Cholera

Overview

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.

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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 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.

 

Advocates Demand Transparency from UN Cholera Team

The United Nations has revealed that it appointed a Task Force to address the recommendations of the 2011 Independent Panel of Scientific Experts who originally looked into the cholera epidemic. That original panel established that the UN likely caused the epidemic and made 7 recommendations on how to stop it. Most of those recommendations have not been completed, despite the appointment of this new Task Force. Cholera advocates are now wondering what exactly the purpose of the Task Force is, and why the recommendations are being ignored. Secretary General in Haiti for Cholera “Photo-op” as Transparency Questions Continue to Dog the UN Center for Economic and Policy Research July 23, 2014 Last week, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon travelled to Haiti to raise awareness of the ongoing cholera epidemic that scientific studies have continually shown the U.N. troops in Haiti to … Continue reading

Haitians Tired of UN Cholera Promises without Action

Nearly four years after UN peacekeepers began a cholera epidemic in Haiti, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited to convey his and his wife’s sympathies. He also re-launched a sanitation initiative, which is suspiciously similar to the previous UN cholera initiative which has gotten very little funding. Haitians protested Ban Ki-moon’s visit, citing the UN’s continued promises and lack of action. FOUR YEARS AFTER CHOLERA OUTBREAK, UN SECRETARY GENERAL VISITS HAITI Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte July 16-22, 2014 For the first time since cholera began racing across Haiti in late 2010, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Haiti on Jul. 14-15 in an effort to resuscitate a stalled $2.2 billion UN plan to eliminate the deadly disease from the country over the next decade. Launched in December 2012, the UN “initiative” was really nothing more than the repackaging of the … Continue reading

Cholera and Women’s Rights on Chicago NPR

IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom and KOFAVIV Associate Director Malya Villard-Appolon speak about cholera accountability and gender-based violence in an hour-long NPR show about Haiti. Joining them are Dr. Ludovic Comeau of GRAHN-World, and Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health. Bringing perspectives from the legal, medical and economic development fields, they answered questions like “What might happen now that Ban Ki-moon said the UN bears a “moral responsibility” to eliminate cholera,” and “What impact are grassroots organizations having on rapes in Haiti?” Cholera lawsuit against U.N. in Haiti, and death threats for Haitian advocate for women’s safety WBEZ Worldview July 16, 2014   Click HERE for the original.

Critics Insulted By Ban Ki-moon’s Haiti Visit

Nearly four years after causing a cholera epidemic in Haiti, the UN still hasn’t taken responsibility. Ban Ki-Moon is visiting Haiti, taking trips to cholera centers and giving speeches, but they seem just empty words and photo opportunities. During the trip, Ban announced the launch of a new sanitation campaign in Haiti but the UN’s cholera elimination plan still remains substantially underfunded. UN Chief Slammed for Taking Photo-Op, Not Responsibility for Cholera Epidemic It’s “an insult to all Haitians,” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams July 15, 2014 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is under fire for using his first visit to Haiti since the cholera outbreak began to deliver what critics see as empty words and an insult to those killed by the UN-caused epidemic. U.N. troops from Nepal brought the disease to the … Continue reading

Cholera victims and advocates demand action during UN SG Visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, (in Haiti), mario@ijdh.org, +509-3701-9878 (French, Creole, English) Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, brian@ijdh.org, +1-541-263-0029 (English, French, Creole) Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, beatrice@ijdh.org, +1-404-217-1302 (English, Creole, French) UN Chief Makes First Haiti Visit Since Cholera Introduction Victims and Advocates Call for More Action, Less Empty Words  (Port-au-Prince, July 14, 2014)— On July 14-15, 2014, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is visiting Haiti for the first time since the UN introduced a deadly cholera epidemic to the Caribbean nation in 2010.  The UN reports that the Secretary-General will meet with victims of the UN-caused disaster, and announce the launch of a sanitation campaign that “aims to scale up sanitation and hygiene interventions in rural areas.” “For four years … Continue reading

Cholera Case Featured on Swedish Radio

Our very own Staff Attorney, Beatrice Lindstrom, was featured on Swedish radio explaining whether we think that Ban’s ‘moral responsibility’ statement signals a change in their position vis-a-vis the lawsuit. Below is a rough translation. (The segment starts at 16:45.) Sveriges Radio July 15, 2014 Reporter 1: Right now, the UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is visiting Haiti. The UN is still not accepting legal responsibility for the cholera epidemic that was spread by UN troops four years ago, but several organizations have sued the UN. One of them is the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, where Beatrice Lindstrom is a lawyer. Beatrice: More and more people who work within the UN are speaking out against the way that the Organization has handled this catastrophe. So we hope that the UN will eventually change its position. The ultimate end goal … Continue reading