Not long after the Port-au-Prince earthquake, the world was stirred to outrage when some missionaries tried to take some Haitian kids across the Dominican border without the proper paperwork. They were charged with child smuggling and kept locked up in a Haitian jail for weeks, while the world’s media spewed invective at them.
Granted they screwed up, and in so doing created a lot of problems for the advocates of Haitian children. But I was furious at the time, and still am, that the media ignores the very real and sickening problem with the exploitation of Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, while sensationalizing this.
Please take a moment and read the blog posts that Cherie and I put up then (here and here). Cherie was invited to speak on BBC radio about the issue, but after being given a few seconds was then completely ignored as the program turned into an extended spiel about exploitation of children by religious extremists.
So why come back to this subject? This morning I read this piece (please read it), discussing the continuing problem of Haitian children being smuggled into the D.R. to be used as slaves, prostitutes and panhandlers. Since the earthquake it is estimated that over 7,300 Haitian children have been smuggled across the border and forced into prostitution or panhandling. Where is the outrage now? Why isn’t this on the news every day?
Haitian children need our help. Don’t expect the media to inform you of the horrors so many of them endure.