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21 Jan 2010
EveryChild, the international children’s charity has joined with other international children’s organisations to call for an urgent moratorium on all adoptions from Haiti to ensure that children are not left vulnerable to trafficking, or separated from surviving family members. Since the day of the devastating earthquake in Haiti it remains impossible to process international adoptions in accordance with either Haitian or international law. As an international charity focused on children without parental care, EveryChild would also strongly urge caution against investing in residential institutions to permanently house children left vulnerable by the disaster.
The best way to support the needs of the children in Haiti is to donate money to international aid organisations dealing with the disaster.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of EveryChild, says:
‘As Haitians begin to rebuild their lives and homes, every effort must be made to protect and provide for children who have been left vulnerable by the disaster. The UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children stress that in emergency situations, the primary goal must be to trace and reunite children with their families before any other permanent solution is considered. Even in the worst disasters, such as this, most children have extended family willing to care for them.
It is crucial that governments, NGOs and private organisations do not repeat the mistakes of previous disasters responses, by rushing through international adoptions and building unregulated ‘orphanages’.
For the sake of Haitian children, left alone and vulnerable in this terrible disaster, priority must be given to registering them, tracing their family members and keeping them safe from abuse and exploitation.’