UNICEF urges all parties to safeguard children amid latest unrest in Haiti

Statement attributable to Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti

08 February 2024

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 8 February 2024 – UNICEF is deeply concerned by recent reports highlighting the violence faced and witnessed by children during the current socio-political events in Haiti. We urge all stakeholders to ensure that children are protected, regardless of their situation.

Protecting children should be the priority. UNICEF calls on everyone to protect children and take all necessary measures to prevent their exposure to violent events, which could jeopardize their safety and lives.

Working closely with government and partners, UNICEF is tirelessly monitoring the situation and doing its utmost to ensure that prevention and care services remain operational at all levels.

The escalating violence is simply too much for Haiti's children to bear. Children and families are already enduring relentless waves of brutal violence perpetrated by armed groups in their neighborhoods, with each day bringing new horrors, the loss of loved ones, homes being destroyed by fires or bullets, and an ever-present shadow of fear.

The population is facing some of the worst human rights violations and threats to their lives in the country’s recent history. Years of political turmoil, poverty, institutional and socioeconomic crises, disease outbreaks, increased rates of malnutrition, disasters and escalating armed violence have left over 3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. Many more children will need support if the humanitarian situation deteriorates further. The longer this crisis persists, the deeper its impact may cause irreversible harm to children’s well-being.

The current socio-political unrest has already led to the interruption of essential social services such as education, health, and protection, and is impacting the mental and physical well-being of children. We encourage all stakeholders, including authorities at all levels, to cease the violence and focus on safely reopening and providing essential social services for children where they were previously nonfunctional.

+++++

Media contacts

Sendai Zea
Communication Specialist (Emergencies)
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 6821 0843
Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Haiti
Tel: (+509) 3704 8893

Additional resources

close up of two hands holding each other

Explore more about Haiti

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Follow UNICEF on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and YouTube