Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adoption v. Child Trafficking in Haiti

When the earthquake first hit Haiti, the news showed video of hundreds of children being loaded on buses. Aid groups hoped that the children could be taken to safer areas and then put up for adoption once they left the rubble of the city. The buses ended up being too hot though, making some children sick and those with diarrhea and other illnesses even worse. The aid workers didn't have enough supplies or support and many were feeling helpless as they saw many children so sick.

An AP report from today addresses the situation. The conclusion? Very badly. The article states, "UNICEF estimated 380,000 "orphans" even before the earthquake. The definition is loose, as tens of thousands have at least one living parent." Now after the quake, many more have lost their parents or have been put up for adoption in the hopes of achieving a better life.

The report continues, "Haiti's children have long been a commodity — used for adoption, sex trafficking or as unpaid domestic labor. Adoptions can yield as much as $7,000 in fees — a relative fortune in a country where the per capita yearly wage is under $1,000, Kovats-Bernat said. Haitian officials put it bluntly. 'Adoption is a synonym for trafficking,' said Haiti's immigration director Roland Chavannes." Many are fearful that the disorganization created from the quake has lead to larger numbers of children falling into traffickers' hands. Because of this fear, applications for true adoptions are having trouble being fulfilled and aid groups without proper documentation are being detained.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100223/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_americans_detained;_ylt=ApNhsKuirU3KbxBN0Sj_jZK3IxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTMxbWRjMm1oBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMjIzL2NiX2hhaXRpX2FtZXJpY2Fuc19kZXRhaW5lZARwb3MDOQRzZWMDeW5fcGFnaW5hdGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNoYWl0aWFkb3B0aW8-

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