UN: 30,000 Haitian children smuggled annually

Around 30,000 Haitian children are illegally smuggled into the Dominican Republic every year to work as child prostitutes or be forced into other degrading occupations, UN and Organization of American States (OAS) officials said on Sunday.

In Haiti itself, children are recruited as gang members or are tortured, kidnapped, sexually and physically abused, abandoned and traded like personal property, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations children's fund, and the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, said.

The UNICEF adviser for the region, Maria Jesus Conde, and The Inter-American Commission's rapporteur for children's rights, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, said after a four-day fact-finding tour to the Caribbean island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic that they were extremely troubled by the fate of Haitian children.

"The delegation expresses its deep concern, following denunciations it has received about the trade of children and adolescents used for house works and sexual exploitation," Conde and Pinheiro said in a joint statement.

Source: China Daily

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