Haiti - Justice : The OPC demands compensation for the victims of cholera, the UN regrets
On this dark anniversary, the Office for the Protection of the Citizen (OPC) notes a lack of commitment from the Haitian authorities to support the victims and their families in their efforts to obtain redress from the UN.
During a meeting on October 1, 2020 withthe associations of victims, the OPC was informed that the United Nations in its approach to fight cholera in Haiti was funding projects in Mirebalais and Cap-Haitien, "without the involvement of victims, neither in their design nor in their execution".
The OPC believes that any approach to fighting cholera in Haiti must involve the victims. Alongside community projects, the OPC calls for actions aimed at compensating victims and reminds the Government of its constitutional obligation to protect every citizen...
Avocat Sans Frontière Canada (ASFC), agrees and emphasizes that despite the commitment made by the UN Secretary General to "consult the victims, their families and the communities within the development of the device, the limited consultations carried out by the UN did not allow the victims most affected by cholera to express themselves."
This is why ASFC, in collaboration with the Interuniversity Research and Development Institute (INURED), conducted a survey of cholera victims, Haitian and international experts and studied the feasibility of an individual approach to assistance for those most affected by the epidemic.
ASFC encourages a mechanism for frank, transparent and sustained dialogue with victims, their families and community members affected by cholera. This dialogue will help identify concrete and realistic assistance measures that genuinely respond to the rights, needs and priorities of victims. She calls on the UN and the Haitian State "to play a proactive role in the establishment of a transparent and rigorous process of consultation and active participation of victims in the decision-making processes on the implementation of assistance measures. . "
Download the ASFC study (PDF in French) : https://www.haitilibre.com/docs/asf-ca-cholera.pdf
For its part, the United Nations, through the office of Ms. Josette Sheeran, Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Haiti, expressed "their deepest regret and sadness at the suffering of Haitians who have been affected by cholera as well. May their sincere condolences to all those who have lost a loved one" because of this illness.
The United Nations reiterates, on behalf of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, their desire to continue the efforts of the international community to eradicate this disease from Haiti and "to provide much needed support to the communities which have been the hardest hit."
However, the UN recognizes that despite the progress made, "much remains to be done to support those who have been directly affected, as well as the communities hardest hit."
Mrs. Josette Sheeran, recalls that "the United Nations has launched a consultative process with the communities to provide material assistance to those who need it most" and contrary to the statements of the OPC and ASFC she affirms "This support program aux victims has been completed in five communities of Mirebalais and is currently being implemented in twenty additional communities in northern Haiti. In each of these communities, the victims are empowered to identify their priorities, develop community programs that respond to them and ultimately, implement said programs in partnership with the UN. In total, the United Nations hopes to implement this victim-centered approach in the 136 communities that have been the hardest hit in Haiti."
The UN recalls via its office in Haiti, that it depends on member states to provide voluntary contributions for these interventions as decided by the General Assembly of the organization. As such, on this dark day of commemoration, the United Nations not only reiterates its deepest regrets for the pain and suffering felt by the victims, but it also calls on the whole world not to forget the Haitian people and to put an end to to this scourge once and for all.
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