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UNICEF condemns violent attacks on children in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 30 November 2007 – UNICEF is alarmed by reports of an increasing number of violent attacks on child in Haiti in October and November 2007.

According to the Haitian law enforcement authorities, there has been about 20 reported cases of kidnappings in November in the Port-au-Prince vicinity alone. However, this crime is no longer restricted to the metropolitan capital, as cases have been reported in Gros Morne, Cap Haitian, Gonaives and Cabaret.

In the month of November, there were 11 reported abductions of children between the ages of three and 17. The case of the a seven year old boy, whose body was found mutilated on November 23 after being abducted from his home in Cabaret two weeks earlier, is just one example of these heinous acts.

UNICEF strongly condemns all violent attacks on children and civilians and extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims.

All forms of violence committed against children, their families, and their communities seriously threaten or affect their wellbeing and long term development. UNICEF urgently calls for appropriate action to be taken to protect human rights and ensure security for all, particularly children. Furthermore, we demand that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

UNICEF reiterates that that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Haiti in 1994, obliges the government and the people of Haiti to defend children’s rights and ensure their protection.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Augustin, UNICEF Haiti, +509 245-3525 ext 223, eaugustin@unicef.org
Linda Tom, UNICEF Haiti, +509 245-3525 ext 276, ltom@unicef.org




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