera in Haiti: Epidemic and Fight History Prospects and Recommendations, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille, July 2016
Lawmakers Urge John Kerry to Press U.N. for Haiti Cholera ResponseThe New York Times, June 29, 2016
Congress Faults Obama for Not Being Tough With UN Over Haiti’s Cholera Crisis, The Guardian, June 29, 2016
Bi-Partisan Letter by 158 Congresspersons to Secretary of State Kerry, June 29, 2016
Why the Haitian Cholera Victims Deserve Their Day in CourtPLoS, June 27, 2016
Rock: We must fix the UN’s culture of coverups around peacekeepingOttawa Citizen, June 13, 2016
Dear Mr Ban Ki-moon, Editorial, The Lancet, June 11, 2016
U.N. Accused of Cover Up as Cholera Ravages HaitiWNYC, June 2, 2016
UN response to Haiti cholera epidemic critics signals ‘potential breakthrough’, The Guardian, June 1, 2016
De 145 Organismes et Individus: Lettre ouverte au très honorable Justin Trudeau, Premier ministre du Canada, April 30, 2016
From 145 Organizations and Individuals: Open Letter to the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, April 30, 2016
UN could have prevented Haiti cholera epidemic with $2,000 health kit – studyThe Guardian, April 14, 2016
Leaked UN report faults sanitation at Haiti bases at time of cholera outbreakThe Guardian, April 5, 2016
Truth and Justice for HaitiThe Boston Globe, April 4, 2016
Intervention de SEM Pierre André DUNBAR Ambassadeur, Représantant Permanent, 31ème Session du Coneil des droits de l’homme, March 23, 2016
Why The U.N. Is Being Sued Over Haiti’s Cholera EpidemicNPR, March 21, 2016
Cholera Deaths in Haiti Could Far Exceed Official CountThe New York Times, March 18, 2016
Blame for Haiti’s Cholera EpidemicMiami Herald, March 14, 2016
Cholera in Haiti: UN experts chastise Ban Ki-moon over handling of outbreak, The Guardian, March 3, 2016
Court Hears Suit Against U.N. on Haiti Cholera Outbreak, The New York Times, March 1, 2016
Unofficial Transcript from Oral Argument in Georges v. United Nations, March 1, 2016
Before 2016


4701209630_bf8fcd2b8c_zCholera 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.
  • On October 23, 2014 a judge heard oral arguments on the question of UN immunity. On January 9, 2015, the judge dismissed our case.
  • On February 12, 2015, we filed a notice of appeal to begin the appeals process. On May 27, 2015, we filed the Plaintiffs’ Principal Appellate Brief. On August 26, 2015, the United States filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of affirmance. On September 25, 2015, we filed the Appellants Reply Brief.
  • On March 1, 2016, oral arguments were heard before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • On August 18, 2016, the Court upheld the United Nations’ immunity from claims. We have 90 days to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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.



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