Haiti Earthquake: Orphans For Sale For $50

By Nick Allen in Haiti for the Telegraph:

Orphans in Haiti are being offered for sale to foreigners for as little as £30 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.

In a remote area north of Port-au-Prince, a man was reported to have offered to sell a young boy to a Canadian man for just $50.

The first confirmed case of a child being offered for sale since Haiti was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Jan 12 took place near Gonaives, 150km north of Port-au-Prince.

It was reported by Noel Ismonin, a Canadian pastor who rescues orphans in the area. A man offered to sell him the boy but the pastor refused.

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 incident near Gonaives 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 be 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.”

[continues in the Telegraph]

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