Statement by UNICEF Representative Haiti - Annamaria LauriniPort Au Prince, 4 June 2008 - UNICEF joins in today’s national call, and collective condemnation, of crimes being perpetrated against children and adolescents in the past weeks.
The kidnapping of children has increased exponentially over the past few days and weeks. To date this year at least 50 children have been kidnapped – more than half of them girls. In the first five months of last year, 31 children had been kidnapped.
The recent murder of a 16-year old hostage and the lynching and rape of others, including infants, has given today’s call and demonstration added urgency.
There is no acceptable motive or rationale for these crimes, as there is no acceptable excuse that they should be allowed to continue with flagrant impunity.
The rights of children, ensured by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Haiti in 1994 demands action be taken, children be protected and their families be allowed to live in an environment free from harm.
UNICEF joins its voice in demanding a stop to these kidnappings by issuing a call for Haiti to build a country where children, adolescents and their families can live peacefully, without fear for their lives or security.