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Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman

5 November 2007 - The attempt by an international non-governmental organization, Arche de Zoé, to remove children from Chad to France contravenes international norms, practices and laws.

This is not something that should be tolerated by the international community. It is unacceptable to see children taken out of their home countries without compliance with national and international laws.  If children are to be adopted, they should be adopted in accordance with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions.

This issue is now in the hands of the Chadian authorities, and due process should be followed.

UNICEF and its partners are working with the Government of Chad to provide immediate care and protection to these children, including providing nutritional supplements, medical assistance and supplies, bednets, blankets, mats, clothes and recreational materials and activities.  We are also working with the authorities to reunite them with their families and their communities as quickly as possible.




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