Law in the Time of Cholera

Resolving the Dispute between Haiti and the United Nations

UN peacekeepers are bound, at the very least, to do no harm. But what happens when the peacekeepers bring untold suffering to those they are sent to protect?

In 2010 a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera into Haiti, a country where the disease had not existed for more than 100 years. More than 800,000 people have been infected and more than 9,000 have died. Yet no remedies have been made available to the victims, and the UN has relied on legal immunity to resist any claims being brought to court.  Freedman and Lemay-Hebert are Senior Lecturers at Birmingham University’s Law School and International Development Department.

Image [top] - 'Water testing in Haiti', courtesy of CDC