Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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 […]

Will UN apology without admission of guilt be enough to move donors?

ON December 1 at a United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized for bringing cholera to Haiti. While cholera victims and advocates (including IJDH) cheered at the apology, everyone emphasized that it is not enough if the United Nations cannot mobilize the funds for the new cholera plan that Ban also outlined during the Assembly. UN human rights watchdog Philip Alston also expressed concern that the apology did not include acknowledgment of the UN’s fault in the epidemic. Will that missing piece stop UN member states from contributing to the fund for the cholera elimination plan? IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom expressed concern that it might. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. Chief Apologizes But Does Not Admit Soldiers Brought Cholera To Haiti Richard Knox, WBUR December 2, 2016 Six years after the deadly cholera epidemic […]

Victims & Advocates Commend Announcement of New UN Haiti Cholera Response

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +617-652- 0876 Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince) : sienna@ijdh.org, +509-4875-3444   Victims & Advocates Commend Announcement of New UN Haiti Cholera Response Secretary-General Issues Historic Apology to Victims (NEW YORK, PORT-AU-PRINCE, December 1, 2016)–Advocates for cholera victims in Haiti welcome the announcement of a new UN response that promises to reduce cholera in Haiti and provide material assistance to the most affected victims.  The plan pledges to place victims at its center and to involve them in the developments of the details of the plan. The Secretary-General also apologized to Haitian victims, saying that the UN “simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti” and “we are profoundly sorry for our role.” The advocates called the Secretary-General’s […]

Uncertainty over New UN Cholera Plan Results in Donors’ Hesitation

It’s been almost a month since the United Nations announced a new cholera plan that includes a package of “material assistance” for Haiti’s cholera victims. Almost no donors have committed to funding this plan. “Material assistance” sounds like the compensation that victims and advocates have been demanding, but the UN’s avoidance of the word “compensation” has created more uncertainty. The UN also has yet to claim responsibility for causing the epidemic, and time is running out for Ban Ki-moon to remove that stain from his legacy as UN Secretary-General. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Ban Ki-moon’s UN legacy clouded by cholera Samuel Oakford, IRIN November 18, 2016 Nearly a month after UN officials announced the idea of a special $400 million package to deal with cholera in Haiti, almost no donors have agreed to fund […]

Al Jazeera Features Haiti Cholera in Its Anniversary Celebration

Al Jazeera English is celebrating its ten-year anniversary by giving updates on its most memorable documentaries in a series called REWIND. One of those REWIND features is Haiti in a Time of Cholera, which was filmed in 2013 and won an Emmy award in 2014. To update the story, Al Jazeera interviewed IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom, who is also leading the cholera case and advocacy against the United Nations’ lack of accountability. Some excerpts are below. Click HERE for the full feature. Rewind: Haiti in a Time of Cholera Al Jazeera English November 8, 2016 … What was your reaction when the UN secretary-general finally acknowledged the UN’s role in August 2016? How effective has the UN’s response been for eradicating cholera in Haiti? So far, the UN’s response to cholera has been completely underwhelming. Cholera is a tremendous emergency. […]

History of Interventions & Exploitation Against Haiti

Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti is amplified by several remnants of colonial relations, military interventions by Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, and now today by “poorly implemented aid projects.” Law Street Media traces the history of economic exploitation of Haiti by France and Spain, and demonstrates the progression of “disappointments” by the United States and the United Nations: the U.S. continuing economic exploitation, and the UN continuing to deny responsibility for the increasing spread of cholera. Law Street cites IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom: “The need for a new UN response that both controls and eliminates cholera and compensates the victims who have suffered so much is now more dire than ever.” Using history and recent examples of exploitation, the article concludes: “Haiti will continue to be plagued with problems if the impoverished country is unable to properly recover from disease outbreaks like this, as well […]

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