Closing of Haitian Orphanages Poses a Conundrum

New York Times, Emily Brennan reports on the forced closure of orphanages in Haiti. After the earthquake in 2010, hundreds of children were institutionalized, despite having atleast one parent still alive. According to the Haitian government, 80% of children in orphanages have atleast one living biological parent. However, poor economic conditions and dire poverty force parents to turn their children over to institutions in hopes for a better future.Many believe that the orphanages can not only take of their child, but can also cover the cost of schooling and fees. In response to this problem, UNICEF is systematically working with inspectors unicefto close orphanages. In their inspection, they found widespread child abuse, such as food deprivation and trafficking, among new orphanages that have opened without proper licensure. While UNICEF hopes to shut down these orphanages, reuniting children to their families remains a challenging task since many still face financial difficulties amidst a slow economy.

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