Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Poisoning of Roma in Kosovo Mirrors Haiti Cholera

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, […]

After Half-Apology for Cholera, UN Still Has Much to Do Towards Justice

Mennonite Central Committee, one of IJDH’s partners in the fight for cholera justice, describes some of the steps that led to then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s apology to the Haitian people on December 1, 2016. Although such an admission was unprecedented in UN history, it still only represented a half-apology, as Ban failed to mention the UN’s responsibility for bringing the cholera epidemic to Haiti in 2010. The UN also has yet to make good on the new cholera plan that Ban announced the same day as the apology. As Ban himself said that day, “words cannot replace action and material support.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. Witness: Half an apology Kati Garrison, Mennonite World Review March 13, 2017 On Dec. 1, the staff of the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office awaited the commencement […]

Advocacy helped win cholera justice, but more needs to be done

This article outlines the cholera epidemic in Haiti in terms of the advocacy around justice for the victims and our accompanying lawsuit in U.S. courts. After years of downplaying its responsibility for causing the epidemic and dodging accountability, then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized to Haitians on December 1, 2016. The UN also promised a new $400 million plan to address the epidemic and provide material assistance to the victims but more remains to be done: The money needs to truly be made available while consultations with the victims occur to ensure that their needs are finally met. The UN must take better precautions to ensure that something similar doesn’t happen again in the future. And the UN must accept legal responsibility for the epidemic, as a means to ensure that justice will finally be served. Part of the article is […]

UN Advisor Plans Consortium for Water and Sanitation in Haiti

UN Special Advisor David Nabarro is calling for a consortium to help with the new United Nations plan to fight cholera in Haiti. This consortium would be committed to improving Haiti’s water and sanitation systems, in line with Track One of the new plan.  Nabarro said he will make sure Haitians are in charge of the consortium but there will be “backup,” and that donors to the UN plan want to be sure that the strategy will be “pursued to the finish.” So far, France, Korea and Canada have donated to the plan. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Donor ‘consortium’ needed to bolster Haiti’s long-term recovery and eradicate cholera, UN adviser says ReliefWeb January 17, 2017 17 January 2017 – A senior United Nations adviser called today for a new “consortium” of donors […]

UN Cholera Apology’s a First Step But Much More Needs to Be Done

On December 1 before the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized for the cholera epidemic and detailed a $400 million plan to fight the disease. While the apology is a necessary first step towards justice and something that cholera victims have been demanding for years, the UN was very careful not to imply legal responsibility in the apology. Even the description of the plan was “solidarity” rather than accountability or responsibility. This may be contributing to the trouble the UN is having with getting member states to contribute to the plan. The UN must also make sure to fully consider compensating victims and find strategies to do so. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The UN’s Apology Won’t Heal Disease, But It’s A First Step to Justice Beatrice Lindstrom, Opinio Juris January 2, 2017 When […]

Can apology without admitting fault clear Ban Ki-moon’s legacy?

On December 1,before the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the UN’s role in the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It was a major moment and much-needed in an effort to salvage Ban’s legacy before he (likely) goes on to run for president of his home South Korea. But the carefully-worded apology didn’t include an acknowledgment of the UN’s fault in the epidemic. A current and a former UN official say that without that, it will be very difficult for the UN to raise funds to support cholera elimination and Ban’s legacy may not be saved after all. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. With an Eye on South Korea’s Presidency, Ban Ki-moon Seeks to Burnish his U.N. Legacy Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy December 28, 2016 On Jan. 15, 2016, Australian lawyer Philip […]

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