9 October 2013
Lawyers for Haitian victims of a cholera outbreak announced they were filling a suit against the United Nations (UN) in a Federal District Court in New York. The suit calls on the UN to compensate victims of the epidemic.
It is believed that the outbreak began after MINUSTAH peacekeepers from Nepal brought the bacteria, and spread quickly due to negligence in the sanitation of the UN base.
Last summer, researchers from the Yale University published a report arguing that the UN caused the outbreak and should pay compensation to the victims.
Lawyers for the victims have not communicated on the arguments they would present against the immunity of the UN.
Source: The New York Times | Rights Advocates Suing U.N. Over the Spread of Cholera in Haiti
Source: BBC | UN sued over Haiti cholera epidemic
8 August 2013
A report released on 6 August by researchers at Yale University documents how UN negligence caused the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and argues that the UN therefore has legal and moral obligations to remedy the harm caused.
The report also calls for setting up a claims commission, as referred to in the MINUSTAH Status of Forces Agreement, and recommends the Organisation to issue a public apology, direct aid to the victims and comply with its contractual and international law obligations. The report comes after the UN Office of Legal Affairs determined in February that the claims of the victims were not receivable pursuant to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nation.
Source: Yale Law School News | New Report Holds U.N. Responsible for Haitian Cholera Epidemic
Source: UN Department of Public Information | Haiti Cholera Victims’ Compensation Claims ‘Not Receivable’ under Immunities and Privileges Convention, United Nations Tells Their Representatives | 21 February 2013
Source: Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Haiti concerning the status of the United Nations Operation in Haiti | 9 July 2004