Hunger Relief International is working to reduce and prevent desperate parents living in abject poverty from selling their children into servitude, abandoning them to orphanages or simply leaving them on the streets where they are being abused, trafficked and raped.
Many of Haiti’s orphanages use deception to recruit children from unknowing and impoverished parents. A form of trafficking, these “child finders” are often employed by the orphanages or utilize pastors working with the orphanages. The goal is financial remuneration for the orphanage director or pastor, at the expense of children.
Taking children from their parents through deception, coercion or purchase is a form of human trafficking going largely unchecked in Haiti today.
In a country where one in four people lives on $1.23 a day, extreme poverty drives families to sell or give their children to orphanages on false promises they will receive an education, food, healthcare and sanitary conditions. In some cases, families have been paid $75 to give their children away. For many of these children, sexual molestation is a common occurrence at the orphanage.
For other children, impoverished parents have traded or sold them into servitude, known as Restaveks, a widespread industry that arose post Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, that forced children into domestic slavery.
A 2012 Reuters report placed the number of Restaveks in Haiti at between 150,000 and 500,000 (that number is currently 250,000 to 300,000 minimum). Two thirds of Rrestaveks are female, and most of them come from very poor families and are given to better-off ones in the hope that they will be schooled and cared for in exchange for performing household chores. These children often work for no pay, are denied education, and are physically or sexually abused.
Young children are also victimized. Women who need to leave their children in search of work, food, or water sometimes have no option but to leave them alone or with strangers; and often these children are sexually abused.
Human rights group Amnesty International reports that men roam around looking for victims, targeting young girls without the protection afforded by schools and safe play areas. These children are then sold into national and international crime rings involved in human trafficking in Haiti. Children are trafficked through, into, and out of Haiti for enslavement including prostitution.
Common destinations for Haitians forced into sex trafficking include other parts of the Caribbean, the US, countries in South America, and the bordering Dominican Republic.
Help HRI stop the wholesale exploitation of Haitian children and families today!
Your donation will accomplish the following:
$240 - reunite 90 children with their families who have been abandoned into orphanages
$200 - pays for school for one year for one child (or $17.00 monthly)
$650 - allows 100 single mothers training and a microloan to start a business of their own
Your support can completely change the life trajectory of up to 300,000 children in or at risk of being trafficked.
Give to Children First at Hunger Relief Internationalwww.hungerreliefintl.org