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.
- 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.
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.
“Is the UN to blame for cholera in Haiti?” TRTWorld, October 10, 2017
“Appel en faveur des victimes du cholera,” par Ricardo Lambert, Le Nouvelliste, 25 Août, 2017
“Jack Guy Lafontant rencontre le Comité de haut niveau pour l’élimination du choléra en Haïti,” par Michelson Cèsaire, Le Nouvelliste, 11 août 2017
“The Price of Peace? Peacekeeping with Impunity Harms Public Health in Haiti,” by Louise C. Ivers and Yodeline Guillaume, The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, August, 2017—Download the PDF version HERE.
“Anger and angst in Haiti as cholera victims wait for UN compensation, ” by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, July 27, 2017
“U.N. Brought Cholera to Haiti. Now It Is Fumbling Effort to Atone,” by Rick Glastone, New York Times, June 26, 2017
“Cholera, babies left by U.N. peacekeepers top list of Haiti’s woes,” by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, June 24, 2017
Opinion: “UN is breaking its promise to people of Haiti,” by Stephen Lewis, CNN, June 25, 2017
“Haïti: accueil houleux pour la délégation du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU,” Amelia Baron, RFI, June 23, 2017
“Haiti réclame a l’ONU justice pour les victims de cholera,” EuroNews, June 23, 2017
“Les victimes de choléra réclament justice et réparation,” Le National, June 22, 2017
“Une délégation du Conseil de sécurité en Haïti avant le départ des Casques bleus,” Franceinfo, June 23, 2017
“Haïti-Conseil de sécurité : Cinq prix Nobel de la paix interpellent l’ONU,” Alter Press, June 23, 2017
“Manifestation contre le conseil de sécurité à Port-au-Prince,” Radio Metropole, June, 23, 2017
“UN is breaking its promise to people of Haiti” (Opinion), by Stephen Lewis, CNN, June 25, 2017
“La ONU le debe a Haití alivio de la epidemia de cólera que introdujo,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“L’ONU doit á Haïti une réponse á l’épidémie de choléra qu’elle a introduite,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
Nobel Peace Laureates letter to Security Council President:
“Premios Nobel al Consejo de Seguridad: salde su deuda con el pueblo de Haití,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“Letter of 5 Nobel Peace Laureates to Security Council President,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“Lettre de 5 Prix Nobel de la Paix au President du Conseil de sécurité,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
Letter of Latin American and Caribbean regional organizations to the Security Council:
“Letter of Latin American organizations to the Security Council,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“Lettre d’ organisations latinoamericaines au Conseil de sécurité,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
Press release on Latin American and Nobel Peace Laureates actions re. Security Council
“Organizaciones latinoamericanas y Premios Nobel de la Paz llaman al Consejo de Seguridad a saldar su deuda con el pueblo de Haití,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“Latin American organizations and 5 Nobel Peace Laureates call on Security Council to settle its debt to the people of Haiti,” Haití NO Minustah, June 22, 2017
“The U.N. owes Haiti relief from cholera epidemic it introduced,” by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, And Betty Williams, Miami Herald, June 21, 2017
“U.N. Offers Regret but No Compensation for Kosovo Poisoning Victims,” by Austin Ramzy, New York Times, May 26, 2017
Front Uni de la Diaspora Haïtienne wrote a letter to Haitian Senators Urging them to raise the cholera issue with the United Nations Security Council,(the letter is in French), June 15, 2017
“U.N. pushes to finance Haiti’s cholera cleanup with leftover peacekeeping dollars,” by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, June 14, 2017
“Haiti betrayed: Stephen Lewis comments on disappointing new developments in the UN’s response to cholera in Haiti,” Aids-Free World, June 16, 2017
“H.E. Ms Keisha Mcguire Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations on Behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Agenda Item 69 (C) “New Approach to Cholera in Haiti” New York, June 14, 2017
“Intervention by H.E. Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica, at the Informal briefing by the Deputy Secretary-General on the United Nations’ New Approach to Cholera in Haiti” June 14, 2017
“UNstoppable: How Advocates Persevered in the Fight for Justice for Haitian Cholera Victims,”Adam Houston, Health and Human Rights Journal, June 6, 2017
U.N. Offers Regret but No Compensation for Kosovo Poisoning Victims – by Austin Ramzy, New York Times, June 06, 2017
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 – by Nicholas Lemay-Hebert and Rosa Freedman, The Conversation, April 19, 2017
Will State Inaction at UN Imperil Haiti Cholera Response? – by Nathan Yaffe, IPI Global Observatory, April 4, 2017
What They Knew, and When They Knew It – by Jonathan M. Katz, 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 – by Rick Gladstone, 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)
Credibility, integrity, transparency & courage: The Haitian Cholera outbreak and the United Nations (UN), F. Houghton by F. Houghton, A. Norris, Department of Public Health & Health Promotion, Eastern Washington University, February 13 2017
Media Coverage 2016
“U.N. Apologizes for Role in Haiti’s 2010 Cholera Outbreak,” by Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, December 1, 2016
13 Members of Congress Demand Cholera Justice and UN Apology, Congress 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 Compensation,” by Jason Beaubien, NPR, October 25, 2016
Statement and Question on Haiti Cholera from Jamaican Ambassador, The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, October 25, 2016
UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in Haiti,” United Nations, October 25, 2016
Dr. Paul Farmer Is “Surprised and Upset and Humbled,” by Marc Silver After Visit to Haiti, NPR, October 21, 2016
51 Florida Groups and Leaders Ask Hillary Clinton Meeting and Views on Urgent Haiti Issues, IJDH, October 20, 2016
“Dorcena Forry hosts first ‘Eyes on Haiti’ conversation; focus on cholera, storm aid,” by Maddie Kilgannon, Dorchester Reporter, October 20, 2016
IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstorm Featured by NYU Law for Cholera Work, NYU Law, October 18, 2016
Advocates Denounce UN Chief’s Failure to Acknowledge Responsibility for Cholera, IJDH, October 15, 2016
“New York Times Front Page on UN Cholera,” by Azam Ahmed, New York Times, October 15, 2016
New York City Bar Demands Cholera Justice, New 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 Haiti,” by Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald, October 9, 2016
“British doctor who tackled Ebola now leads fight against cholera in Haiti,” by Jacqueline Charles, The 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,” by Samuel Maxime, 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,” by Adrian Walker, 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 Suit,” by Jonathan M. Katz, The 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 report,” by George Russell, Fox News, August 11, 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 Response,” by Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, June 29, 2016
“Congress Faults Obama for Not Being Tough With UN Over Haiti’s Cholera Crisis,” by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, June 29, 2016
“Why the Haitian Cholera Victims Deserve Their Day in Court,” by Jason Silverstein, PLoS, June 28, 2016
“Rock: We must fix the UN’s culture of coverups around peacekeeping,” by Allan Rock, Ottawa Citizen, June 13, 2016
Dear Mr Ban Ki-moon, Editorial, The Lancet, June 11, 2016
U.N. Accused of Cover Up as Cholera Ravages Haiti, WNYC, June 2, 2016
“UN response to Haiti cholera epidemic critics signals ‘potential breakthrough,’” by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, June 1, 2016
“UN could have prevented Haiti cholera epidemic with $2,000 health kit – study,” by Ed Pilkington and Joe Sandler Clarke, The Guardian, April 14, 2016
“Leaked UN report faults sanitation at Haiti bases at time of cholera outbreak,” by Joe Sandler Clarke and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, April 5, 2016
Truth and Justice for Haiti, The 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 Epidemic,” by Richard Knox, NPR, March 21, 2016
“Cholera Deaths in Haiti Could Far Exceed Official Count,” by Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, March 18, 2016
Blame for Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic, Miami Herald, March 14, 2016
“Cholera in Haiti: UN experts chastise Ban Ki-moon over handling of outbreak,” by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, March 3, 2016
“Court Hears Suit Against U.N. on Haiti Cholera Outbreak,” by Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, March 1, 2016