Missionaries accused of child smuggling in Haiti. What do you think?

Hi I’m Zach, I am 15 years old and with stop the traffic on my work experience. The top story that has recently reached the press is of the American Christian missionaries being accused of trafficking young children from Haiti because they believed that the children where left orphaned as a result of the Haiti earthquake and they wanted to give the children protection from being exploited by other people which is what may have happened if they weren’t rescued by them. Children are particularly vulnerable when a natural disaster occurs because they are often left without a home and sometimes even without a family which makes it easy for people to take advantage of their insecurity. What shocks me most about human trafficking is that its happening everywhere, even in England people are being bought and sold all over the place and no one seems to notice because they think its only happening far away in less developed countries when it is actually happening in our own local community.

Should they be prosecuted for human trafficking even though they were doing it with the intention of helping the children because of the misunderstanding that the children where left alone without their family?

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One thought on “Missionaries accused of child smuggling in Haiti. What do you think?

  1. kimberly

    Hi Zach, I was thinking a lot about this too. I was really upset at this story and wondered, “Didn’t they think they’d need paperwork? Did they think they could just go in and ‘rescue’ children?” because this is how it was reported up here in Michigan (USA), and thought the whole thing sounded really strange. I have friends who have adopted from Haiti, and they thought something didn’t sound right about the whole issue…and we agreed that there was probably more to the story. Later, I read a news report in which I found out that they got these children at the request of the families to take care of them because the families were having a hard time after the earthquake, and that they thought that the Haitian nationals they were working with had taken care of all of their paperwork. Apparently, according to what they said in court, they were only short one piece of paper. So, in light of that, I think that they should be lenient on them, because it sounds like they just didn’t have enough of the right kinds of paperwork, and there was no doubt a lot of confusion at this time because of Haiti’s infrastructure being down due to the earthquake. I think they meant well but just didn’t check and double check that they had their “ducks in a row” as we say.

    A few of these people who were arrested are teenage girls, too. At the very least, the people who were down there just helping shouldn’t be charged. If they are going to go after anyone, they should go after the leader if something seems to have been amiss. When I volunteer for something, especially an international aid situation (Which I’ve done in the past), i have to trust to some extent that the agency I am helping has the needed paperwork.

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