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

Former UN Official Lauds the Fight for Cholera Justice

“The United Nations has capitulated on the question of Haiti and cholera. After nearly six years of denial and hiding behind the pretext of immunity, the United Nations has finally conceded that it had real responsibility in bringing cholera to Haiti.” In the video below, Stephen Lewis, a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, comments on the UN’s admission of involvement in the cholera epidemic in Haiti. He also commends BAI and IJDH for our work fighting for justice and helping make this happen. He reminds everyone who cares about justice that it is important to keep fighting despite the challenges. Stephen Lewis: The Week in Review 128 — The UN Admits Responsibility in Haiti Stephen Lewis, AIDS-Free World August 19, 2016

Former UN Official Denounces Lack of Cholera Accountability [Video]

In a short statement, Stephen Lewis, former Deputy Director of UNICEF and current Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, calls out the UN’s lack of accountability for the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Since peacekeepers introduced cholera, over 9000 people have died and over 750,000 have had the illness. Still the UN has failed to accept responsibility, install water and sanitation, or compensate the victims. Lewis points out that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s reputation will be “infinitely scarred” by the UN’s failure regarding Haiti. March 25, 2016

Demand for Cholera Justice Continues to Increase

Professor Fran Quigley, of Indiana University’s Robert H McKinney School of Law, reflects on the enormous outpouring of support for the cholera victims’ appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In total, 86 legal practitioners, organizations, academics and former UN officers submitted 6 briefs before the court in support of the cholera victims’ struggle for justice. In this IndyStar article, Professor Quigley commends the broad coalition of support, noting that the briefs should certainly ‘make UN leadership sit up and take notice.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Quigley: UN has promises to keep in Haiti Fran Quigley, Indy Star July 10, 2015 The announcement by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti was only a slight exaggeration: “Everyone Tells UN to Fulfill Its Legal Obligations to Haiti Cholera Victims.” […]

As Haiti Commemorates Earthquake, UN Accountability Crisis Deepens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Mario Joseph, Av., Managing Attorney, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI),,  +509 2943 2106/07 (in Port-au-Prince, speaks French and Creole) Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Executive Director, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH),, +1-617-652-0876 (in Boston, speaks English, French and Creole) Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., Staff Attorney, IJDH,, +1-404-217-1302 (in New York, speaks English and Creole) As Haiti Commemorates Earthquake, UN Accountability Crisis Deepens Refusal to Take Responsibility for Cholera Emblematic of Failed International Responses BOSTON, PORT-AU-PRINCE, January 6, 2015—As the world assesses Haiti’s recovery from the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake, the UN’s refusal to respond justly to the cholera epidemic it brought to Haiti after the earthquake stands as a stark example of misguided priorities, mismanaged efforts and a refusal to honor commitments. Cholera cases have recently surged in Haiti—nearly 100 deaths were recorded in November 2014, making it the deadliest month on […]

UN Immunity and Its Implications for Cholera (In)Justice

In a speech originally planned to focus on UN immunity in cases of sexual violence, former UN insider Stephen Lewis was compelled to look at immunity in light of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Despite causing the first cholera epidemic in Haiti in over a century, the UN has continually dodged responsibility and remained unaccountable for four years. Meanwhile, deaths from cholera continue. Now that cholera victims had a chance to argue in court (on October 23), Lewis and countless others hope that UN immunity will finally stop being impunity and the victims will have justice. Click HERE for the pdf. The 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Lecture in Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, McGill University delivered by Stephen Lewis, Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University Montreal November 12, 2014 Allow […]

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