Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

NYC Bar Writes Ambassador Power for Cholera Justice

The New York City Bar Association wrote to US Ambassador Samantha Power regarding the US support for the United Nations’ new plan to combat cholera in Haiti, which was detailed before the UN General Assembly on December 1. The plan requires funding from UN member states, of which the US is one of the largest contributors. Part of the letter is below. Click HERE for the full text. December 23, 2016 The Honorable Ambassador Samantha Power U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 799 United Nations Plaza New York, New York 10017   Dear Ambassador Power: We write on behalf of the New York City Bar Association to urge the United States to provide support for the United Nations’ new approach to the cholera epidemic in Haiti before you complete your term as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United […]

There is still time for President Obama to pay the US debt to Haiti

…or rather, begin repaying the debt, which has been imposed on Haiti almost since the country claimed its independence in 1804. The US has long been involved in Haiti in detrimental ways but by redesignating Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, and expanding the Haitian Family Reunification Program, which is currently too limited, President Obama has a chance to begin to make things right. There is still time before he leaves office. Will he heed the calls for justice? Part of the letter is below. Click HERE for the full text. Dear President Obama, while there is time Nancy Young, Medium December 20, 2016 Dear President Obama: I tried to call you yesterday on a matter of great urgency and justice to the people of Haiti and those who love them here in the US. But the White House comments line was […]

Letter to UN Independent Expert on Haiti Post-Matthew

BAI, IJDH and five other human rights groups wrote a letter to United Nations Independent Expert Gustavo Gallón on the situation in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. Gallón will report to the UN Human Rights Council at the end of this month. The hope is that he includes language in his report that alerts the international community to the dire situation in post-Matthew Haiti and the need for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. We also hope that he encourages the Haitian government and international community to use a rights-based approach guided by human rights norms in their assistance to strengthen the country’s infrastructure and reduce their vulnerability to natural disasters. A rights-based approach to Hurricane Matthew assistance (1) prioritizes capacity-building of the Haitian government and civil society; (2) ensures participation of communities affected by Matthew in the design and execution of assistance programs, […]

Sen. Nelson and Rep. Wilson Letter Regarding US Assistance to Haiti

Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Frederica Wilson are urging the U.S. State Department to continue their efforts to help the people of Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew. In a letter today to Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith, the Florida lawmakers asked the State Department to provide a detailed plan to address the island nation’s shortage of food and shelter and to combat the increasing spread of cholera in the wake of the recent storm. Letter to Secretary of State and USAID Regarding US Assistance to Haiti November 28, 2016 The Honorable John F. Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 The Honorable Gayle E. Smith Administrator U.S. Agency for International Development 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004 Dear Secretary Kerry and Administrator […]

13 Members of Congress Demand Cholera Justice and UN Apology

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and twelve other Congresspersons wrote to the United Nations Secretary General and encouraged the US to allocate resources to the UN’s cholera response. The Congresspersons also urged an apology for the UN-caused epidemic, saying that “Each day that passes without a formal apology and remediation efforts further erodes trust in the UN and affiliated peacekeeping missions.” Part of the letter is below. Click HERE for the full letter. —————- November 18, 2016 His Excellency Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations 760 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 Dear Mr. Secretary-General, It has been six years since UN peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti, which was already reeling from deadly and devastating January 2010 earthquake. As a direct result of their negligence, nearly 800,000 people have been infected with cholera and upwards of 9,500 people have died.1 In 2014, […]

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. […]

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