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.
This is our final brief on the question of UN immunity. In it, the plaintiffs argue against the US government’s July 7th response to our previous opposition brief. Part of the brief is below. Click here for the full version. MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN FURTHER OPPOSITION TO THE GOVERNMENT’S STATEMENT OF INTEREST August 28, 2014 INTRODUCTION Plaintiffs respectfully submit this response to the Government’s Letter in Further Support of its Statement of Interest (the “Reply”) in this case seeking to hold the United Nations and its officers accountable for their role in precipitating the ongoing cholera epidemic in Haiti. The Government’s Reply mischaracterizes the core issues before this Court as turning on whether Defendants have waived immunity under Section 2 of the CPIUN, adopted Feb. 13, 1946, 21 U.S.T. 1418, 1 U.N.T.S. 16. Waiver is not at issue here. The core issue … Continue reading
This article details both the theory that cholera in Haiti was triggered by environmental factors, as well as the evidence showing that United Nations peacekeepers triggered the epidemic through negligent sanitary practices. The author then describes the actions BAI and IJDH took to seek justice for cholera victims, from the 2011 petition demanding UN accountability through the 2013 complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. He also outlines some of the legal arguments against the UN’s response, as well as outside reactions to the case (including former UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s). The introductory paragraph is below. Click HERE for a pdf of the full article. Cholera in Haiti: A Perfect Storm of Scientific and Legal Uncertainty Guy R. Knudsen, Natural Resources & Environment Summer 2014 To date, the Haitian cholera epidemic that broke out in 2010 has killed more than … Continue reading
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
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
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.
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