Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Human Rights Organizations Call on UN Secretary General to Engage Victims as Partners in the New Approach Plan

To read PDF versions click here: ENG FR July 16, 2018 Dear Mr. Secretary-General: We write to you as organizations that share the UN’s goal of promoting human rights to express our concern regarding the situation of cholera victims in Haiti, and their right to access effective remedies. For six years, the UN denied legal responsibility for sparking the Haiti cholera epidemic, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that UN peacekeepers had introduced the disease. This denial was rightly met with global outcry; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights labelled it “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” The refusal to accept accountability in Haiti hurt both the victims and the UN’s credibility and standing worldwide. As organizations committed to the protection of universal rights, including the fundamental right to a remedy, we were pleased […]

IADL calls on the High Commissioner to speak out publicly on the UN’s lack of a rights-based, victim-centered approach to cholera in Haiti

Oral statement delivered by Micòl Savia, IADL permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Haiti – 38th session of the Human Rights Council 3 July 2018 The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) expresses its deep concern that the UN’s “New Approach” to cholera in Haiti is at great risk of failure due to the organization’s refusal to keep its promise of meaningful consultations with victims, and its apparent unilateral decision to take individual compensation off the table. For six years following the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, the UN denied responsibility, despite overwhelming scientific evidence—including from the UN’s own experts– that reckless sanitation at a UN Peacekeeper base brought the disease to Haiti. Four UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders took the unprecedented […]

Haiti’s Cholera Victims Call on UNSG Antonio Guterres to Act One Year after UN’s Apology

The United Nations peacekeepers sparked the world’s deadliest cholera epidemic in Haiti, killing at least 10,000 people and infecting 800,000. The epidemic continues to this day. On December 1, 2016, the UN finally apologized for its role and launched a new plan to eliminate cholera and assist its victims. One year later, victims are still waiting for the UN to honor its promises.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: One Year After UN Apology, Cholera Victims Call Out Unfulfilled Promises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876 Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince): mario@ijdh.org, +509-3701-9879 One Year After UN Apology, Cholera Victims Call Out Unfulfilled Promises (Boston, Port-au-Prince, December 1, 2017) – On the one year anniversary of the UN’s historic apology for its role in sparking Haiti’s devastating cholera epidemic, victims appealed to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to follow through on commitments made last year to end cholera transmission and provide remedies. Victims also plan to gather in peaceful protest at 11 am EST outside UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince. One year ago today, then-outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly asked for the Haitian people’s forgiveness for the UN’s role in the epidemic and launched a “New Approach to Cholera in Haiti.”  Many victims viewed the apology as turning a page on a […]

Letter to Editor: U.N. must make long-lasting amends to Haiti

This letter was first published by Miami Herald   Re the Nov. 2 oped “U.N. is committed to a new partnership in Haiti that works” by : We welcome U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ concession on the need for U.N. action. But a partnership with Haiti that works requires more than promising words. Admitting that cholera got to Haiti through reckless waste disposal at a U.N. base—as the U.N.’s own experts declared five years ago — would have been a good start. Keeping the U.N.’s existing promises would help too. The former secretary-general announced a “new approach” that included material assistance for victims and a promise to consult them on whether the assistance should include payments to victims or exclusively community projects. Under Guterres’ leadership, the U.N. has taken direct payments off the table and refused to begin consultations. We have […]

As UN Deputy Chief Heads to Haiti, Advocates Urge UN to Keep Promises to Cholera Victims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876 Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince): sienna@ijdh.org; +509-4875-3444 As UN Deputy Chief Heads to Haiti, Advocates Urge UN to Keep Promises to Cholera Victims (Boston, Port-au-Prince, November 2, 2017) — Advocates for Haiti’s cholera victims insist that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ announced “new partnership” with Haiti will only help Haiti if accompanied by real action  to raise the $400 million in funds promised by the UN, and a partnership that provides the victims a meaningful opportunity for input. The Secretary-General announced the initiative in a Miami Herald op-ed, ahead of the UN Deputy Secretary-General’s visit to Haiti on Friday, November 3rd.  The Secretary-General notes that a major focus of the trip will be follow-up on the UN’s commitments to a “New Approach to Cholera […]

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