Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

IJDH’s Advocacy for Cholera Justice Featured in The Nation

This article provides an interesting analysis of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s tenure including his successes and failures and the challenges he faced in making changes within the United Nations. On the “failure” side, the author highlights AIDS-Free World’s campaign for justice for sexual abuse by peacekeepers (particularly in the Central African Republic) and IJDH’s fight for justice for the cholera epidemic peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010. One thing Ban highlights as a goal before his term ends is establishing concrete environmental policies. Will he also address cholera and sexual abuse before the next Secretary-General steps in? Ban Ki-moon Reflects on the Successes and Frustrations of His 10 Years as UN Secretary General In his decade in office, Ban never overcame his aloof image. But in many ways he modernized the United Nations, and pushed it to confront its deepest challenges. […]

Former UN Official Lauds the Fight for Cholera Justice

“The United Nations has capitulated on the question of Haiti and cholera. After nearly six years of denial and hiding behind the pretext of immunity, the United Nations has finally conceded that it had real responsibility in bringing cholera to Haiti.” In the video below, Stephen Lewis, a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, comments on the UN’s admission of involvement in the cholera epidemic in Haiti. He also commends BAI and IJDH for our work fighting for justice and helping make this happen. He reminds everyone who cares about justice that it is important to keep fighting despite the challenges. Stephen Lewis: The Week in Review 128 — The UN Admits Responsibility in Haiti Stephen Lewis, AIDS-Free World August 19, 2016

Civil Society Challenges UN Secretary-General Candidates to Take Accountability Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti,,+1-404-217-1302 Gill Mathurin, AIDS-Free World,, +1-646-924-1710  Civil Society Challenges UN Secretary-General Candidates to Take Accountability Pledge 37 Groups launch 5-part pledge on sexual exploitation and abuse, cholera   NEW YORK, July 28, 2016 — Thirty-seven civil society groups are calling on candidates for the next UN Secretary-General to take an Accountability Pledge that signals their commitment to building a more accountable and transparent United Nations. “The next Secretary-General faces the challenge of ensuring that the UN responds justly when its peacekeepers and staff abuse or harm the very people they are sent to protect. We ask all candidates vying to become the UN’s next leader to commit to championing accountability by publicly taking this pledge,” said Beatrice Lindstrom, Staff Attorney with the Institute for Justice […]

Are budgetary threats the best way to end impunity for peacekeeper sexual violence?

For years and years, incidents of sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers have been steadily made public. Even so, the perpetrators have very rarely been held accountable for their crimes. Now that some US Senators have proposed cutting funding until the UN deals with the problem, it seems that the UN might start taking it seriously, especially since the US contributes 28% of the peacekeeping budget. Since withholding UN funding has been successful in the past, this could be a good way for big contributors to hold the UN accountable and change the culture of impunity for sexual violence. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. HERE’S HOW TO END UN PEACEKEEPING’S HISTORY OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE Jeni Whalan, Global Peace Operations Review May 2, 2016 After years of moral outrage and stern official rhetoric, the odious […]

Responsibility for Sexual Abuse in CAR Extends to New York and Geneva (Statement)

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently fired the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Central African Republic after evidence arose of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the country. However, Aids Free World stresses that this action does not go far enough; responsibility pervades the UN all the way to its top leaders in the Geneva and New York headquarters. Despite indisputable violations on the ground, the UN has not provided remedy for victims, and the responsibility of knowing about, but not doing enough to stop these horrendous acts renders top leadership culpable as well. An excerpt from the statement is posted below. Click HERE for the original statement. UN peacekeeping: Rot at the top Aids Free World August 12, 2015 — AIDS-Free World responds to the resignation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Central […]

How Can Peacekeeper Impunity for Assault Be Ended?

IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon and AIDS-Free World co-Director Paula Donovan discuss the allegations of sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and other countries around the world. Often, victims feel safer not reporting abuse because the perpetrators are rarely punished. Concannon and Donovan suggest some ways to end this culture of impunity. Part of the interview transcript is below. Click HERE for the video and full transcript. UN Peacekeepers in Haiti Force Girls to Trade Sex for Food, Medicine The Real News Network June 11, 2015 JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.A report conducted by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services reveals that since 2004 UN peacekeepers in Haiti sexually abused more than 225 women and girls in exchange for food and medicine. But now that we know it happened and is […]

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