Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Why so much sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers?

In recent months, the United Nations has come under fire more frequently for reports of sexual abuse and exploitation committed by peacekeepers. AIDS-Free World has begun the Code Blue campaign to fight the culture of impunity that has allowed this to happen so frequently. Below is an interview with one of the campaign organizers, Paula Donovan. Click HERE for the full text. When Peacekeepers Rape Pooja Bhatia, Ozy June 10, 2015 In principle, the United Nations is a benevolent body, devoted to peace, human rights and championing the vulnerable. The reality is different, according to Paula Donovan, who is engaged in a high-profile fight against peacekeeper sexual abuse and exploitation. In recent weeks, the organization she co-directs, AIDS-Free World, has leaked documents that suggest that the United Nations has sorely failed to live up to its policy of “zero tolerance” for […]

Hope for UN Accountability with New High Commissioner

This article is a profile of Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, who will be the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights next month. Zeid has a history of standing up for human rights, even against UN peacekeepers in sexual abuse cases. His appointment as the High Commissioner gives hope for continued pressure for the UN to be accountable for peacekeepers’ actions. In October 2013, the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, supported compensation for UN cholera victims in Haiti. ‘Prince’ Could Be a Career Liability Pooja Bhatia, Ozy August 11, 2014 Next month, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan will become the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the world’s moral-arbiter-in-chief. For the 50-year-old diplomat, the position could well be a prelude to secretary-general, but for now, as he noted last month, he will be the first commissioner from […]

Forcing Aid Organizations to Respect Human Rights

This article discusses the difficulty of getting justice from aid organizations even when they have clearly violated human rights, as in the Haiti cholera case. The author argues that litigation, whether the verdict is in favor of the plaintiffs or not, can draw enough negative attention and pressure aid organizations to act more carefully. While some argue that this is biting the hand that feeds you, they neglect to consider that aid organizations can fail to respect human rights like any other group. A Good Reason to Bite the Hand That Feeds Pooja Bhatia, Ozy June 27, 2014 Why you should care Recent lawsuits against aid agencies could yield a fairer and more humane international development system. Maybe it’s not impossible to sue an aid agency, but it’s damn difficult. Sometimes it requires a stakeout. Outside Manhattan’s Asia Society last week, […]

Help Haiti Through the Cholera Lawsuit

Although billions were pledged and many promises were made to Haiti immediately after the 2010 earthquake, there’s not much to show for it.  For those still looking to help, this article recommends supporting the cholera lawsuit against the UN. Douz Janvye Pooja Bhatia, Ozy January 11, 2014 Tomorrow marks four years since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, killed an unknown number of people and left the capital city, Port-au-Prince, in shambles. I was there — before, during and after the quake — and, like many other returned expats, I have no idea what to do with myself on douz janvyè. (That’s Haitian Kreyol for the 12th of January.) It’s an awful day to remember, but forgetting would feel wrong, even if I were able. How to mark the day? Minutes after the ground stopped shaking, messages came in from my friends abroad. […]

Mario Joseph Mentioned on NPR

The story about Mario Joseph was recently mentioned on NPR.  In the short excerpt below, Ozy’s founder explains why Mario’s work is so compelling. The New And The Next: A Haitian Star, Bilingual Speed Dating September 28, 2013 The online magazine Ozy talks about people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins us regularly to tell us about the site’s latest discoveries. This week, he tells NPR’s Arun Rath about a rising star in human rights law, a rags-to-riches tale of a whacky impersonator and trend to look out for in the dating world. ARUN RATH, HOST: It’s time for the new and the next. Carlos Watson is the cofounder of the online magazine Ozy. He joins us now to tell us about some of the people, places and trends on the horizon. Welcome back, Carlos. CARLOS WATSON: Arun, […]

BAI’s Mario Joseph Recognized as Unsung Hero

This is an excellent article highlighting the work of BAI’s Mario Joseph, and explaining why it matters.  The article focuses on the Duvalier Prosecution, the cholera case against the UN, and Mario’s efforts for justice in Haiti.  Thank you so much to everyone who has made Mario’s work possible! Click HERE to see the original article. Partial version below: A Hero in Haiti Pooja Bhatia, Ozy September 25, 2013 MARIO JOSEPH SOURCE: HANS THOOLEN To know Mario Joseph is to wait for Mario Joseph. You will wait for him to return from a last-minute hearing, to stop barking into one of his two mobile phones, to wrap up a meeting that started an hour late. And you will wait because Joseph, managing attorney at the NGO Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, is the best human rights lawyer in Haiti, a country where human […]

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