Children

U.S State Department Releases 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report (Haiti)

  • Posted on: 6 July 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has releaed its 2021 Trafficiking in Persons (TIP) reports.  Haiti is "Tier 2" country meaning it is falling short in many areas.  The economic downtown, political instability, and conflict increased vulnerability.  Of note, the government did not make efforts to combat child domestic slavery with estimates of the number of restaveks in Haiti as high as 300,000.  The number of street children has likely increased and "orphanage entrepeneurs" continue to operate unlicensed shelters as profit-making enterprises.  The concrete steps Haiti could take to improve prevention and response are laid out in the Haiti section of the report copied below. 

UNICEF Reports Malnutrition Spike in Haiti

  • Posted on: 1 June 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti's poor governance, failure to address the underlying causes of political instability, and weak response to COVID-19 continue to disproportionately affect the vulnerable.  UNICEF estimates severe childhood malnutrition may double this year.  Humanitarian assistance can and should be used to save the lives of malnutritioned children - but until the Haitian government has the will, capacity and resources to address the needs of its people, food security will remain the perpetual struggle.  The full article by Associated Press journalists Pierre Richard Luxama and Danica Coto follows.  

Haitian Court Orders UN Peacekeeper to Pay Child Support in Landmark Case

  • Posted on: 15 March 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

There is a long history of peace-keeping operationa in Haiit - as well as a long history of peace-keepers exploting women and children.  A Haitian court has ordered a former UN peacekeeper from Uruguay to pay child support to a women he impregnated in 2011. This case is a step towards justice for the mother and the child but it could also encourage more court cases nationally and globally.   In Haiti alone, hundreds of children may have been fathered by UN peacekeepers. The full article by New Humanitarian Journalist Paisley Dodds follows. 

U.S State Department Releases 2017 Human Rights Reports

  • Posted on: 24 April 2018
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has released the 2017 Human Rights Reports.  While not without controversy this year, these reports are valuable for tracking to the extent to which partner countries protect human rights - including for women, children, and minorities.  As in previous years, Haiti's weak justice remains a major challenges.  Conditions in prisons remain poor and journalism remains a dangerous business.  However, they have been some modest successes including the Haitian National Police becoming increasingly professional.  The full report follows. 

How Traffickers Exploit Children in Haiti's Orphanages

  • Posted on: 21 November 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

If someone, be it an individual or a politician, supports a project in Haiti it is usually an orphanage. The problem is that orphanages in Haiti are a business albeit one with almost no oversight and accountability.  The vast majority of the children in orphanages have at least one parent. The smarter investments would be promoting access to family planning so families have only as many children as they can afford and establishing a foster care network throughout the country so that children can be in safe family environments instead.  This is not to say all orphanages are bad - but there is a better way and the Haitian government has failed to protect children from the abuse, sexual and otherwise, that often takes place in these institutions.  More information follows in a CNN Freedom Project article by Lisa Cohen.  

Photo Essay: The Importance of Midwives in Haiti

  • Posted on: 29 July 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti's infant mortality rate remains the highest in the western hemisphere.  This is due in part to a lack of accessible health care facilities with sufficient staffing, training, and equipment.  With funding from Every Mother Counts, Midwives for Haiti have been training skilled birth atttendants (midwives) to asist mothers during delivery.  Ideally, every Haitian mother could deliver in a facility staffed by health care professionals available to them twenty four hours a day.  That's isn't the reality for most Haitian mothers, making the work of skilled birth attendents critical for them and their babies.  Take a look at the full Washington Post photo essay to learn more. 

U.S State Department Releases 2016 Human Rights Reports

  • Posted on: 4 March 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The U.S State Department has released 2016 Human Rights Reports.  As in previous years, human right challenges in Haiti included weak democratic governance, inufficient respect for the rule of law, a deficient judicial system, and persistent corruption.  The good news is that it is clear where the shortcomings are and what the new government must do to improve.  There a wide range of partners who want to help including Haitian activists and organizations, other governemnts, and multilateral and non-governmental partners.  The 2016 Human Rights Report for Haiti follows. 

Haiti Police Raid Exposes Child Sex Trafficking

  • Posted on: 8 February 2017
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Anastasia Moloney (Reuters) reports that Haitian police have arrested nine people, Americans and Canadians, in connection with sex trafficking at the Kaliko Beach Club near Port au Prince.  In 2016, Haiti was downgraded to the lowest grade (level three) in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report meaning that no progress had been made before and that foreign assistance from the United States could be reduced in certain areas. Haiti does have a national TIP action plan but it has yet to be resourced or implemented.  The arrests may be a welcome sign that the government is beginning to take TIP more seriously.  

Haiti Moves Towards Adoption of Counter-Trafficking Law

  • Posted on: 16 May 2014
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The FY 2013 Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report notes Haiti is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking including 150,000 - 500,000 children (restaveks) in domestic servitude.  Given that, it is highly signficant that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) helped draft an anti-trafficking bill approved by the Haitian parliament.  It establishes a National Counter-Trafficking Committee and intends to improve prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnerships.

MINUSTAH Releases Semi-Annual Report (August 31 - March 15)

  • Posted on: 14 March 2013
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is the latest semi-annual report from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) covering the period from August 31st - March 15th. The report provides an overview of key developments during this time, especially police capacity, rule of law, and human rights promotion - all of which need to be strengthened significantly before MINUSTAH can fully transition its responsibilities to the Haitian government.    

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