Case Studies in Health and Human Rights in Haiti

The Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago initiated longitudinal scholarship initiatives in several thematic areas in 2012. The Health and Human Rights initiative focuses on the nature and extent of the right to health and health care as a critical question for the humanities, as well as an operational imperative in three international health settings – the south side of Chicago, China, and Haiti. In these two events on Health and Human Rights, we will consider the medical, political and social roots and consequences of the current cholera crisis in Haiti. 

Registration is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome to both events!

Cholera in Haiti: Intersection of Public Health and Global Humanitarian Intervention 

Since October 2010 when UN peacekeepers contaminated Haiti’s principal river with cholera-infected human waste, the disease has killed over 8,300 and sickened more than 650,000. 

This panel will include a diverse group of experts in medicine and law who will discuss the recent public health efforts made to mitigate the spread of cholera across the country, and legal action to seek justice for victims of the cholera epidemic.

The panel will feature Dr. Pierre Paul (Partners in Health), Brian Concannon (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti), and Dr. Evan Lyon (University of Chicago Medical Center). 

Wednesday, February 26; 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Biological Sciences Learning Center, Room 001 (924 E. 57th Street)

A light lunch will be served


Law in a Time of Cholera: The Failure of the United Nations in Haiti 

In October 2013, the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed a lawsuit against the United Nations in the Southern District of the New York Federal Court. This action follows dismissed claims on behalf of 5000 cholera victims directly against the UN via UN legal channels. The plaintiffs in the Federal Court suit are five Haitians and Haitian-Americans whose family members died of cholera or who were infected but managed to survive life-threatening disease. This litigation is one of the largest cases to seek justice for UN wrongdoing in the organization’s history. This case has universal implications beyond Haiti because it challenges the UN to establish mechanisms to uphold its commitment to be a global leader in accountability and promotion of human rights for all.

This panel will include Brian Concannon (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti), Dr. Paul Pierre (Partners in Health), Lyonette Louis-Jacques (University of Chicago Law School), and Brian Citro (University of Chicago Law School). 

Wednesday, February 26; 4:30 – 6:00pm

University of Chicago Law School, Room III (1111 E. 60th Street)

Drinks and light refreshments will be served before the panel

These events are part of the Health and Human Rights initiative, supported by the Richard and Ann Pozen Fund at the University of Chicago Human Rights Program. 

[download the event poster here]