No compensation for Haiti cholera victims, UN secretary Ban Ki-moon

After a widely criticized decision made by the United Nations to invoke its immunity after a suit filed in the wake of the 2010 Cholera outbreak in Haiti, that has caused the deaths of over 8,000 Haitians, some say the most disappointing thing is the brevity of the official dismissal. The invocation of the UN's right to legal protection within a country in which it operates was a one-sentence cap to three years of illness and death, including the 15-month effort to gain compensation for those affected by the outbreak said to have been caused by UN peacekeepers from Nepal who entered the country after the January 2010 earthquake to offer aid to victims.


Though the evidence--including the failure of a local contractor to properly sanitize the waste, and the genome sequencing that directly linked the strain to the peacekeepers from Nepal, where cholera is endemic--strongly suggests that the cause of the outbreak was the leaking of sewage from the site housing the peacekeepers into Haiti's water supply, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in a telephone call to Michel Martelly, stated that the claims concerned 'a review of political and policy matters' and therefore could not be received.

The suit, originally filed in November 2011 sought a minimum compensation of $100,000 for families suffering a loss and $50,000 for each survivor. There was also the demand for a public apology and, as a means of controlling the epidemic, the implementation of a national water and sanitation system. The UN has sought refuge in the 1946 treaty which extends to the immunity of any UN worker who is operating in an official capacity.

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Read more: cholera haiti, Cholera, MINUSTAH, Ban Ki-moon, united Nations, International

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