Human trafficking thrives in conflict and chaos, and Haitians are no strangers to either.
Haiti has lived in a state of corruption and devastation for years, deepening both conflict and chaos within, through gang violence, politically oppressive factors, and reoccurring natural disasters.
These issues have further exposed vulnerable Haitians to targeting and interception by traffickers and exploitation for domestic servitude, forced labor, and sexual exploitation.
The porous border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic leads to Haitian children being trafficked into the Dominican Republic and subjected to brutal child labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
In some cases, these trafficked children can be seen in the streets of the Capitol receiving as little as a few coins or food in payment for their forced labor or rape.
Another form of trafficking children in this region endure is forced begging.
Forced begging is a form of trafficking in which a trafficker forces their victim to wander the streets and beg for money that must be handed over to their trafficker. Victims of forced begging work long hours and suffer physical, mental, and verbal abuse from their traffickers and those they encounter on the street. They also run a very high, daily risk of sexual assault.
Forced beggars may even be forced to use props such as crutches or particular clothing to catch the attention of the public. In some cases, traffickers will even go as far as renting out babies to women to aid them in their begging attempts.
All of the money given to those in forced begging go directly to their trafficker. Victims do not profit, and worse, they are left vulnerable and exploited with hope for a better life hanging by a thread.
Our fight to reach these children is fueled by a desire to see hope restored and justice pursued.
“Our team works tirelessly each day to rescue these children and investigate who is recruiting, who is transporting, and where the children are being held. Our goal is to find who is receiving the children at the border and in Santo Domingo so that we can pursue justice.” – Mark; Founder