Haitian children trafficking Need To Stop
Dear President Martelly,
There is a rapid growth of Haitian children trafficking that requires your administration's undivided attention.
Haitian children are being sold for as little as $50 USD each. Some youngsters are ending up in the care of well meaning but ignorant European families, while others are being forced into prostitution.
According to Glen Milner and Caroline Gammell, people posing as NGO officials, pretending to be relatives or unscrupulous Haitians from abroad are targeting tens of thousands of children living in the temporary camps.
The Daily Telegraph gained exclusive access to film the work being carried out by Unicef to try and tackle the problem.The charity is funding the Brigade de Protection des Mineurs (BPM) - working in conjunction with the police - which monitors the camps and Haitian borders to pinpoint vulnerable children.
Parents desperate for money are tricked into believing their children will lead better lives elsewhere.
Melissa Nau, a 38-year-old mother of five who suffers from learning and physical disabilities, sold four of her children for 50 Haitian gourdes (76 pence) each.
Unable to work, she was living in the Tabarissa camp in Port au Prince when a man she knew only as Jacques offered to buy the children, aged between four and eight.
The money she received lasted just a matter of months and she is now no better off.
Melissa and her remaining son Roland, who is 10 months old, came to the attention of Unicef and have now been placed in a safe house.
The BPM discovered that her children were given false records and then illegally adopted by European families via an international adoption agency.
A Unicef spokeswoman said: Well meaning parents in the US and Europe have no idea that children are being kidnapped, stolen and bought from the displacement camps of Port au Prince.
As part of its work, the BPM patrols the crowded camps and porous border to try and curb the trafficking.
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