Carril Desrosiers, Free-lance Journalist.
Since a number of years, Haiti, as well as some other countries of the Caribbean, faces an alarming social phenomenon: street children. In Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Cap-Haitian and in other urban centres of Haiti, one can see them systematically invading the streets.
Bare footed or with worn shoes, with uncut hair and wearing rags, they tirelessly criss-cross the main metropolitan roads carrying out legal, illegal and marginal activities. People attach all types of attributes to them: deprived children, tramps, thieves, delinquents, etc.
Numerous efforts to check this serious problem, attempted by institutions such as Foyer Lakay (“Home hostel”), Foyer Portes Ouvertes (“Hostel Open Doors”), Maison Arc-en-Ciel (“Rainbow House”) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have proven insufficient up to now.
According to UNICEF representatives, the number of street children increases at an exponential and very disturbing rate. “Unfortunately, it is becoming a sizable social challenge,” said Claudette Bontemps François, in charge of a project of this organization on Children’s Rights and Children Living in Difficult Situations.
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