Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN finally apologizes for Haiti cholera, but is it enough?

In remarks delivered in Haitian Creole, French and English, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the inadequate UN response to the epidemic. Though he did not directly say that the UN caused the epidemic, he subtly acknowledged it and pledged to do much more, describing the UN’s new plan for cholera elimination and stressing that it is feasible. Cholera victims in Haiti accepted the apology but were clear that it is not enough if the cholera elimination plan does not move forward, and quickly. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Ban Ki-moon apologizes to Haiti for cholera outbreak, doesn’t admit fault Tom Murphy, Humanosphere December 2, 2016 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took another step in recognizing the failures of the U.N. during the cholera outbreak in Haiti. He […]

UN Secretary General Candidates Starting to Stand for Cholera Justice

In the first-ever televised debate between candidates for the next United Nations Secretary General, a moderator asked about the UN-caused cholera epidemic in Haiti. While justice for the cholera victims may seem like a no-brainer, it has been notoriously tough for the UN, which has dodged accountability for almost six years. In the debate, one candidate stood out by taking a stand for accountability, joining a few other candidates who have also publicly supported justice for Haiti’s cholera victims. This article shows that justice is becoming more and more unavoidable for the UN, and that the next Secretary General may be the one to finally address the ongoing epidemic. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and video. Click HERE for more on the fight for cholera justice. A lone hand raised on the question of […]

USDA Peanut Plan Could be a Disaster for Haiti’s Economy

When the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti, a peanut-producing country, there was an immediate backlash. Although the 500 tons only represent 2% of Haiti’s current peanut production, there are other issues: The plan targets Haitian schoolchildren, though they are not the ones most affected by malnutrition. The plan paves the way for foreign peanuts to be sold in Haiti, which would undermine Haitian peanut farmers, leaving them unable to sell their crops and feed their families. Finally, the plan doesn’t address the underlying problem of a massive surplus of peanuts being produced in the United States. Haitian peanut farmers don’t need this kind of outside help. The hunger crisis would be better addressed by buying Haitian crops to feed the people. Part of the article is below. Click […]

7 Important Questions for the Next UN Secretary General

For the first time, the United Nations is trying to make the process of choosing a new Secretary General more transparent by welcoming public questioning of the candidates. This article lists some crucial questions for the candidates to think about regarding UN accountability for sexual abuse and the Haitian cholera epidemic brought by peacekeepers, climate change, having the first-ever female Secretary General, and more. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. 7 questions we want the candidates for U.N. secretary-general to answer Tom Murphy and Lisa Nikolau, Humanosphere April 15, 2016 Yesterday wrapped up the first-ever public questioning of the candidates vying for the post as the next head of the United Nations. The once completely opaque process is changing thanks to public campaigns and pressure from member countries. Declared candidates fielded questions from members of […]

U.S. Appeals Court Analyzes UN Immunity in Haiti Cholera Case

In a March 1 hearing with Beatrice Lindstrom (IJDH Staff Attorney) representing Haitian cholera victims, a U.S. Appeals Court scrutinized UN immunity in this particular situation. The argument centered not on whether the UN brought cholera to Haiti but whether the organization has the right to hide behind immunity when it has provided the victims with no alternate method of seeking justice. An assistant US attorney argued in favor of absolute UN immunity. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N.’s immunity from Haiti cholera responsibility comes under challenge Tom Murphy, Humanosphere March 3, 2016 Victims of Haiti’s cholera outbreak may soon have their day in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York announced a hearing to determine whether the U.N. lost its immunity for not providing a justice mechanism for people sickened by […]

A Disappointing Ruling on Cholera in Haiti

While the UN is leading (unsuccessful) efforts to eradicate cholera from Haiti, it has still not accepted responsibility for causing the epidemic and continues to dodge accountability in court. On January 9, 2015, a judge ruled that the UN is absolutely immune from suit unless it expressly waives immunity. IJDH and BAI lawyers leading this case plan to appeal the decision. Two other lawsuits against the UN are pending. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. immune from accountability for cholera in Haiti, says U.S. court Tom Murphy, Humanosphere January 12, 2015 Victims of the cholera outbreak brought to Haiti by U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal cannot sue the body in U.S. courts, a district judge ruled. Judge J. Paul Oetken of U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the U.N.’s own assessment that it […]

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