Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN SG “profoundly sorry” for role in Haiti cholera outbreak

In Secretary General’s address on December 1, 2016, Ban Ki-moon stated that “[the UN] simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role.” This apology and announcement of the UN’s proposal to treat, and eventually eliminate cholera in Haiti comes as a victory and major first step for many affected by cholera, and fighting for justice. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. UN “Profoundly Sorry” for Haiti Cholera Outbreak Tharanga Yakupitiyage, Inter Press Service December 2, 2016    UNITED NATIONS, Dec 2 2016 (IPS) – For the first time, the United Nations issued a formal apology for their role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti and announced new steps to alleviate the ongoing health crisis. Speaking to the members of […]

Small Haitian Minimum Wage Increase Excludes Factory Workers

Haiti’s minimum wage is set to increase marginally on January 1st.  The increase is not only much less than factory workers have asked for, it also doesn’t include many of them because they’re said to receive more than the new wage.  Factory workers are known to receive much less than their official wages. Wage Hike in Haiti Doesn’t Address Factory Abuses Jane Regan, Inter Press Service December 3, 2013 Workers stitch Hanes tee-shirts at a factory in the CODEVI free trade zone in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Credit: Jude Stanley Roy/IPS PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 3 2013 (IPS) – Haiti’s minimum wage will nudge up 12 percent on Jan. 1, from 4.65 to 5.23 dollars (or 200 to 225 gourdes) per day. Calculated hourly, it will go from 58 cents to 65 cents per hour, before taxes. But the raise will not affect Haiti’s 30,000 […]

Cholera Continues to Spread in Haiti

This article describes the ongoing impact of cholera in Haiti, including quotes from Mario Joseph and a former assistant secretary general from Nepal calling for compensation of cholera victims. In Haiti, Cholera Claims New Victims Daily Thalif Deen and Patrick Saint-Pre, Inter Press Service October 31, 2013 UNITED NATIONS/PORT-AU-PRINCE, Oct 31 2013 (IPS) – Some 2,400 kilometres from New York City, where victims of Haiti’s cholera epidemic are suing the United Nations in a U.S. federal court, the disease continues to burn through the populace with no end in sight. In a single week between Oct. 19 and Oct. 26, the Pan-American Health Organisation reported 1,512 new cases and 31 deaths. New cases are reported in all 10 departments. At the Cholera Treatment Centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in Delmas 33, a commune in Port-au-Prince Arrondissement, nurse Viola […]

Haiti Moves to Tighten Laws on Sexual Violence

Ansel Herz, Inter Press Service March 7, 2013 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Mar 7 2013 (IPS) – Haiti is poised to enact major reforms to its penal code to make it easier for victims of rape to prosecute their attackers. The amendments to the penal code would precisely define sexual assault in accordance with international law, legalise certain types of post-rape abortions, and criminalise marital rape. The changes also mandate state-funded legal aid to victims who cannot pay for counsel. Discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” would be banned in limited circumstances, in a first for Haitian law. When someone beats you, rapes you, and it’s all over – you just keep it inside you? That would make me crazy. “I think it’s an exciting time,” Rashida Manjoo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, said in February at a conference on […]

U.N. Urged To Take Lead In Aiding Cholera-Stricken Haiti

Ethan Freedman, IPS-Inter Press Service July 20, 2012 An infected child resting on the floor of the Doin medical centre near Saint Marc, a town in the Artibonite Region, where UNICEF has worked to contain the cholera outbreak. Credit: UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino WASHINGTON, Jul 20 2012 (IPS) – U.S. legislators are appealing to the United Nations to take a greater role in addressing Haiti’s cholera outbreak, now in its third year and which has has left thousands dead. In a letter addressed to U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice, 104 U.S. members of Congress urged Rice to help step up U.N. concern over the outbreak. “It is imperative for the U.N. to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic,” Representative John Conyers, Jr. wrote. “A failure to act will not only lead to countless more deaths … […]

Funding Dries Up Even as Rains Worsen Cholera Deaths

Jane Regan, IPS NEWS May 18, 2012 PORT-AU-PRINCE, May 18, 2012 (IPS) – As predicted, the beginning of the rainy season in Haiti brought exponential increases in the numbers of people sickened and killed by cholera. While the number of new cases in December was about 300 per day nationwide, this week one centre in the capital alone reported receiving 95 cases per day. And the numbers are expected to increase. As of late April, at least 7,112 people had died and over 536,943 been made ill by the deadly water-borne disease first introduced to Haiti by Nepalese peacekeepers 17 months ago. More than one in 20 Haitians has been infected so far. “Between the first week of April and the last week of April, the number of new patients increased by three-fold” in the capital, Gaëtan Drossart, head of […]

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