Call to Halt Haiti Adoptions on Trafficking Fears

At least 15 children said to have disappeared from hospitals
By Nx Doyle,  Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2010 8:55 AM CST
Promoted on Newser Jan 23, 2010 8:55 AM CST
John Hannon of Foxboro, Mass., holds a child who was injured in last week's massive earthquake at a field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(User Submitted) – The disappearance of 15 children from Haitian hospitals has prompted aid agencies to call for a halt on adoptions of Haitian orphans, warning that child traffickers flourish in such chaotic situations. Despite an outpouring of offers from would-be parents, and the tens of thousands of children in need—40,000 to 60,000 are estimated to have been killed, orphaned or separated from their families—they say evacuating children from Haiti at present is "premature and dangerous."

"Child trafficking was already a problem in Haiti before the quake," says a Save the Children official, adding that tracing the families of children is "the primary important thing that we do." UNICEF warned that "traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability. We know from past experience that trafficking happens in the chaos that usually follows emergencies."

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