Holding the UN Accountable in Haiti

N-Map’s team just returned from Haiti, where we were assisting the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in their efforts to hold the United Nations accountable for creating a cholera epidemic in Haiti.  We also worked alongside our old clients and friends, Partners in Health (PIH).

Yes, that’s right, MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, failed to screen its Nepali peacekeeping troops for Cholera, then also failed to ensure that their waste treatment was functioning well.  They literally dumped contaminated sewage into a tributary of the Artibonite River, the longest and most important river in Haiti.  This has resulted in a massive outbreak of Cholera, leaving over a million people infected and thousands dead.

We are helping the IJDH and BAI pressure the United Nations to fix the problem that they caused.  This presents us with an interesting challenge: our opponent in this case is supposed to be the good guy!  We like and support the UN, and want to help it live up to its ideals.  So our goal is craft a message of accountability without painting the United Nations as a villain.   That would be counterproductive by alienating the UN, as well as the people whose support we, and more importantly the Haitian people, need.  It’s an interesting puzzle – we’ll show you what we come up with in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here are some resources on the case, as well as some photos from our trip.

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For additional press and resources on the legal case, please visit: http://ijdh.org/cholera-litigation#News Articles

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