Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


The period from February 29, 2004 - the day democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced to leave his country - to the present has marked a dark period for Haiti. Thousands of men, women and children have been murdered, raped, and unlawfully detained. Peacekeeping forces of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti ("MINUSTAH"), sent to Haiti in an effort to reinstall democracy, are directly responsible for scores of these human rights violations through direct action and willfully blind inaction. This report attempts to demonstrate the magnitude of human rights abuses that have occurred and continue to occur in Haiti at the hands of MINUSTAH. The report then discusses potential mechanisms for accountability for the United Nations and MINUSTAH's largest troop-contributing country, Brazil, through the lens of a private right of action, including: (1) suit in Brazil, (2) suit in Haiti, (3) suit in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and (4) direct suit against the United Nations. The conclusion suggests some recommendations for the United Nations to increase peacekeeping accountability and give more legitimacy to future peacekeeping missions.