Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew and its Unnatural Ramifications

Hurricane Matthew has left a path of devastation and destruction in its wake, ruining much of Haiti’s infrastructure and displacing tens of thousands of its citizens.  The hurricane alone, however, is not the only thing to blame for the damage done.  A history of maltreatment and injustice has left Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, much more vulnerable to natural disasters. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full text. For Haiti, Hurricane Matthew is an Unnatural Disaster Jason Von Meding and Giuseppe Forino, New Republic October 11, 2016 At least 1,000 people were killed when Hurricane Matthew battered the Tiburon Peninsula in Haiti last week, destroying houses and displacing tens of thousands. A humanitarian crisis is now unfolding for the survivors, with the Pan American Health Organization warning of a likely cholera surge in the country due to severely damaged water supply […]

Ban Ki-moon Responds to Question about Cholera Crisis

After a group of Nepalese U.N. soldiers introduced cholera to Haiti in 2010, at least 8,774 Haitians have died of the infection. Ban Ki-moon waited months before calling for an investigation, while U.N. soldiers at the base in Haiti cleaned out waste pits prior to epidemiological examinations. In January, the United Nations was cited as having ‘absolute immunity’ from being held accountable for bringing cholera to Haiti, and the victims’ lawyers plan to appeal. Although the United Nations has yet to accept responsibility, Ban at last replies to a question about the cholera crisis. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The Secretary General in His Labyrinth Jonathan M. Katz, New Republic March 3, 2015 Between the lights of Long Island City and Ban Ki-moon stood a stretch of wooden desk, a well-kept ornamental tree, […]

Why is US Arguing for UN Absolute Immunity?

This article explores the US government’s interest in the case against the United Nations for bringing cholera to Haiti. At yesterday’s oral arguments on the question of UN immunity, a US attorney argued in favor of absolute immunity for the UN, though the US isn’t a party to the litigation. The US has also submitted two statements in support of UN immunity in 2014. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The U.N. Caused Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic. Now the Obama Administration Is Fighting the Victims. Jonathan Katz, New Republic October 24, 2014 Four years ago this month a battalion of United Nations soldiers, fresh from a cholera outbreak in Nepal, allowed their sewage to flow into Haiti’s biggest river and, scientists say, sparked the deadliest acute epidemic of the century. An estimated 9,000 people have […]

Sean Penn Misses Human Rights Issues in WSJ Article

On Wednesday (June 19), Wall Street Journal published an article by Sean Penn that criticized the media for ignoring Haiti’s progress. While this may be true, Sean Penn’s discussion of housing improvements and cholera failed to mention that many people who moved out of IDP camps now live in homes in danger of collapse or that the United Nations brought cholera to Haiti and have done little to stop the epidemic. These facts, along with Penn’s failure to discuss the elections crisis in Haiti, lead one to question his motives in writing the article. Only systemic change in housing rights and building code enforcement, UN accountability for cholera, and fair elections in Haiti will allow the country to advance; not foreign investments. Sean Penn Accuses the Media of Ignoring Haiti’s Progress. But He’s Ignoring a Few Uncomfortable Facts, Too. Jonathan […]

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