Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Victory in the Fight for Cholera Justice – UN Apology!

IJDH has been pursuing cholera justice for so many years, and today, we saw major steps towards justice! For the first time, the United Nations held a briefing specifically dedicated to cholera. It is unheard of for a Secretary-General to issue a report like this and hold this type of session. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also apologized for bringing cholera to Haiti, something that cholera victims, BAI, IJDH and all of our allies have been advocating for since 2010! Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN and now co-Director of AIDS-Free World, describes the fight for cholera justice in vivid terms: Transcript of cholera apology, in three languages Reactions from cholera victims in Haiti UN Secretary General’s report on the new plan

UN Special Rapporteur Demands Just Response to Cholera Victims

In an August 2016 report to the United Nations General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Philip Alston criticized the UN’s response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti as “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating. It is also entirely unnecessary.” When the UN later announced that it would soon release a new plan for eliminating cholera from Haiti, Alston wrote a letter to follow up, commending the UN for the new approach but also suggesting ways to make sure it was truly just. The Deputy Secretary-General wrote back the following week with further details on the new plan, including “a package of material assistance and support to Haitians most directly affected by cholera.” Parts of both letters are included below. Special Rapporteur Alston also spoke at the United Nations General Assembly regarding cholera on October 25. He again emphasized the importance of a just response. […]

After Matthew, Haitian Cholera Victims Need Justice More than Ever

Last month, the United Nations finally admitted responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has even promised to reveal a plan to fight cholera. Now that Hurricane Matthew has brought even more water into a place where contaminated water is a major problem, Haitian cholera victims need the UN response even sooner. Some are skeptical that cholera can be eliminated in Haiti but it has been eliminated in other poor countries around the world as recently as 2000. The UN just has to be willing to invest in solving the problem it caused. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti Needs A Plan To Eradicate Cholera – The UN Cannot Wait One. More. Day. Julianna LeMieux, ACSH October 10, 2016 The United Nations took responsibility for starting the cholera epidemic in Haiti […]

Cholera Victims Demand Haitian President Stand For Justice at UN General Assembly

BAI and Haitian cholera victims held a demonstration outside of the National Palace on Tuesday. They called on acting president Privert to include a call for justice for victims of UN-introduced cholera in his upcoming address to the General Assembly. Now that the UN has publicly admitted its role in introducing cholera, it is time for the Haitian government to publicly advocate for justice. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. President urged to demand cholera reparations at UN General Assembly Samuel Maxime, Haiti Sentinel September 16, 2016 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – Haitians held a sit-in protest outside of the National Palace, Tuesday, the occasion of the opening of the 71st United Nations General Assembly, to demand their president call for damages from the UN for its role in the cholera outbreak during his speech to the […]

How the UN System is Set Up Against Justice

Victims of the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers have been seeking justice for almost six years. The UN has dodged accountability through a clause in its Charter that grants the organization immunity from lawsuits. Even when incidents occur within the UN, whistle-blowing is discouraged and whistleblowers often face retaliation. These are just two of the barriers to seeking justice from the UN. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Policy change is needed to hold UN responsible for its crimes Rasna Warah, Daily Nation August 29, 2016 In 2010, United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal were implicated in the spreading of cholera that killed more than 9,000 people in Haiti and made hundreds of thousands of others very sick. Apparently, the Nepalese peacekeepers were not using proper sanitation at the base where they were camped and […]

UN Admits Responsibility for Haiti Cholera

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, (in Haiti),, +509-3701-9878 (French, Creole, English) Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti,, +1-541-263-0029 (English, French, Creole) Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti,, +1-404-217-1302 (English, Creole, French) UN Admits Responsibility for Haiti Cholera Advocates Hail Major Breakthrough, But Commit to Continued Advocacy Thursday August 18, Port-au-Prince, Boston, New York —For the first time in the six years since it brought the world’s worst cholera epidemic to Haiti, the United Nations has publicly admitted its role in causing the outbreak.  In a statement released today, the UN Spokesperson recognized the need for the organization to do “much more regarding its own involvement in the [cholera] outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.” “In Haiti we say ‘viktwa […]

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