Causes And Consequences Of Human Trafficking In Haiti

1508 words - 6 pages

Throughout the globe, whether a country is highly developed or unstable, all countries must face the issue of humanitarian crisis. These misfortunes can be triggered by human action or can occur involuntarily. Ranging from natural disasters, to diseases, to internal or external conflict, each has been proven to be detrimental to the stability of the society. Haiti has recently gotten attention for being simultaneously affected by multiple crises; each of which helps to place Haiti in a trap which they cannot lift themselves out of without foreign intervention and aid. Organizations such as the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), a collaboration between Jesuit universities, are in place hoping to promote awareness and understanding of humanitarian crises. To express their mission, JUHAN has compiled ten learning objectives which highlight the key underlying factors composing crises. The humanitarian crisis of focus is the event of human trafficking within Haiti; comprehending what factors may cause this crisis and the effects it has on the productivity of the country, will allow one to devise a response which can alleviate the problem.

Human trafficking is the modern day equivalent to slavery, involving mainly women and children of lower economic standing. The two prominent examples of trafficking noted within Haiti are forced child labor and the sexual exploitation of women. A common issue which arises is that many families do not have the funds of the resources to support their children, in turn, the parents will send their children off to live with a family that provide them with food and an opportunity at an education. As compensation for housing them, the children, or restaveks, perform housework for the families, but are generally abused and exploited, ultimately becoming “subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude” (2005 Trafficking in Persons Report). Officials in Haiti estimate that an overwhelming 90,000 to 120,000 children are currently forced into this practice, reflecting greatly on the lack of economic stability and growth within the country (2005 Trafficking in Persons Report). When thinking of sexual exploitation, forced prostitution and rape are often the first to come to mind; however, women of Haiti have been noted to consciously choose to exploit themselves. Furthermore, women will trade sex for a goods, shelter, or even security, in turn causing sex to be classified as an “income-generating strategy” (Kempadoo, 84). According to a statistic pulled in 1984, “30 percent of the prostitutes from Haiti or from the Dominican Republic were between fifteen and twenty years old” (Benoit, 39). Consequently, the numbers of individuals affected by trafficking in Haiti is evident of the presence and nature of crisis occurring.

Haiti is extremely susceptible to the humanitarian crisis of human trafficking due to their unstable government, lack of law enforcement, and static economy. Although...

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