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Haiti’s 4.25 million children faced a bleak future following the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Not only did the earthquake create new challenges to child protection, it also exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities that limited the fulfillment of children’s rights. More than two years later, Haitian children continue to face myriad challenges to their protection, resilience, and development, despite the dedicated efforts and significant achievements of national and international response and development actors. These actors face formidable obstacles in addressing the protection needs of Haiti’s vulnerable children and adolescents, including those who are orphaned, separated from their families, or at risk of abandonment or violence, abuse, and exploitation. Information is needed on the scope of child protection challenges that Haiti has experienced both before and since the earthquake and on the range of family and community coping responses. Evidence-based decision-making is complicated by a lack of clarity on the level and scope of research and knowledge on the child protection situation in Haiti before the earthquake, and by knowledge gaps in key areas.
To meet this challenge, the FXB Center has undertaken a systematic analysis of Haiti’s child protection situation before and after the 2010 earthquake. The project examines the types of child protection, security, and developmental threats that Haitian children have faced before and after the earthquake and how children and their families respond to these threats. The overall goal of the project is to improve UNICEF’s and child protection actors’ understandings of child protection in Haiti, build a full picture of the child protection risks that Haitian children have historically faced, and the current needs that children and families now experience. It is hoped that the project will bring renewed attention to the protection and promotion of children in Haiti and serve as a foundation for evidence-based policy and programs by Haitian and international organizations advancing the rights and well-being of Haitian children.
The report is the FXB Center’s latest contribution to the protection and promotion of children’s rights in Haiti. It presents a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional longitudinal analysis of the risks and opportunities affecting the vulnerability and resilience of Haiti’s children, and highlights key areas in need of greater attention and efforts.