Crisis in Haiti -- Protecting Haiti's Children
We are in awe of the enormous generosity of people around the world who are working together to help the people of Haiti recover from this extraordinary disaster. The combined strength of our donations makes a real difference in the lives of Haitian children.
As we did with the tsunami, we urge you to donate to specific international disaster relief agencies that focus on protecting children who have been separated from their families, and helping those children reunite with family members.
With almost 50% of the Haitian population under the age of 18, the challenges of protecting Haiti’s children are enormous. Save the Children estimates that over 2 million children have been personally affected by this disastrous earthquake.
Save the Children reports, “We are seeing dazed, dehydrated parents walking the streets with their children searching for clean water, food and shelter. Many are starting to congregate in open spaces, setting up makeshift camps.
Save the Children will be starting safe space areas for children in these camps, and also beginning child tracing programs to reconnect children who were separated from their families.”
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) is also working to “protect the health and safety of children at risk. One critical concern involves children who have become separated from their families and may find themselves without shelter, food, water or other basic necessities.”
In a special communication to the Polly Klaas® Foundation, UNICEF reports:
“Providing for children who are lost or have become separated from their families must be a priority. In the middle of the kind of upheaval they are living -- it is crucial they be reunited with their families, or with someone they already know. They need to be found, fed and kept safe.
These children are at risk of malnutrition and disease, and of developmental difficulties, as well increased exposure to the risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking. We need to find these children, provide them with life-saving emergency food, safe shelter and care, and we need to register them.
This process has begun through the work of many different agencies, including the Haitian Government, UNICEF, Save the Children and the Red Cross, but much more needs to be done.
The next step will be try to reunite children with their families wherever possible.”
Both these agencies :
- Are providing safe places for children.
- Registering children who have been separated from their families in a central registry.
- Tracing their families and working to reunite the children and families.
- Protecting children from sexual exploitation and trafficking.
- Have long-term commitments in Haiti.
- Are already distributing life-saving emergency food, water, shelter and other supplies in Port-au-Prince.
Haiti’s children need immediate protection.
We urge you, as people who are actively concerned about the safety of children, to donate to either Save the Children or UNICEF.
You can also donate $10 to Save the Children BY TEXTING “SAVE” to 20222 ( US Only).
Click here to receive updates from the frontlines of child safety and missing children.