SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Friday October 19, 2012 – Ten children smuggled from Haiti have been rescued by authorities in the Dominican Republic, according to the Special Terrestrial Border Security Unit (Cesfront).
The children, aged between four and nine, had been transported by a Haitian citizen who managed to escape after noticing the presence of soldiers in the province of Dajabon bordering Haiti, Cesfront officials said.
The children told authorities that they came from the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince as well as the city of Cabo Haiti where their parents entrusted them to a man and a woman who smuggled them over the border to neighbouring Dominican Republic.
According to the special border unit, the children’s intended destination was Santiago City where they would earn a living for their traffickers as child beggars on the street along with other Haitian children.
Marie Yolene Rene, representative of the humanitarian Ouanaminthe Protection Brigade, said the children had been handed over to the organization for care until a solution is found.
Authorities normally seek to repatriate children rescued in such circumstances to Haiti to be reunited with their families.
Desperate Haitian parents are said to often sell their children under the false promise that they are going to a better life in which childless couples will care for them and offer them an education.
The number of Haitian children brought into the Dominican Republic in “an irregular way” has been rising in recent months, Yolene disclosed.