Cholera: Immune. Immoral. Illegal? (HB74)

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Haiti Briefing 74 concentrates on the United Nation's mendacious response to the cholera epidemic it has caused in Haiti.

In the first article, we demonstrate how the UN is not only making a mockery of the concept of rule of law in failing to accept liability and compensate the victims, but how its failure to act is leading to unnecessary deaths right now: UN Special Envoy on Cholera: "Silence is the Worst Response"

In the second article, we show how the UN is refusing to take even the most basic steps to prevent this sort of tragedy happening again, meaning more needless deaths in the future: UN Rejects Cholera Experts' Recommendations to Change Medical Protocols

It took more than 15 months to write, and ultimately amounted to two sentences in one short paragraph – the penultimate – as if an afterthought in the two- page letter signed by Patricia O’Brien, the UN’s Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs.

The claim for compensation made by IJDH, the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and its sister organisation, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port-au- Prince, on behalf of 5,000 of those killed and sickened by the cholera no one now doubts was brought to Haiti by UN peace- keeping troops (see Haiti Briefing No. 70), was, as of February 21, emphatically rejected, as “not receivable.” In the words of one lawyer: “That’s UN legalese for not worth considering.”

First, an update on the toll: the 5,000 Haitians on whose behalf the claim was filed are just a fraction of the 8,292 killed and 670,500 sickened to date. That in itself is widely considered an underestimate. These are just the individuals the Haitian government has managed to count in what is still, 32 months on, the world’s most potent epidemic.