Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Haiti's Government-Imposed, Cholera Epidemic?

As the first anniversary of Haiti’s horrific earthquake approaches, this nation remains in devastation. Reconstruction is barely noticeable, and a severe cholera epidemic rages on. It is clear that reconstruction efforts have not been implemented in a manner that would allow this island nation to move forward.

In response to the destruction of the earthquake and cholera epidemic, the Haitian government wrote a plan for reconstruction. Nonetheless, this plan falls short of addressing the challenges that Haitians face when trying to access healthcare, especially in light of the cholera epidemic. In other words, the “right to health,” a human right, is being violated by the failure to address health care needs in the reconstruction plan. As a panel of human rights representatives notes, “The reconstruction plan came under particular scrutiny as lacking any measures to protect the rights of Haitian citizens or adequately manage reconstruction projects.”1 

As defined by the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the government violates the right to health by not implementing legislation to provide for the right to health. Yet, this problem did not develop with the earthquake. It has been ongoing since the founding of Haiti by the French.

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