On Tuesday, April 3 rd 2018 Harvard Medical School will screen “It Stays With You: Use of Force by UN Peacekeepers in Haiti.” The screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by the film’s producers Cahal McLaughlin and Siobhán Willis as well as human rights attorney Sandra Wisner, Dr. Louise Ivers and Nadia Raymondto discuss human rights abuses committed by United Nations peacekeepers against people of Cité Soleil from 2005-2007 as well as the work of Haitian and international human rights organizations in holding the UN accountable for its role in Haiti’s cholera epidemic that has so far killed 10,000 Haitians and sickened nearly a million more. See flyer below for more details. Get directions HERE.
Join IJDH’s Sandra Wisner as she Discusses the UN Peacekeeping Mission’s Legacy in Haiti with Cahal McLaughlin and Siobhán Willis at Harvard Medical School
BAI and IJDH Continue to Fight for the Dignity of the Haitian People in Haiti and in the U.S. Last month, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) joined the Haitian community in the United States and in Haiti in denouncing President Trump‘s disparaging remarks about Haiti, El Salvador, and all African countries. IJDH’s Brian Concannon told a crowd at a rally in Boston that, “President Trump’s remarks about Haiti are false. They are an affront to the dignity of the Haitian people and the American people.” Meanwhile in Haiti, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)’s Managing Attorney Mario Joseph decried the president’s comment while attending a grassroots activist’s protest at the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince. “On many occasions in the past we have been victims of imperialist countries, particularly the United States,” said Joseph rebuking Trump’s vulgar comments […]
This article was originally published by Yale Law School Sienna Merope-Synge, a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), spoke on February 12 about her organization’s fight to secure adequate remedies for victims of the U.N.’s introduction of a 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti. The talk was co-sponsored by the Schell Center, the Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP), and the American Constitution Society. Merope-Synge began by explaining that many viewed this cholera outbreak-the first in Haiti’s history—as a humanitarian crisis, not a legal one. But as it became clear that the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti had caused the crisis by dumping contaminated waste into local rivers, people began coming to IJDH’s offices and ask whether there was something the law could do to address the situation. IJDH had to work creatively, since the U.N. has […]
The Oxfam sex abuse scandal demonstrates the urgent need for legal accountability in the humanitarian aid sector
By Sienna Merope-Synge Sienna Merope-Synge is a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti This article was originally published by Al Jazeera The backlash against Oxfam continues to grow, but the scandal is just the tip of the iceberg of unaccountable “humanitarian” action in Haiti. In the wake of revelations that its staff solicited prostitutes in post-earthquake Haiti, Oxfam has pointed to an internal investigation that led to senior employees resigning or being fired, and released a new 10-point plan to eradicate sexual abuse. But what is striking is that the charity never treated its staff’s abuses as a legal matter. Let’s be clear: this behaviour wasn’t just unacceptable, it was unlawful. Prostitution is illegal under Haitian law and if minors were involved, this was also statutory rape. The behaviour also constituted illegal child prostitution under […]
This Interview was first published in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding Dr. Nicolas Lemay-Hébert interviewed Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), on 22 July 2017. IJDH, along with its sister group, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti, have spearheaded a campaign to push the United Nations (UN) to recognize its responsibility in bringing cholera to Haiti, a decision that will certainly have ramifications for the future of international peacekeeping. In the name of thousands of victims in Haiti, IJDH has decided to sue the United Nations in New York for their responsibility in bringing cholera to the country. Can you tell us more about the genesis of the campaign and why IJDH has decided to address this specific issue? As soon as the outbreak was reported, Haitians started pointing at the UN base in […]
When Roma families moved onto land contaminated with lead, health experts warned the United Nations that the land was toxic and the families should be relocated. Even so, the residents were left there for years accumulating health problems, especially among expecting mothers, children and the elderly, because of the toxic soil and dust in the region. For perhaps a decade, victims of this poisoning and their advocates have been seeking an apology and compensation from the UN but their efforts have been frustrated just like the efforts of cholera victims and their advocates: If the UN goes too far in acknowledging its responsibility, it may be legally bound to actually pay for its negligence. Part of the article is below. Read the full text here. Roma Sickened in U.N. Camps Are Still Waiting for Redress Rick Gladstone, The New York Times April 18, […]