Human Predators Stalk Haiti's Vulnerable Kids

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Missizzy, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/201001...jA3luX21vc3RfcG9wdWxhcgRzbGsDaHVtYW5wcmVkYXRv

    Human Predators Stalk Haiti's Vulnerable Kids


    ".....The quake that has killed 150,000 people has left thousands of children orphaned, and vulnerable to being preyed upon by child traffickers and Haiti's shameful tradition of keeping child slaves known as restaveks. "I really fear," says Pean, "that most of the kids you see being picked up on the streets in Haiti right now are going to become restaveks or victims of sexual trafficking."


    How did we all know this was coming? It happened after Hurricane Katrina. There is no level too low for the pedophile or trafficker to stoop. No level.
     
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  3. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    What no one is addressing yet is the very real possibility that these kids will not be trafficked just throughout Haiti and not just as sex slaves, but also as domestic slaves and some of them will come here.
    I think in light of this tragedy, the US could drop a little pocket change on some things to increase awareness in the scope, effects and signs of trafficking in it's different forms. JMO.
     
  4. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    ITA, and while we're at it, can we educate the general American public and all LE agencies about this growing menace?
     
  5. txsvicki

    txsvicki New Member

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    How horrible. I did not know that Haitians had restaveks and not sure what that means. I wish we could bring all those kids over here and to other good countries for foster care and adoptions asap.
     
  6. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Here's a good read on Restavec's. In short, it's child slavery, and has been a part of Haiti since the 1800's. Even before the earthquake there were over 200,000 child slaves. I expect to see even more now. It's hard to believe there is a country out there with so much child slavery and poverty. Many Haitians now believe that the earthquake is a divine punishment, while others think it's a sign from God.

    Exactly what change God wants depends on the faith: Some Christians say it’s a sign that Haitians must deepen their faith, while some Voodoo followers see God’s judgment on corruption among the country’s elite.

    I just want to see the children protected, and I personally think the earthquake was a wake up call for all of us to put our eyes on such a poor and politically unethical caribbean country. We can no longer keep our back turned to the evil that goes on there.

    MOO

    Mel

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restavec[/ame]

    http://www.mjalbert.com/13/nonfiction/restavek/
     
  7. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Mel--ITA. We've adopted once from Haiti and I've traveled there several times to escort children to the US. It's a tragically sad country filled with the most vibrant people I've ever met. They seem to be geographically cursed due to the lay of the land in comparison with the Dominican Republic--the other half of the Island of Hispaniola. Haiti is in the direct path of hurricanes and is de-forested and without fresh water. It is not sustainable.

    I'm very hopeful that the "silver lining" of this horrible earthquake is that more Americans will actually see how the Haitians have lived. Their building methods are frighteningly dangerous and the primary reason for the massive loss of life. Even though I'm terrified of the thought of tent cities and the crime which accompany them, I'm hopeful that some better infrastructure can be built up.

    I, too, have a knee-jerk reaction to "rescuing" the children and bringing them all here. That's never best practice, however, as children need to remain in their countries of origin whenever possible. I have heard some chatter, though, that Haitian-Americans are inquiring in greater numbers about the possibility of adoption. That would be fabulous and something worth supporting.

    In the meantime, continue to support the agencies which you've thoroughly checked out. Hopefully Unicef, the Red Cross, and the UN will be on the sharp look out for predators.

    If you are truly interested in adopting from Haiti, there are a number of wonderful agencies here in the US who can work with you. It is not an easy or inexpensive prospect, however.
     
  8. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    That's happening right now. Lots of orphans are going into long term/adoptive homes. For some reason, I am only hearing about kids being placed in a few southern states, mostly, Texas. Lots of foster parents are getting calls to see if they're willing.
     
  9. smart blonde

    smart blonde Websleuths Member

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    I am outraged!

    As if these children haven't already been through enough, for many, the nightmare is just beginning.

    This is heartbreaking.
     
  10. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    We've had a large group of Haitian orphans arrive in Oregon as we are the headquarters for Holt International. The children who were brought in, however, were already in the "pipeline" of adoption. Most of their adoptions have been expedited, thank goodness, and they are with their new families.

    I have to say that I have not heard of children being placed in State foster homes. That surprises me and I will look into it. If I learn any pertinent info, I'll be sure to post.
     
  11. miimaa

    miimaa New Member

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    What do you mean it happened after Hurricane Katrina? Where? How? Link please.
     
  12. Melly53

    Melly53 New Member

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    Restavek in Creole means "to stay with." It's a kind word for a cruel practice that has dogged Haiti since it won independence from France in 1804. Why does a black republic--whose colonial population was composed almost entirely of plantation slaves--still tolerate child bondage? "There was no value placed on children during the slavery era," says the Rev. Miguel Jean Baptiste, a Roman Catholic priest who runs the Maurice Sixto shelter in Port-au-Prince for restaveks who have run away or whose owners allow them a little schooling each day. "Unfortunately, we've carried that mentality with us today." Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear a Haitian say, "Timoun se ti bet": kids are animals.
     
  13. miimaa

    miimaa New Member

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    This is going to be VERY unpopular. First off I have complete sympathy for the people of Haita and the tragedy they are living through. Why was there no national birth control policy? The country is poor, they cannot support themselves, yet half the population are children. Why? Why are these people having children they cannot feed, house, take care of? Why are these children then forced to become slaves or wander the streets only to be taken by sexual pervs?
     
  14. Melly53

    Melly53 New Member

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    snipped from the link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2010012...VtYW5wcmVkYXRv


    "The earthquake seems to have shaken more Haitians into vigilance as well - and perhaps, unfortunately, some vigilantism. In the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Petit Place Cazeu on Wednesday, a crowd of quake survivors living in tents surrounded a pickup truck and beat up the driver, saying he had for several days been trying to kidnap young girls. Bleeding from his nose, mouth and scalp, he managed to get back in his truck and flee. (The angry crowd then threatened to beat up a journalist for even asking questions about child trafficking.)"

    Maybe it is just me but I don't see the vigilantism as a bad thing at this point considering the conditions in Haiti. At least it shows me that the Haitian people do care about the children.
     
  15. sniperacer

    sniperacer Former Member

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    For those that didn't know, Haiti was "messed" up long before the earthquake. The above is important to remember. Haiti was a slave colony controlled by France. To Haiti's credit, they are the only slave colony in history to uprise and win! (Of course it was against France :crazy: ).

    Anyway, the main point of the above is; slavery, child or otherwise, is old news.

    We just can not bring every citizen / child of every "messed up" country in the world to the U.S. But there is good news. With the "global economy" the standard of living in third world counties is increasing, while the U.S. #1 standard of living is decreasing. All Haiti needs to do is make cheap products for the U.S. to import.
     
  16. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I apologize, my reference to Hurricane Katrina was not clear. My husband (a general contractor) and 6 of my young adult and adult kids volunteered in Biloxi, MS for three months following Katrina. My husband ended up very involved with local politicians and the planning department in helping plan the removal of destroyed homes and the rebuilding of a large Buddhist Temple.

    In his work, my husband had continual contact with the local police and volunteer LE sent in from around the country. After we went down (just as a family response), the Burners Without Borders (affiliated with Burning Man) group quickly joined us and the project took on a life of its own. There's even a video of their work, "Burn on the Bayou".

    It quickly became clear that registered sex offenders plus many other criminals were taking advantage of the disaster. The RSOs were relocating or fleeing with children they were prohibited from living with and absconding from supervision. There were numerous reports that known sex offenders were sighted talking to children.

    A couple even showed up on the Temple grounds. You can imagine that my husband was "on" this right away!! One man actually offended three young women (including my 22 year old daughter!!) during the night on the Temple grounds. He was well known by LE and was determined to be mentally ill. He was off his meds and was grabbing and fondling Americorps workers (and our girl) in their tents at night. My husband was notified by concerned citizens and monks who knew of the men's status and the creep was quickly carted off.

    We also heard that the New Orleans area suffered the same calamity with offenses even being reported in the shelters. I found this one link but am certain that there are more out there:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180226,00.html

    There was also a very real concern that some of the rescue personnel and volunteers who rushed to the area misused their position of trust to offend. Being that the infrastructure in some areas was literally destroyed and there was so much chaos, it was impossible to tell who the good guys were from the bad. My husband quickly learned to listen to the word on the street and act quickly.

    It got to be so problematic at the Temple, along with thievery, that the Temple elders and my husband arranged for security at night and set up locked gates. It's almost unbelievable but there were horrible stories at the time. If I find any more links I will post them. However, if you "read between the lines" of the article above, I think you can see the scope of the problem. The simple fact of 2,000 sex offenders going unaccounted for paints an ugly picture.
     
  17. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    IMHO - I believe many women are raped, and they don't have the means to purchase birth control. We're talking extreme poverty here - even before the quake. The politicians didn't care about the general population then, and they don't care about them now. The children are then taken by the white elite and used as slaves. In short time you will see children picking up the debris from the quake for pennies on the dollar -- just enough for rice for dinner.

    I was shocked to watch a government food dump, and the smaller children were stomped upon, while the older children and adults took the rice. I'm sure these little kids were orphans, or trying to get food to bring home to their ill elders. The assistance over there has to find a better way to distribute!!

    Again - just my opinion based on what I've heard that's gone on in the past.

    Mel
     
  18. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Unless you've been to Haiti, you really have no idea how tragic the living conditions are, just a mere hop, skip and a jump from the US. It's abominable!! It truly is dog eat dog...and that hasn't changed in decades. Our adopted and our foster daughters both had night terrors about the Tonton Macoute. They would make a slashing motions with their hands (the machetes) and scream. Sheer terror.

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonton_Macoute[/ame]

    Anyway, I just found this article and I'm hoping against hope that it is just what the people from Idaho say it is. My only comment is that the orphanages (almost all church based) which we dealt with in Port au Prince and Petionville suffered the constant barrage of pedophiles:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100131...Ec2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDaGFpdGlnb3Z0c2F5
     
  19. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    I can't find anyone anywhere named Jean Sanbil, much less a well known pastor in Haiti, named that.
    I can't find any listing for Sharing Jesus Ministries in Haiti.
    And, the Sharing Jesus Ministries I have found in the U.S. all seem to be associated with nursing homes, not orphanages.
    I can't find an IRS listing for Central Valley Baptist Church of Meridian, Idaho, regarding charitable stuff.
     
  20. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    i.b.nora--I couldn't either and it's making me sick. I should have put a disclaimer in my post that most certainly there are wonderful religious groups working with kids in Haiti. I have to believe that. However, I got the creepiest feeling when we were shuttled amongst orphanages during our first two weeks there in 1989. There seemed to be an inordinate number of middle aged men working with the babies and toddlers and I just couldn't make sense of it. Granted, the sponsoring churches were more fundamentalist than I'm used to, but much seemed odd.

    I went back a couple of times to get other kids out--always children with severe disabilities--and it was heartbreaking. It was a good two or three years after the kids came over that we were called by a "fallen away" missionary who shared with us just what sorts of trauma the kids go through--HIV, the loss of their parents, living on the streets, frequent abuse and harsh discipline in the orphanages. The nannies seemed genuinely sweet but terribly overworked and many had lost babies. We were told, as I had suspected, that a full scale "front" was put on when American visitors showed up.

    I know in my heart that many fine kids have come over and flourished but it's nothing like the infrastructure in place to adopt from Korea or China. It's pretty much pandemonium. It makes me sad to say this as I'd love to adopt again but I don't think I'd hazard Haiti. And that's a strong statement coming from a very experienced Mom of 14.

    Let's hope and pray this group ends up being what and who they claim to be.
     
  21. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I've been involved with adoption for 26 years and I've never read anything so short-sighted, naive, contra-indicated nor elitist as this statement:

    http://www.daily-jeff.com/news/article/4759665

    "The plan was never to go adopt all these kids. The plan was to create this orphanage where kids could live. And kids get adopted out of orphanages. People go down and they're going to fall in love with these kids, and many of these kids will end up getting adopted."

    Has anyone, with experience, stopped to tell these people that we are not talking a puppy mill rescue? These are traumatized children with multiple physical and mental health challenges. Nobody is going to fall in love with these children. They are not lovable right now. That's transferring your own seeming ability to love a needy child. That is not considering the true needs of that child. These kids are going to suffer greatly. They are going to be affected by all sorts of issues common to traumatized and institutionalized kids. They don't know how to trust. They are not going to grab onto the nearest adult and develop a healthy relationship. Try living with a child for a few years (or months or even days) who suffers from attachment disorder, and you will see. It's not for novices. These kids are going to require long term intense care by very seasoned workers and hopefully parents......someday.

    I don't even know where to begin. Yes, it is a disaster zone but parents and relatives have first claim on these kids. This type of reaction is referred to as child-saving and it has NEVER worked. We learned that hard lesson by moving healthy children out of London during the WWII bombings into the relative safety of the countryside. It was a disaster as children need to stay with their families and familiar territory. An orphanage needs an infrastructure and legal and governmental support--from one country or another. There is just far too much room for horrible abuses and the trampling on rights. It's one of those rescue reactions that sounds great sitting around your living room or in the church fellowship hall but which doesn't play out in real life.

    I applaud the desire but we're just going to have to wait for the reputable agencies to put something in place. We don't want small groups of "rescuers" to do more harm than good. If they want to volunteer to help with the children under the guise of established groups, that's great. But no spiriting of children off into the night. Not OK. IMO

    Sorry for the rant. An issue very close to my heart and central to my life.
     

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