UNICEF writes about their focus on keeping Haitian children safe and reuniting them with their families. (from the UNICEF website)
NEW YORK (January 20, 2010) — The earthquake that struck Haiti a week ago has left many thousands of children orphaned, lost or separated from their families—and vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Even as it works to provide for the immediate needs of young survivors of the disaster, UNICEF is focusing on how to protect the most vulnerable among them. The issue is critical, given that nearly half of all Haitians are under 18 years of age, and almost 40 percent are under 14.
“Every effort will be made to reunite children with their families,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said today, expressing the organization’s deep concerns about the plight of unaccompanied children. “Only if that proves impossible, and after proper screening has been carried out, should permanent alternatives like adoption be considered by the relevant authorities,” she added.