The International Association of Democratic Lawyers included two Haiti updates from IJDH in its latest bulletin – one on cholera, and one on elections. This bulletin covers United Nations activities around the world, in preparation for the November meeting of representatives to the UN. Part of each IJDH update is below. Click HERE for the full bulletin. November 2016 JUSTICE FOR CHOLERA VICTIMS IN HAITI (Report by Shannon Jonsson, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti [IJDH]) In a breakthrough for victims seeking to hold the United Nations (UN) accountable for causing the cholera epidemic in Haiti, the organization has finally acknowledged its role in introducing the disease to Haiti, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently announced a new plan to combat the epidemic and provide material assistance to victims and their families. In his September opening statement to the General […]
This story tracks cholera in Haiti, from when United Nations peacekeepers first brought the previously-unknown disease to Haiti in 2010 to the UN finally admitting involvement in the epidemic in 2016. When the epidemic first began, the UN tried to cover up its involvement and the World Health Organization helped by saying that the focus needed to be on stopping the disease rather than finding the origin. For years, the UN denied involvement and also dodged responsibility in court, using immunity against the lawsuit IJDH filed against it. Now that Hurricane Matthew has brought more water into Haiti, the risk of cholera spiking has increased. What will the UN do about it? The UN’s Role in the Devastating Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Gillian Mahoney, ABC News October 20, 2016 As Hurricane Matthew churned off the coast of Haiti earlier this month […]
Diplomacy in the Time of Cholera: Immunity Not Impunity October 15th, 2016 Brian Concannon gave an interview with Alexandra Arneri-Matsis of The Gravity podcast. Concannon discusses the U.N.’s actions in causing, covering up and refusing to accept responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Alexandra and Brian discuss the legal and policy issues behind the U.N.’s diplomatic immunity, including the Second Circuit’s decision in Georges et. al. v. the U.N., the U.N. Charter, the 1946 Convention of the Privileges and Immunities of the U.N. and the Status of Forces Agreement with Haiti. Additionally, they discuss the U.N.’s obligations under the Convention and the Status of Forces Agreement and its refusal to perform its obligations of providing redress in Haiti and throughout its other peacekeeping missions. Click HERE for the podcast’s website.
In the interview below, Jonathan Katz, who was a foreign correspondent in Haiti at the time of the 2010 earthquake and the cholera epidemic later caused by the UN, explains what needs to be done better after Hurricane Matthew. He stresses the needs for accountability from international aid organizations and agencies, partnership with the Haitian government, and building systems to prevent such a devastating impact from the next natural disaster. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Why Haiti wasn’t ready for a hurricane: A Q&A with Jonathan Katz Jonathan Katz, IRIN News October 19, 2016 Two weeks after Hurricane Matthew slammed into southern Haiti, the scale of the damage is still becoming horrifyingly apparent. According to the UN, some 1.4 million people are in urgent need of aid and that number is expected to rise, […]
This article features IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom, the attorney who has been arguing the cholera case against the United Nations in court. When cholera initially broke out in Haiti, the UN origin was so obvious that Beatrice and others expected the organization to take responsibility and immediately begin addressing the problem. Six years later, the UN is only just beginning to admit responsibility and form a new strategy to eliminate cholera. Meanwhile, we have to decide whether to appeal the cholera case in the Supreme Court. Beatrice hopes that the UN plan will be fair enough not to merit this action. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Beatrice Lindstrom ’10 advocates for cholera victims in Haiti NYU Law News October 18, 2016 When Beatrice Lindstrom ’10 decided to become a human rights lawyer, she says, “suing the […]
Haitian American Productions has created a powerful video to spread the reach of the #EndHaitiCholera movement. Click HERE to watch the video on Haitian American Productions’ Facebook page. Haitian American Productions joins #EndHaitiCholera Haiti Advocacy Working Group October 18, 2016 We have teamed up with Haitian American Productions to expand the reach of the #EndHaitiCholera campaign! Please check out the powerful video these guys have put together and share it widely. They often post hilarious videos for their fans. This time, they put a serious spin on the serious issue of cholera in Haiti–not a laughing matter. Like their page, share the video, and make sure to tweet and share your selfie with the hashtag: #EndHaitiCholera. Be part of the movement to End Cholera in Haiti! Click HERE to watch the video, and click HERE for the original article.