UN sued over cholera epidemic

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS): The survivors of a cholera outbreak in Haiti are suing the United Nations in a US court for compensation claim, media reported.

The victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak are demanding billions of dollars in damages to be paid to survivors and the relatives of those killed, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

The UN, however, said it has legal immunity from such compensation claims and has formally rejected it.

The Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti will file the case against UN in the Manhattan federal district court, the New York Times reported.

Scientific studies have shown that outbreak, which claimed over 8,000 lives, was likely introduced to the country by UN troops from Nepal when contaminated sewage was discharged from their barracks into a watercourse. Before that cholera cases had been rare in Haiti.

A UN official Tuesday justified the claim by those affected. "I still stand by the call that victims who suffered as a result of that cholera be provided with compensation," said Navi Pillay, high commissioner for human rights.

Asked about Pillay's comments, UN associate spokesperson Farhan Haq said it was not the "United Nations' practice to discuss in public claims filed against the organisation".


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Title: UN sued over cholera epidemic

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