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Haiti - Social : Sophia Martelly expresses her indignation of mother
23/10/2011 11:11:31

Haiti - Social : Sophia Martelly expresses her indignation of mother
Last Friday, police officers and officials from the Child Protection have proceeded to closure of the orphanage "Son of God" (Fils de Dieu) located in Carrefour, accused of not feeding the children and sell the donations made by humanitarian organizations... The 46 children in the orphanage were transported by a bus of UNICEF to their new home. Police arrested the daughter of the founder of the orphanage for questioning.

Diem Pierre, General Coordinator of the Institute of Welfare and Research (IBESR), explained that the Government had closed the orphanage permanently because inspectors have found that children living in unacceptable conditions, suffering of malnutrition in dirty premises. The intervention occured following complaints by American missionaries.

Seth Barnes, executive director of Adventures in Missions, based in Gainesville, Georgia, declared he and workers at six other organizations learned of the problems after visiting "Son of God" last year to check on donations of clothes and other goods and to see if the children needed any help. Barnes said they found that donated clothes had gone missing and donated food disappeared from storerooms even as the children appeared to be going hungry. He said some kids simply vanished without any records or adequate explanation from the staff of the orphanage. Barnes described conditions as "horrific" and said they began complaining to local authorities from last year...

Recall that due to these complaints, Maccene Hypolitte, the Director of the orphanage, was arrested last July following a suspicion of child trafficking based on allegations of American missionaries. Jailed pending a judicial investigation and has not been charged. His wife, Marie Andree Hypolitte continued to run the orphanage with his daughter of 30 years. Andrée Hypolitte, denies any wrongdoing, claiming that the American missionaries have accused them of trafficking and abuse because they want to take over the business...

In a statement, the First Lady of Haiti, Ms. Sophia Martelly, says welcome the news of the closure of this orphanage well known, accused of abuse and violation of rights of children entrusted to it. "the First Lady expresses all her indignation of mother, before the inhuman treatment and the shameful exploitation of the innocence of children by individuals dishonest and immoral, not respecting the laws and conventions in force.

Sophia Martelly, while welcoming the diligence of the authorities who intervened quickly to curb these abuses, reiterated the determination of the President to work to ensure respect and promote the rights of all Haitian children. She also encourages similar actions against any institution disrespectful of the inalienable rights and legal prerogatives of children.

The First Lady of the Republic, wishes the cooperation of all stakeholders and partners of Haiti to promote the implementation and the full compliance with the provisions relating to the rights of children."


Such enforcement actions are rare in Haiti. Officials complain that child welfare workers lack the resources and training to investigate. It's estimated to 50,000, the number of children in orphanages in Haiti. Last May, the Government had closed a foster home in the area of Port-au-Prince, after its director, Matthew Andrew Carter, was accused of abuse against children in the United States. According to Dr. Peter Diem, only one other orphanage had been closed by the Haitian government in recent years...

HL/ HaitiLibre

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