Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Un-Vaccinated UN Troops Risk Exacerbating Haiti Cholera

Though cholera vaccines are now mandatory for all UN troops and peacekeepers, a unit deployed to Haiti from India, where cholera is endemic, was not vaccinated. This is alarming because cholera was first brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers in 2010 and has since sickened at least 800,000 and killed at least 9,500. Though a UN spokesperson said that responsibility for peacekeeper vaccinations is placed on member states, it should be up to the UN to enforce the rule and make sure that it doesn’t cause another cholera epidemic elsewhere. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. UN Police Unit Deploys to Haiti Without Cholera Vaccinations Associated Press, VOA News January 10, 2016 PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti is administering cholera vaccines to a police unit from India months after it arrived in […]

Be Part of the Solution for Haiti

Dear Friend, As the holiday celebrations approach, please join the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in celebrating a year of victories for justice in Haiti. Along with our collaborators in Haiti and abroad, we have made historic and sustainable impact in 2016, including: •The United Nations admitted involvement in bringing cholera to Haiti and announced $400 million to fight cholera and support the cholera victims. This is a big step forward—it will save hundreds of lives and alleviate misery for tens of thousands of families. Smaller victories along the way included: •A series of reports from UN Human Rights experts urging the UN to respect the cholera victims’ human right to compensation; •Letters from 160 Members of the U.S. Congress—Democrats and Republicans—calling on the U.S. State Department to seek a […]

Update on Cholera, Hurricane Matthew and Elections from Brian Concannon

This comprehensive interview with IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon covers cholera, Hurricane Matthew and elections in Haiti. Last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera epidemic. Concannon calls this “a very good step in the right direction.” Next, the UN has to make sure that funders really do step up and make the cholera plan happen. Haiti is also still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The government is doing more than it did after the 2010 earthquake and the UN put out a Flash Appeal for funding but not enough has come in. After two months, there’s a major risk of famine and people are still in tents. Though a new president for Haiti has finally been named, many issues remain and the results are being contested by other candidates, and people protesting in […]

After UN Cholera Apology, the Work Towards Eradication Truly Begins

After nearly six years of demanding an apology from the United Nations for causing a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti, Haitian cholera victims and their advocates were pleasantly surprised by receiving on from the Secretary-General on December 1. In a statement before the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized and also outlined a $400 million proposal to fight cholera and compensate the victims. Although Ban did not directly apologize for the UN’s own fault in the epidemic, advocates view this as a welcome start. Now the work truly begins, as “we need to fight even harder to get those promises fulfilled,” says IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon. U.N. Finally Apologizes For Cholera In Haiti … But Omits One Point Jason Beaubien, NPR December 2, 2016 For six years, Haitian activists have demanded that the United Nations accept responsibility for cholera in Haiti. […]

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 […]

Mixed Reactions to the UN’s Cholera “Half-Apology”

After sixe years of denial of responsibility for the cholera epidemic UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized to the Haitian people in three languages. The apology, though welcomed and long-overdue, was later called a “half-apology” by a UN advisor who denounced the UN’s apparent effort to continue dodging legal responsibility. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon also emphasized that “the use of the phrase “moral responsibility” was the same language that the UN secretary general used during his trip to Haiti in July 2014, and appeared to be calculated to address the concerns of UN lawyers more than those of the people of Haiti.” Along with the apology, Ban detailed a $400 million plan to combat cholera while noting that previous efforts have faced funding issues. UN admits for first time that peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti Ed Pilkington […]

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