The Cholera Epidemic in Haiti: Questions of UN Accountability and Prevention

September 30, 2013, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Lipton Hall
108 West Third street
New York, NY 10012

About the Event:

Cholera broke out in Haiti in 2010 for the first time in the country’s recorded history and has killed over 8,200 people to date. The source of the outbreak has been attributed to reckless waste management practices on a UN peacekeeping base, but the UN has refused to accept responsibility. The situation raises critical questions in emerging areas of international law, including the responsibility of international organizations, best practices in UN peacekeeping and access to justice through international accountability mechanisms.

The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a non-profit organization that works with people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle for justice and human rights. Together with its Sister organization in Haiti, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH represents victims of cholera in their fight for justice from the UN and is preparing to file a groundbreaking lawsuit that will seek to hold the UN accountable for cholera in US court.

Please join the IILJ and CHRGJ as its international legal experts engage in dialogue with representatives from the IJDH about options for accountability for this epidemic, both in Haiti and other contexts in which peacekeepers are active.

Moderator: Professor Margaret Satterthwaite, is Faculty Director of the CHRGJ and Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law, where she teaches the Global Justice Clinic (GJC). The Clinic is currently working on mining and human rights in Haiti, and has a long history of work in the country, including on the right to food, the right to water, and gender-based violence. For more, see http://chrgj.org/clinics/global-justice-clinic/

Panelists:

Professor Jose Alvarez is the Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law at NYU School of Law, where he teaches International Law, International Organizations, and the Law and Policy of Foreign Investment. He is currently co-editor in chief (along with his colleague Benedict Kingsbury) of the American Journal of International Law.  Professor Alvarez has authored over 100 articles and book chapters, and was recently elected as a member of the Institut de Droit International.

Beatrice Lindstrom is a human rights attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), where she manages litigation and advocacy seeking accountability from the U.N. for its role in causing Haiti’s cholera outbreak. Prior to joining IJDH, she worked with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and coordinated grassroots participation in the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. Beat­rice has worked on eco­nomic and social rights and the human rights oblig­a­tions of non-state actors in a variety of contexts, including through litigation in U.S. courts and research on access-to-jus­tice issues for the U.N. Spe­cial Representative on Busi­ness and Human Rights. She is a 2010 graduate of NYU School of Law.

Dr. Rishi Rattan advises governments of Haiti and its allies on building national water infrastructure in Haiti.  He has testified before the U.S. Congress on cholera in Haiti and has provided technical expertise to the United Nations on its role and responsibility to improve Haiti’s water security in the context of the cholera epidemic. Dr. Rattan lectures on global health, humanitarian response, and advocacy strategy at universities across the country. He has worked clinically in Haiti since 2007.

The event will be followed by a brief reception. RSVP and valid ID required. Please RSVP to: watnea@exchange.law.nyu.edu.

Download the event flyer [PDF].

 

 
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