Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Human Rights Organizations Call on UN Secretary General to Engage Victims as Partners in the New Approach Plan

To read PDF versions click here: ENG FR July 16, 2018 Dear Mr. Secretary-General: We write to you as organizations that share the UN’s goal of promoting human rights to express our concern regarding the situation of cholera victims in Haiti, and their right to access effective remedies. For six years, the UN denied legal responsibility for sparking the Haiti cholera epidemic, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that UN peacekeepers had introduced the disease. This denial was rightly met with global outcry; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights labelled it “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” The refusal to accept accountability in Haiti hurt both the victims and the UN’s credibility and standing worldwide. As organizations committed to the protection of universal rights, including the fundamental right to a remedy, we were pleased […]

IADL calls on the High Commissioner to speak out publicly on the UN’s lack of a rights-based, victim-centered approach to cholera in Haiti

Oral statement delivered by Micòl Savia, IADL permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Haiti – 38th session of the Human Rights Council 3 July 2018 The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) expresses its deep concern that the UN’s “New Approach” to cholera in Haiti is at great risk of failure due to the organization’s refusal to keep its promise of meaningful consultations with victims, and its apparent unilateral decision to take individual compensation off the table. For six years following the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, the UN denied responsibility, despite overwhelming scientific evidence—including from the UN’s own experts– that reckless sanitation at a UN Peacekeeper base brought the disease to Haiti. Four UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders took the unprecedented […]

Waters & 100 Members of Congress Urge United Nations to Fulfill its Obligation to Support Victims of the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 2018 Contact: Twaun Samuel/Rykia Dorsey Phone: 202-225-2201 Waters & 100 Members of Congress Urge United Nations to Fulfill its Obligation to Support Victims of the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee and a strong advocate for Haiti in the U.S. Congress, led a total of 101 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to the Honorable António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), urging him to ensure that the UN meets its obligations and effectively repairs the harms caused by the cholera epidemic in Haiti. “We write as friends of Haiti in the United States Congress to urge you to ensure that the United Nations complies with its legal and moral obligations to provide appropriate remedies to victims of Haiti’s devastating cholera […]

IJDH Legal Internship – Fall 2018

The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is seeking 1-2 legal interns (for a minimum of 10 hours per week) to work on advocacy to secure a just UN response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti. At the end of 2016, after years of litigation and advocacy by IJDH and its Haiti-based sister organization, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the UN issued an unprecedented public apology for the organization’s role in causing the worst cholera epidemic in the world in Haiti, and announced the launch of a new $400 million plan to improve cholera elimination efforts and provide material assistance to victims. IJDH is seeking legal interns to contribute to our ongoing cholera accountability work to ensure that the UN plan is fully funded and implemented in a manner that responds to the organization’s legal obligations and […]

BAI Launches Legal Observation Program

Building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) launched Haiti’s first legal observation program to observe demonstrations on May 1 st known as Obsèvatwa Libète Piblik. The program was developed in partnership with the U.S. National Lawyers Guild, deploys trained lawyers and observers to monitor and report on violations of protestors’ constitutional rights to free speech and free assembly.The BAI launched the program in response to rising reports of illegal activity by police at protests, including illegal arrests of demonstrators and violence. “Public freedoms such as expression and assembly are the base of democracy. The police routinely use unjustified force against peaceful protestors to quell Haitians’ voices,” said Mario Joseph, BAI’s Managing Attorney.The Bureau expects more protests in the coming weeks due to announced price increases for gasoline and electricity. The legal observation program, combined with BAI’s legal […]

IJDH’s Brian Concannon Talks About His Two-Decade Experience as an International Human Rights Lawyer in Haiti

“…our biggest case is the case of the UN cholera. We work with people who were, who got cholera, which is an infectious disease that has killed about 10,000 Haitians and sickened another million. We work with the families of people killed and the people who survived cholera to push the United Nations, which brought cholera to Haiti, to act responsibly. Acting responsibly means providing some help for people who lost a lot in the cholera epidemic.” See the full  transcript below: I’m Brian Concannon. I’m the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and my job is a human rights lawyer. And human rights is a pretty broad concept. It can include things like the right to free speech, the right to protest, the right to get together. It can also include the right to clean […]

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