Haiti: Children Displaced Every Minute by Violence, UNICEF

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According to UNICEF, the context of displacement exposes children to increased risk of violence, sexual assault, exploitation and abuse, and even family separation.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned tat the number of children displaced by violence in Haiti has risen by 60 per cent since March with the equivalent of one child displaced every minute.

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The agency’s executive director, Catherine Russell, called the context a humanitarian catastrophe with a devastating impact on children.

“Children in Haiti continue to face a barrage of multiple hazards, including terrible violence and critical levels of displacement,” she said, stressing the need for a safe and protective environment and increased support and funding from the international community.

According to UNICEF, the context of displacement exposes children to increased risk of violence, sexual assault, exploitation and abuse, and even family separation.

More than 300,000 children displaced in Haiti since March, says UNICEF@eriknjoka brings you this report

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They also often face disruption of access to services such as safe spaces, medical care and safe water and sanitation.

Figures from the International Organisation for Migration state that more than 600,000 people remain outside their homes in the Caribbean country, and half of them are children.

Among other challenges, Unicef is alarmed by the poor hygiene conditions in camps and informal settlements that put children at greater risk of contracting diseases, including cholera.

At the same time, school closures and financial constraints caused by ongoing violence have forced many to drop out of school.

In the absence of other means of survival or protection, children are increasingly forced to join these groups, in clear violation of their rights and in breach of international law. “The needs in Haiti continue to grow, and so do the dangers for children,” she stressed.

We all have a role to play in changing this situation and ensuring that children return to school, are safe and have access to basic services, she said.

In her view, children should not have to pay with their lives and their future for a crisis created by adults.

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