Wednesday, 6 August 2008
I have great admiration for the Association Enfants Kidnappés which manages the Enfants Kidnappés web site. It is the only site I know of which tries to keep so many missing and abducted children in public awareness. They are now setting up a global network for sending out alerts when a child goes missing. All you need to do is provide your email address and when there is an alert, you will be sent a poster via email, to print out and place wherever you think it would be useful.
An article about children in Haiti appeared on the Enfants Kidnappés site on July 29th and I present the translation here, a little late, but it's got to be done!
"les enfants haïtiens demeurent la cible d'enlèvement."
According to the report from MINUSTAH*, children are still victims of kidnapping, murder, sexual violence and child-trafficking. Some are also used in violent demonstrations.
The latest report from the MINUSTAH Child protection unit, covering the period January to July 2008, and published this week, establishes that children continue to be affected by armed violence, despite the general improvement in the climate of security in Haiti.
Kidnapping remains a significant concern. Out of three kidnap victims, more than one is a child. Girls are also becoming the targets of armed groups. In the six month period, 66 minors were abducted, against 80 for the whole of 2007.
Two child victims of kidnapping have been killed. The body of one of them, a minor aged 16, was found tortured and unrecognisable, despite the ransom having been paid to the kidnappers. Many of the abducted girls are also the victims of sexual abuse.
In general, sexual violence against children remains a major concern, even if the statistics from non-governmental organisations working in this field have indicated a lowering in comparison to the previous year.
A significant and alarming increase, is also seen in relation to trafficking of children for sexual exploitation and domestic work in border areas.
Around 750 children were repatriated by the Dominican authorities from January to June 2008. According to the Initernational Organisation for Migration (OIM) 30,000 Haitian minors are victims of child trafficking to the Dominican Republic.
The official information from MINUSTAH tells of the active participation of minors during violent demonstrations last April.
One rioter in three seems to be a minor, according to reports provided by military contingents deployed on the ground. The active participation of children and young people in violent demonstrations occurred at a range of levels, the laying of flaming barricades, getting through the broken windows of private companies, right up to to unsuccessful attempts to invade the presidential palace. (HPN)
Selon un rapport de la Minustah, les enfants sont toujours victimes de kidnapping, de meurtres, de violence sexuelle et de trafic d'enfants. Certains sont également utilisés dans des manifestations violentes.
Le dernier rapport de l'unité de protection de l'enfance de la MINUSTAH, couvrant la période janvier à Juillet 2008, et publié cette semaine, établi que les enfants continuent d'être affectés par la violence armée, en dépit de l'amélioration générale du climat de sécurité en Haïti.
Le kidnapping demeure une préoccupation forte. Sur trois victimes kidnappées, plus d'une est un enfant. Les filles deviennent également la cible principale des groupes armés. En 6 mois 66 mineurs ont été enlevés, contre 80 pour l'entière année 2007.
Deux enfants victimes de kidnapping ont été tués. Le corps de l'un d'entre eux, un mineur de 16 ans a été retrouvé torturé et méconnaissable en dépit de la rançon versée aux agresseurs. Beaucoup de filles séquestrées sont aussi victimes d'abus sexuels.
En général, la violence sexuelle contre les enfants demeure une préoccupation majeure, même si les statistiques des organisations non gouvernementales évoluant dans ce domaine ont indiqué une baisse en comparaison à l'année précédente.
Une montée significative, alarmante, est aussi observée en ce qui a trait au trafic des enfants à des fins d'exploitation sexuelle et de travail domestique dans les zones frontalières.
Environ 750 enfants ont été rapatriés par les autorités dominicaines de janvier à juin 2008. Et selon l'Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM) 30.000 mineurs haïtiens seraient victimes du trafic d'enfants à destination de la république dominicaine.
Par ailleurs les données officielles de la MINUSTAH relatent la participation active des mineurs lors des manifestations violentes en avril dernier.
Un émeutier sur trois semblait être mineur selon les rapports fournis par les contingents militaires déployés sur le terrain. La participation active des enfants et des jeunes aux manifestations violentes s'est faite à différentes échelles, de la pose de barricades enflammées, en passant pas le bris de vitres d'entreprises privées, jusqu'aux tentatives infructueuses d'envahir le palais présidentiel. (HPN)
Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti.
Enfants Kidnappés 6/08/08: the British media publish everything and anything on the Madeleine McCann case.
Everything and anything. What next? A Sunday newspaper magazine dedicating its regular feature to what's in the McCanns' fridge?
Everything and anything!
Since the process has been made public and journalists have had access to the case file, on DVD, the media has gone mad and don't know anymore what to invent to attract attention. In a frenzy of publication, wishing, at all costs, to publish before their neighbours, the British press in its entirety, has sunk to a ridiculous level. The idea is to publish everything and anything but faster than their neighbour. As soon as they have a photo, they publish it without considering the consequences for the families of the people photographed. They add two or three extracts from the report accompanying the photo and there you have it. But it is total disinformation!! For a start, we note that photos included in the case file are categorically banned from publication!!!
On the other hand, that same press makes a big deal of a story about a little girl who looks like Madeleine, seen in a service station, claiming that it was not investigated. Wrong! If they took the trouble to be objective and wanted to honestly inform people, they would publish the whole document, stressing that the lead was followed up and eliminated. They would publish the fact that the PJ suggested that Kate came with them to check if it was Maddie but that she responded, and I quote from the case file, that she, "had other things to do," which really staggered the investigators! That is also in the report, gentlemen of the British press! You only have to read on a few lines! Today, with an obvious interest in manipulating public opinion, the tabloids are talking about the s0-called, "unexplored," Dutch sighting. Clarence Mitchell, the parents' spokesperson, stated: "It is shocking and painful, reading this report, not knowing if it was Madeleine or not."
But it is mentioned in the report. The lead was followed up. The authorities did what was necessary. And Mr Mitchell has the case file, so what is he playing at? Also, Kate said that Madeleine did not like being called Maddie and each time she would say that she wasn't called Maddie but Madeleine. We are entitled to ask why Mr Mitchell seeks to manipulate public opinion? Why is it so vital to pretend not to know or to distort the truth? We could also ask questions about the intellectual integrity of certain journalists, intentionally and knowingly disinforming their readers?
In reality, there's nothing new. Nothing that hasn't been talked about in the world's press in recent months. All of these so-called new leads, said not to have been followed up, have been. They have all been studied. The press is only adding another layer to what is already very well known by everyone. Intellectual integrity is in publishing an article without hiding certain details. The truth is in publishing the information such as it is even if it is not pleasant. In this case, many of the details put a flea in the ear of the investigators, very quickly making the parents suspects in the eyes of the PJ. All these details placed end to end form a trail, this trail essentially leading the investigators to one or several pieces of evidence or to a, "dead end." If we regularly set out the details that led the PJ to suspect the parents, it is with the aim of explaining to you why the parents were suspected. In any case, these details are not evidence, just suspicions, strong assumptions.
It is also establishing a trail. The MP stated that there was no evidence to implicate the parents in Madeleine's disappearance. The MP is right! There is no evidence that is sufficiently solid to support an indictment. Only suspicions remain. Thus, it was completely logical for the parents' status to be lifted, the MP making clear that he believed that Madeleine was dead, but that he did not have evidence of the parents' involvement. Only the acts of child abandonment or neglect could have been maintained but the MP decided to abandon these charges. But don't forget that the investigation is neither over, nor abandoned, nor closed, nor shelved, contrary to what a certain press says. The investigation goes on and will not be closed until Madeleine, alive or not, is found. Also, although the parents are no longer, "arguidos," they have not been exonerated or cleared of anything. The PJ's conviction about the parents has not changed.
The above is translated from an original article on the Enfants Kidnappés web site.
The original article in French by Association Enfants Kidnappés: 6/08/08