EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. This report, submitted on behalf of the Institute for the Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), AIDS-Free World, the Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti (EJIH), the Haitian-American Leadership Council (HALEC) and the Haitian Diaspora for Democracy and Development (HD3), discusses violations of human rights in Haiti related to the ongoing cholera epidemic. It specifically addresses the ways in which the cholera epidemic has resulted in grave violations of the right to an effective remedy, the right to life, the rights to water and sanitation and the right to health guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (ICESCR).

2. Cholera was introduced into Haiti in 2010 as a result of reckless waste management by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers deployed with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The disease has since killed more than 9,200 Haitians and infected nearly 770,000.

3. Pursuant to the right to an effective remedy, Haitian cholera victims must be allowed to seek restitution and reparation for the human rights violations they have suffered. To date however, the UN has refused to take responsibility for its role in the cholera epidemic and has denied victims any access to a remedy. The Government of Haiti has likewise failed to take any steps to protect and uphold victims’ right to a remedy.

4. As a result of the failure to provide effective remedies or adequately address the crisis, cholera also continued to cause major violations of the rights to water, sanitation, health and life throughout the reporting period. At the time of submission, an average of thirty-seven Haitians are dying each month as a result of cholera. The Haitian government and the international community have failed to make the necessary investments in basic water and sanitation infrastructure and healthcare to effectively combat cholera and uphold Haitians’ rights to life, water and sanitation and health.

5. We urge the Haitian government to use all available means to pursue access to legal remedies for cholera victims. Its failure to do so constitutes a grave violation of victims’ right to an effective remedy. The Haitian government should also take all possible measures to address cholera in Haiti and press the UN and international community to provide adequate funding for cholera elimination, in order to remedy ongoing violations of the right to life the right to health and the rights to water and sanitation.

Read the full report here.

This report first appeared on ijdh.org.