On 7 February, 2014, Gustavo Gallón, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Haiti issued a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council concerning the current situation in Haiti.
According to Gallón, more than 8,300 people died from the cholera outbreak with 7% of the population (680,800 persons) being affected in some way by cholera, and a mortality rate of 1,000 deaths per year. Gallón acknowledges that UN troops have been accused of being the origin of the cholera, which the UN denies. Whilst Gallón identifies several necessary approaches to improving Haiti, including corrections of human rights abuses committed during Haiti’s Duvalier regime, increasing literacy, promoting LGBT equality, and providing greater access to medicine, Gallón makes a specific suggestion regarding the cholera epidemic which contentiously presumes UN responsibility:
"83. (h) Une commission de réparation devrait aussi être créée pour les victimes du choléra, afin de permettre le recensement des dommages, l’indemnisation ou la compensation correspondante, l’identification des responsables, l’arrêt de l’épidémie et d’autres mesures."
Gallón has called for a reparations commission to perform a census of the damages caused by the epidemic, determination of cause and responsibility, and compensation or corresponding compensation. The Bureau Des Avocats Internationaux and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti have erroneously interpreted section 83 (h) of Gallón’s report to imply that Gallón has determined that the United Nations is the root cause for cholera epidemic in Haiti. In fact, Gallón has not made this determination.
However, a Yale University study reports that there is a causal relationship with the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the United Nation Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) base in Méyè, Haiti. The strain of cholera has been identified as being one of South Asian origin, found in Nepal where cholera is endemic. The UN peacekeeper troops stationed at MINUSTAH had been deployed from Nepal. The initial outbreak was isolated to the Méyè area. Finally, there had been no documented cholera epidemics in the Caribbean during the 20th century, and none in Haiti going back to the 1800s.
The full Yale University report, Peacekeeping without Accountability, can be found here.