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.
Below is part of a letter from the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON) to Secretary of State John Kerry. The letter calls for the State Department to refuse to intervene on behalf of the UN in the cholera case, asking Kerry to do everything in his power to get justice for cholera victims. Click HERE for the full version. March 5, 2014 Dear Secretary Kerry, We write as members of the Haitian-American community and the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON) to express our deepest concerns by the United Nations’ failure to take responsibility for the cholera epidemic occurring in Haiti. We are writing to you with deep respect, for your decades of support for Haiti, the rule of law and global health, and asking you to do everything in your power to ensure that Haiti’s cholera epidemic is stopped … Continue reading
Below is part of a letter from 26 Haitian Diaspora groups to Secretary of State John Kerry. The letter calls for the State Department to refuse to intervene on behalf of the UN in the cholera case, asking Kerry to do everything in his power to get justice for cholera victims. Click HERE for the full letter. March 5, 2014 Dear Secretary Kerry, We write as members of the Haitian-American community deeply concerned by the United Nations’ failure to take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that it brought to Haiti. We are writing to you with deep respect, for your decades of support for Haiti, the rule of law and global health, and asking you to do everything in your power to ensure that Haiti’s cholera epidemic is stopped and we are provided justice. As you know, the cholera epidemic has killed over 8,500 Haitians … Continue reading
February 28, 2014 The following is a joint submission on behalf of IJDH and the International Human Rights Clinic at John Marshall Law School for the UN Special Rapporteur’s report on violations of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. The submission discusses violations of the right to water in Haiti, focusing specifically on Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic and efforts to seek accountability and redress. The cholera crisis in Haiti represents a grave violation of the right to water, and provides a highly relevant case study in the strategies used and difficulties faced by victims seeking accountability and remedies for right to water violations perpetrated by non-State actors, including the underlying structural causes and power relations that limit access to judicial accountability mechanisms and complicate non-judicial accountability relationships. IJDH JMSL Violation of Right to Water in Haiti
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beatrice Lindstrom, IJDH; firstname.lastname@example.org; +1-404-217-1302 (English, French and Kreyol) UN Expert Calls for Accountability as Organization Ducks Cholera Suit Says UN Should Be First to Honor Accountability Principles (BOSTON, February 28, 2014)—Gustavo Gallón, the United Nations (UN) Independent Expert on Human Rights in Haiti, said in his recent report on the state of human rights in the Caribbean nation that victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti should be compensated for the harm they have suffered. The statement comes at a time when the organization faces similar claims from cholera victims in a U.S. federal class-action lawsuit filed in New York. “Diplomatic difficulties must be overcome to ensure a prompt end to the epidemic and provide full compensation for the damage suffered by the Haitian people,” the Independent Expert wrote. A growing chorus of voices from current … Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., IJDH; email@example.com; +1-541-263-0029 (in the U.S., speaks English, French, and Kreyol) Haiti’s Mario Joseph Recognized for Working to Hold UN Accountable for Cholera Caribbean Journal Names Lawyer one of Caribbean’s 25 Most Interesting in 2013 (Boston, January 5, 2014)— The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) expressed warm congratulations to Attorney Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux for being named one of the 25 most interesting people in the Caribbean in 2013. Caribbean Journal released its list of “newsmakers” and “people making a difference in the Caribbean” on December 31, 2013, and recognized Joseph, “one of the region’s leading human rights lawyers,” for his exemplary work in “leading the lawsuit against the UN for its role in bringing cholera to Haiti.” “It is deeply gratifying to see this … Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-404-217-1302, (in the U.S., speaks English, French and Kreyol) Haitian Cholera Victims Sue UN for Gross Negligence October 9, 2013, New York— Attorneys from the human rights groups Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and civil rights law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt (KKWT), announced today the filing of a class action lawsuit against the United Nations (UN) on behalf of victims of the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti. Since October 2010, when the UN contaminated Haiti’s principal river with cholera-infected human waste, the disease has killed over 8,300, sickened more than 650,000, and continues to kill about 1,000 Haitians per year. Speaking from Geneva, where he is being honored as a finalist for the Martin Ennals Human … Continue reading