Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The UN’s Liability for Civilian Harms: Lessons from Cholera in Haiti

By Beatrice Lindstrom and  Sienna Merope- Synge This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of the Newsletter of the Human Rights Law Committee of the Public and Professional Interest Division of the International Bar Association (Vol 1, Issue 1), and is reproduced by kind permission of the International Bar Association, London, UK. © International Bar Association. Summary The United Nations enjoys broad immunity from suit, but has well-established legal obligations to compensate civilians harmed by its tortious conduct. Yet, it took years of advocacy – from the streets of Port-au-Prince to legal action in New York – to persuade the UN to redress harms it caused by recklessly introducing cholera to Haiti. Recently, the UN has recognised a moral, but not legal, duty to victims. This gap between the UN’s liability on paper and its practice violates victims’ […]

Fr. Levêque Bien-Aimé: ‘We Are Still Waiting on U.N. to Deliver on its Promise to Cholera Victims’

Fr. Levêque Bien-Aimé urges the United Nations (U.N.) to act to eradicate the cholera epidemic that its soldiers introduced into Haiti and to compensate the victims of cholera. Fr. Levêque encourages Haitian officials at all level to support Bureau des Avocats Internationaux legal and advocacy work aiming at pressing the U.N. to deliver on the promise it made to Haitian people almost a year ago: to eradicate cholera and compensate the victims. Watch the video below: Fr. Levêque Bien-Aimé   Mario Joseph is lawyer who has been playing an important role in the country, and we must support him, particularly in Mirebalais. Mario of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux has been fighting to force the United Nations (U.N.) to redress Haiti for the cholera disease it brought into Haiti. In Mirebalais, we are the first victims [of cholera]. Certainly, the U.N. knows it was the […]

Fr Raphaël B. Desras: ‘All Cholera Victims Should Get Justice and Reparations’

Saut d’Eau, Haiti: Fr. Raphaël Desras praises the legal work and advocacy of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and its international partners who have been fighting for justice and reparations for the UN-cholera victims in Haiti. He also called on the Haitian Governmen. to support BAI’s work. Fr. Desras denounced the United Nations for not doing more to eradicate cholera and compensate the victims. Watch the video below: Below is the English version of Fr. Desras’ statement: To the Haitian Government: Please accompany the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, and all of the organizations that are fighting for cholera victims to get justice and reparations. If the Haitian government cannot stand with the victims of cholera to get reparations, we will consider our elected officials as irresponsible leaders. Each of us here has a family member who was a victim. The United Nations said they came […]

Haiti: Fr. Robinson Alexis Urges Justice and Individual Compensation for the Victims of Cholera

  During the celebration of Feast of Saint Clare in the Municipality of Marchand Dessalines, Artibonite, Fr. Alexis Robinson, the pastor of the church and the responsible of Justice and Peace for the Department of Artibonite urges Haitian officials to act to eliminate the cholera epidemic once for all. He also demands reparations for the victims of the cholera and commends the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)  and its partners for their advocacy and legal work on behalf of the victims. Amongst the attendees were Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant and the Artibonite’s Senator Gracia Delva, also a native of Marchand Dessalines and Mario Joseph of BAI. Watch the video below: Feast of St. Clare, Marchand Dessalines, Haiti: English version of Fr. Robinson Alexis’s statement  Dear friends, let the Pastor of the Parish and the Director of Justice and Peace […]

An Evaluation of the Causes and Results of U.N. Peacekeeper Actions

This four part series details the history of sexual assault by UN peacekeepers and what has been done to combat it. The UN peacekeeping mission began in 1948, right after WWII. In order to protect the soldiers who were deployed, the U.N provided its soldiers with impunity (all cases against peacekeepers had to be brought in the parent country, in order to protect the soldiers from fraudulent charges.)However, this protection has been the cause of many grievances for the women and children of these nations—victims of sexual assault are unable to take their assailants to court. Between 2004 and 2016, the UN received almost 2000 reports of sexual assault perpetrated by peacekeepers. In predominately black nations with a low socioeconomic status, the rate of sexual violence is much more  significant and leads researchers to believe that the idea of racial […]

Haiti: Senate votes to Ban Same Sex Marriage But The Chamber Of  The Deputies And The President Has The Final Say

The Haitian senate passed a bill banning same sex marriage and any form of public displays of affection or support for/in the LGBT community. This bill allows for further marginalization and mistreatment of the LGBT community by stripping them of their rights to protest over their treatment. The senators used the Article 3 of Haiti’s Constitution to back up their vote. The bill will soon go to the Chamber of the Deputies and is expected to pass. Although, if the both chambers pass the bill, it will not become law of the land until President Jovenel Moïse signs and publishes it in the country’s official Journal, Le Moniteur. Read the full article HERE. Haiti Senate votes to ban gay marriage Agence France Press, republished by Indian Express, August 3, 2017 Haiti’s constitution established a secular republic but the country is marked by deep […]

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