Saturday, January 22, 2011

Human Trafficking: US Awards Grants to Combat Human Trafficking in Haiti

he U.S. State Department has awarded $4.75 million in grants to 10 organizations and institutions in an effort to fight human trafficking in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

A statement issued Friday says the grantees will work with local partners in Haiti to help draft anti-trafficking legislation, support direct services for victims' recovery, and prevent trafficking and gender-based violence in camps for the internally displaced. The organizations include Catholic Relief Services, the International Organization for Migration, and the University of San Francisco Center for Law and Global Justice.

Officials say anti-trafficking experts were part of the emergency response and planning to rebuild Haiti following the deadly earthquake in January of last year. They also say $1 million in new grants helped in responding to the heightened risk of trafficking of Haitian children.

The State Department says children identified as suspected trafficking victims are now registered, transferred into the care of the appropriate Haitian government agency and when possible, reunited with their families.

Last year, the State Department said Haiti had made limited progress in anti-trafficking efforts prior to the earthquake, and that efforts were further weakened by the disaster.

Published with the permission of Voice of America