Dominican Republic expelled 1800 children to Haiti without their parents in 2014
A new United Nations report released on Friday says that thousands of Haitian children were expelled from the Dominican Republic to Haiti without their families’ knowledge or permission.
The move was a shock to the children’s families and occurred at a time when Haiti, a low-income country, was experiencing extreme challenges with a high rate of illiteracy. The report says that the Dominican Republic, an impoverished country, wanted to send the children to Haiti because of the perceived “better” school and health systems.
The Dominican Republic expelled some of these children on May 10, 2014, with the help of Haiti’s Ministry of Health. The children were sent to the country by train, and the number of who were left behind, according to the report, are unknown. This is according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to the report, “The parents have no idea what has happened to their children and are not notified of their disappearance from their home until they arrive in Haiti. The parents receive no information on their whereabouts from any government organizations and are not able to contact their children.”
The report says that, “This practice creates immense emotional trauma on the parents and puts enormous pressure on them to keep their children,” while it was at their worst when it came to the country. “The parents fear that their children will suffer from poverty, illness and abuse,” it says.
Children in the Dominican Republic are expelled from the country by train under a policy called “Operation Exodus,” announced at the time, “By the end of 2014, the Dominican Republic had received more than 1,400 refugees from Haiti and the total number of children in that country was nearly 1,600,” the report says. “At approximately 1 p.m. on May 10 of this year, Operation Exodus began — children were dispatched with government assistance. The government also dispatched unaccompanied children and the children of family members. After completing the processing, the Dominican Republic