POST BY BARONESS GOUDIE Aid agencies working in Haiti are worried about the number of unaccounted children missing since the earthquake, who are at risk of falling prey to child traffickers and to families from abroad who are desperate to adopt. UNICEF spokesperson Roshan Khadiva, said ‘The earthquake had left thousands of children vulnerable’ and warned that ‘trafficking and abduction were posing a serious threat’. Save The Children, World Vision and the British Red Cross have called for an immediate halt to adoptions for Haitian children not approved before the earthquake, warning that traffickers would exploit the lack of regulation. Over thirty agencies working with the UN peacekeeping mission and the Haitian government are urgently pulling resources to counter the threat. It is estimated that 45% of the Haitian population is younger than15 and thousands were orphaned and separated from their families. Before the earthquake the plight of Haiti’s children had been highlighted in a UNICEF report, putting the number of street children at 4 000 while about 10 000 or more were in orphanages. Haiti’s government and aid agencies are concerned that children are being taken from the country without passport or papers.
It is so important that protection teams are being set up at the borders for the very long-term not just for a few months to prevent child trafficking.