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Protect Haiti's Children

South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder has asked the European Commission to do all it can to protect the children of Haiti.

Since the earthquake in Haiti three weeks ago, reports have suggested that traffickers and child abductors have taken advantage of the difficult situation many Haitian children have found themselves in. UNICEF has issued several reports of children being removed from Haiti without due process or the proper documentation.

Last week the Haitian Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, expressed his fear that children in Haiti are falling victim to human trafficking in the aftermath of the natural disaster. He has declared that no adoptions will take place without his personal approval.

Catherine said, "the recent earthquake in Haiti has already destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives but for the countless children left orphaned and unaccounted for, the greatest horrors may be yet to come."

"I have asked the Commission for assurances that all is being done here in Europe to help the children of Haiti, and that assistance is being offered to the Haitian government to protect women and children from traffickers. This is the time when they are most vulnerable."

"Several EU countries have already accelerated the legal entry of eligible orphans from Haiti across their borders. I want to hear that the Commission has made efforts to forge a common EU position on fast-track adoptions from Haiti, and to prevent children who have not yet been properly assessed or granted this authorisation from being taken to Europe."

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