Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Sienna Merope-Synge Discusses U.N. Accountability in Haiti

This article was originally published by Yale Law School Sienna Merope-Synge, a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), spoke on February 12 about her organization’s fight to secure adequate remedies for victims of the U.N.’s introduction of a 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti. The talk was co-sponsored by the Schell Center, the Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP), and the American Constitution Society. Merope-Synge began by explaining that many viewed this cholera outbreak-the first in Haiti’s history—as a humanitarian crisis, not a legal one. But as it became clear that the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti had caused the crisis by dumping contaminated waste into local rivers, people began coming to IJDH’s offices and ask whether there was something the law could do to address the situation. IJDH had to work creatively, since the U.N. has […]

UN Could Have Prevented Haiti Cholera for Under $2000

Researchers from Yale Schools of Law and Public Health have found that for a total of under $2,000, the United Nations could have prevented the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 9,000 people in Haiti. The simple prevention measures include antibiotics, vaccines, and a screening test. Now that cholera has been rampant for five and a half years, it will cost over $2 billion to eradicate. If matters can get any worse, the UN still hasn’t implemented these preventive measures when deploying troops from regions where cholera is endemic. This means that there’s a very real potential for UN peacekeepers to spark another deadly cholera epidemic somewhere else in the world. UN could have prevented Haiti cholera epidemic with $2,000 health kit – study Researchers find screening tests and antibiotics could have warded off illness, which has taken thousands of lives […]

UN Could Have Easily Prevented Haiti Cholera Outbreak, Study Finds

A new study shows that for less than $1 per peacekeeper, the United Nations could have reduced the chance of introducing cholera into Haiti by over 90% by issuing antibiotics pre-deployment! Despite similar recommendations by the UN’s own panel of experts, the UN still doesn’t follow this procedure. It has been over five years since UN peacekeepers first brought cholera to Haiti and Haitians are still becoming sick with and dying from cholera. Below is a press release from the Yale researchers who conducted this new study. PRESS RELEASE Study: Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic Could Have Been Prevented Cholera remains a critical risk for U.N. peacekeeping operations, years after Nepalese troops inadvertently the disease to Haiti in fall of 2010 and triggered one of the worst epidemics in recent years. New research by scientists at Yale School of Public Health, in partnership […]

Cholera Struck 1,000 per Week Since January

The cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers continues to plague the small nation. So far in 2015, there have been 1,000 new cases each week. The UN also continues to struggle to raise the necessary funds for improved water and sanitation, which would help end the epidemic. We are currently in the appeals process, to get the UN to take responsibility for the damage epidemic. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti finds 1,000 new cases of cholera per week in first months of 2015 Circa March 26, 2015 According to the UN, Haiti remains “the largest cholera epidemic in the Western Hemisphere.” A UN official in Haiti, Sandra Honore, told the UN Security Council March 18 that the country is on its way to holding general elections, noting, however, that “lingering” […]

Lack of Cholera Accountability Puts UN at Risk

At the core of the United Nations’ values are human rights and the rule of law. When it comes to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, however, Attorney Tim Howard argues that the UN has completely ignored those values. Although mounds of scientific evidence prove UN peacekeepers’ responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti in 2010, the UN has remained unaccountable ever since.  Many believe that this lack of accountability greatly undermines the UN’s ability to hold others accountable in the future. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. In denying Haiti cholera deaths, UN risks violating its core purpose Tim Howard, Global Post November 9, 2014 CAMBRIDGE, England — Late last month, attorneys argued before the US Federal District Court in Manhattan that the United Nations is not immune from liability for the spread of cholera throughout Haiti. The medical […]

Another Cholera Lawsuit Against the UN

A second group has filed a lawsuit against the United Nations for bringing cholera to Haiti. Their class action suit, filed March 11, 2014, represents 1500 cholera victims and also seeks UN accountability, compensation for the victims, and sanitation infrastructure. Haiti cholera victims file new lawsuit against UN AFP March 12, 2014 Washington — Victims of Haiti’s deadly post-earthquake cholera epidemic filed a new lawsuit Tuesday against the United Nations in US federal court, demanding compensation over the organization’s alleged responsibility for the outbreak. The class-action suit — representing some 1,500 victims — is the “the largest lawsuit against the UN regarding the outbreak to date,” plaintiffs’ representatives said in a statement. “The lawsuit seeks to force the UN to take responsibility, compensate victims, and bring critical sanitation to the devastated Haitian communities the UN was sworn to protect,” it […]

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