Here's a couple of troubling reports out of Haiti . . .
Haiti Earthquake: Orphans for sale for $50
Orphans in Haiti are being offered for sale to foreigners for as little as $50 amid warnings that up to one million children in the country have been left vulnerable to abuse and trafficking in the wake of the earthquake.
By Nick Allen in Haiti
Published: 9:17AM GMT 28 Jan 2010 (Abridged)
North of Port-au-Prince a man was reported to have offered to sell a young boy to a Canadian man for just $50.
Meanwhile, in camps around the capital there were several reports of men being lynched after being accused by earthquake victims of trying to steal infants from tents.
The incidents raised fears that child trafficking gangs could move into desperately poor rural areas that have yet to be properly reached by aid agencies. The gangs are also less likely to be picked up by authorities there.
Abduction of children by child traffickers was already a chronic problem in pre-earthquake Haiti, where thousands were handed by their families into lives of domestic servitude.
"There are an estimated one million unaccompanied or orphaned children, or children who lost one parent," said Kate Conradt, a spokesman for Save the Children. "They are extremely vulnerable."
As fears for the safety of Haitian orphans grew a group of 78 children sleeping in the street outside their shattered orphanage in the capital were being guarded at night by a group of local people.
The bodies of 56 other children remained buried under a three-storey section of the collapsed orphanage in the Carrefour slum area. Of the survivors, many had wounds to their heads and limbs. They sleep on blankets laid in the street.
Haitian children kidnapped and sold, aid workers fear
Brett Popplewell, Staff Reporter
Published On Sat Jan 30 2010 (Abridged)
PORT-AU-PRINCE–Kidnapped children. Multiple rapes. Gang violence. A burgeoning black market. And the unknown whereabouts of 4,000 criminals. These are but a few of the problems overwhelming police and peacekeepers tasked with maintaining order in a post-apocalyptic Haiti.
The reported kidnappings of children, and the related fears they could be trafficked into the sex trade or sold into domestic servitude and international adoptions, is the only criminal activity that cannot be confirmed. And yet it remains of principal concern to aid workers here and abroad.
Kent Page, of the United Nations Children's Fund mission in Haiti, says his organization has received multiple reports that children may be disappearing from hospitals and makeshift tent cities across the capital.
"The chaotic situation in Port-au-Prince means there are many unaccompanied children in makeshift camps or on the street," says Page.
"They are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, sexual violence, abuse and possibly illegal trafficking."
Children may be exiting the country by car through Haiti's 360-kilometre border with the Dominican Republic where they could be more easily equipped with falsified papers and sold to the highest bidder.
The U.S. State Department has warned that children, orphaned or separated from their parents, could fall victim to pedophiles. Thousands of unaccompanied children on the streets of Port-au-Prince are the most vulnerable, especially young girls who may be sold into the sex trade or domestic servitude.
"People involved in illegal trafficking kids aren't amateurs," says Page. "These are organized networks. They know what they are doing."
To help churches in Haiti rescue orphans from trafficking and harm, please visit:
To help us pray against the evils of human trafficking, please visit: Traffic Jam