Hope prevails among Haitian youth despite over half believing their rights are violated.

Despite extreme violence, poverty, malnutrition, the collapse of the health system, and school closures, a majority of respondents to a UNICEF survey of 3,500 youth still believe the future of children is brighter than the present.

10 June 2024
A young girl who took part in activities to celebrate the National Day of the Haitian Child.
UNICEF/2024/Joseph
A young girl who took part in activities to celebrate the National Day of the Haitian Child.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 10 June 2024 – 53% of Haitian youth believes child rights are rarely or never respected, a UNICEF survey of over 3,500 youth conducted from 3 to 9 June on the occasion of the National Day of the Haitian Child found.

“When I ask children if their rights in Haiti are being respected, the answer is often a resounding: “no”,” said Samarre Tercier Marcellin, Youth Advocate for UNICEF Haiti. “Children are abused, die of diseases and malnutrition that could be cured or prevented, and lack access to quality learning. This needs to change.”

Haitian children are enduring a profound humanitarian crisis exacerbated by armed groups terrorizing communities and controlling key areas of the capital Port-Au-Prince and Artibonite. From January to March only, over 2,500 people have been killed or injured, including children. Thousands of children, adolescents and youth have been forced to flee their homes due to violence.

Haiti’s health system is on the verge of collapse, with only 20% of health facilities in the capital operating normally. In addition, over 1.6 million people face emergency levels of acute food insecurity in Haiti, and 600,000 of them are children. With schools closed and attacked, thousands of children are deprived of their right to education.

These multiple and complex emergencies have placed additional stress on household incomes, affecting families' ability to access food and critical social services such as health care and education. Families are experiencing complete decapitalization.

And despite all odds, 65% of youth remain hopeful – either very (24%) or at least a little (41%) – about the future of children in Haiti, against 14% who are not very hopeful and 10% not at all.

When asked about what, in their opinion, will allow the country to change most, 40% cite better access to education, 24% the economic development and poverty reduction, 19% security around the country and 7% ameliorated health services.

The survey was conducted through UNICEF’s U-Report – a youth platform that collects and amplifies the opinions of young people. Over the upcoming weeks, UNICEF will organize events with artists, sports players, children and young people across Haiti to raise further awareness of child rights and the importance of participation.

Media contacts

Maxime Le Lijour
Communication Specialist
UNICEF
Tel: +50939030350,
Gessika Thomas
Communication officer
Tel: +50947503125

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