The U.S. State Department announced the additional award of $4.75 million to ten grantees to strengthen Haitian institutional and civil society capacity to identify and respond to human trafficking. The U.S. had already funded nearly $1 million to respond to the heightened risk of trafficking after the earthquake of 2010.
“The award of additional grants signifies the United States’ continued commitment to rule of law and the protection of children in Haiti as well as strengthening law enforcement responses against traffickers taking advantage of vulnerable persons in a post-disaster situation,” the State Department stated.
The grantees will work with local partners to help draft anti-trafficking legislation, support direct services for victims’ recovery, and prevent human trafficking and gender-based violence in the internally displaced camps. Additionally, grantees will increase the capacity of targeted law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases and social welfare agencies to recognize human trafficking and make referrals for services.
The 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report estimates that 225,000 children were enslaved before the earthquake.
It also enabled the screening of children at all four designated border crossings between Haiti and the Dominican Republic – a process never before conducted at the border.