Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update: Vulnerable Children and Why Stephen Harper Should Never Have Rewritten Our Foreign Policy


I posted the other day on Haiti, the Vulnerable Children and Why Stephen Harper Should Never Have Rewritten Our Foreign Policy. I have been concerned that since our aid workers are no longer allowed to include sexual exploitation or rape in their reports, that Canadians would not be aware of of the plight of some of the world's most vulnerable children; especially now. This in turn could mean that we won't demand that they are made a priority.

I have also questioned why so many soldiers, because at home, Harper is being hailed as a hero, but word on the ground is that it's looking more like an invasion and occupation than a relief mission.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know our soldiers are committed to helping, but is that the government's priority?

Ben Ehrenreich also raises the question Why Did We Focus on Securing Haiti Rather Than Helping Haitians? That is a very good question.

The Star has picked up the story, and I hope that others will follow. If they hoped to turn Harper's fortunes around, they should realize that Canadians are not that shallow. This story is excellent, because it speaks to the difficulty of maintaining order in a country that has been broken by U.S. foreign policy.

Haitian children kidnapped and sold, aid workers fear
January 30, 2010
Brett Popplewell Staff Reporter

PORT-AU-PRINCE–Kidnapped children. Multiple rapes. Gang violence. A burgeoning black market. And the unknown whereabouts of 4,000 criminals.

These are but a few of the problems overwhelming police and peacekeepers tasked with maintaining order in a post-apocalyptic Haiti. On Wednesday, the Star watched as a hungry mob turned violent when the World Food Program tried to dole out 1,266 bags of rice to the masses. Friday, the Star revisited the site and found some of those bags being sold at a marked up value of $40 a bag.

But of all illegal activities, the reported kidnappings of children, and the related fears they could be trafficked into the sex trade or sold into domestic servitude and international adoptions, is the only criminal activity that cannot be confirmed....

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