Ms Maria Luisa Fornara is the new UNICEF Haiti Representative

Ms. Fornara delivering her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Antonio Rodrigue

Port-au-Prince, 14 August 2018 – Ms. Maria Luisa Fornara is the new UNICEF Representative in Haiti. She replaces Mr. Marc Vincent who has spent nearly three and a half years in this position serving Haitian children.

Ms. Fornara arrived in Haiti on August 2, 2018, after completing three years of service as UNICEF Representative in Peru. There she managed the design and implementation of the 2017-2021 Cooperation Programme, which has led the country to position violence against children and adolescents as a main priority in the public agenda, among other relevant issues.

From 2009 to 2015, she was Representative of UNICEF Tunisia. During that period while Tunisia was transitioning towards democracy, she contributed to focus the country´s national efforts on public policies of promotion and protection of the rights of Tunisian children.

Prior to her position as Representative, Maria Luisa Fornara was UNICEF Deputy Representative in Tunisia and Serbia. She has a wide range of work experience in international cooperation; she was program officer at UNDP, consultant for the World Bank in Lebanon, and researcher of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).

UNICEF’s Representative holds a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences from the Ecoles de Hautes Etudes in Paris (1994), a diploma in Public Policies and Promotion of Child Rights from Maastricht University in Holland (2007), and has completed studies and specializations from Oxford Policy Management and the Institute of the World Bank.

Italian by birth, Ms Fornara is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish. She also has a basic knowledge of Arabic.

For more information:

Cornelia Walther, UNICEF Haiti communication chief, cwalther@unicef.org

Jean Panel Fanfan, UNICEF Haiti communication officer, jpfanfan@unicef.org

Count me as every citizen (Kontem tankou tout sitwayen)

 

Kids playing at Municipal Palace of Delmas

This Sunday, June 10, nearly 3,000 children from all over the country celebrated “The National Day of the Haitian Child”. The kids converged on the Delmas Municipal Palace to take part in the festivities. Early in the morning, dozens of buses dropped off the children, one could read impatience in their eyes, they did not want to stay in the ranks. The right to leisure is a right guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This day is the culmination of the Children’s Week, organized by the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), with the support of partners including UNICEF.

Port-au-Prince, June 11, 2018- The municipal palace of Delmas, was dressed in his best clothes to receive children: bouncy castles, trampolines, slides, rockers; a large stand to receive the children’s performance, all decorated with multicolored balloons. Children of all ages, with t-shirts sporting the theme of the day, ran in all directions. An improvised football match was very successful.

The children danced, jumped and played together. They wanted to enjoy this day that was devoted to them. Speakers broadcast music on children’s rights. On the stand, there were talent competitions, several children, sang songs that made the assistants vibrate.

“I am very happy to be here. I think it is important to celebrate the rights of children by involving them. These children have fun and run in all directions, many are not used to using these games. Because their family situation is very difficult, “says a 16-year-old.

Strengthen children’s rights

A young girl singing

Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, Executive Director of IBESR, the hoarse voice, so much she sang, thanked everyone who came to participate in this celebration, mainly children. “It is a day of hope and promise in accordance with the theme chosen: Count me, like any citizen. By this theme children claim their rights, they ask that they be valued within society, they have a place in the construction of the country, “she said.

She emphasized the importance of allowing children to celebrate and have a special time for them. “This moment allows them to forget, for a moment, the sorrows and the problems they experience daily,” she said.

Mrs. Villedrouin made a solemn appeal to all sectors of society: parents, government officials, politicians, educators, to think and work so that all these children have a chance of success in life.

The National Haitian Child Week was rich in events promoting the rights of the child. A press conference with teenagers opened the week, there was a children’s fair with exhibitions of the main partners of the IBESR, conference-debate at the local institution. The National Day of the Haitian Child was instituted in 1960.

 

Rehabilitating the water network to combat drought

Jacmel’s Tepac and UNICEF staff discussing in front of a reservoir on the capture of the source Domingue

The droughts experienced by several departments of the country have put a strain about people in terms of access to drinking water. Especially in the Southeast department where communities are often far away and live in remote mountains. To facilitate access to water in these areas, UNICEF is undertaking a program of source rehabilitation and water abstraction, in cooperation with the National Directorate for Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA). USAID funding has made it possible to undertake these activities in several departments of the country such as: North-West, South-East, South and Grand’Anse.

Jacmel May 31, 2018- The communes of Jacmel, Valley of Jacmel and Bainet are among the beneficiaries, because several drinking water supply systems (SAEP) and pumps with human motricities (PMH) presented an advanced state of degradation. For example, the drinking water supply system of Domingue, in the communal section of Bas Cap Rouge, 1st section of the municipality of Jacmel has benefited from the rehabilitation work. Now, more than 8,500 people have access to safe drinking water.

The TEPAC, agents of the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA), represent the spearhead in monitoring the management of drinking water supply systems (SAEP) in remote communities. Together with the local water committees, they put in place a mechanism, which allows the transparent and efficient management of the systems, linking the population to the water management committees.

A situation that was serious

The old tank

In Bas-Cap-Rouge, the situation was very difficult because the too low flow of the catchment source could not supply the entire network. People had difficulty getting water. “The locality has faced a serious problem of drought; the source has dried up. The population had no choice but to fetch water from the riverbed, “explains Anel Colin, TEPAC for the commune of Jacmel.

The SAEP faced serious technical problems with the water, the water supply line was cut off, there were several leaks on the distribution line. A lot of water loss was noticed. There were 12 fountains that were not working.

“Before, people used to draw water from the river. Most people who used to bathe in the river, defecated on the ground. This was a public health problem, and people who were drinking water were getting sick, not to mention cholera, “he says.

Fleurant Louissaint, secretary of the Committee for Provision of Drinking Water and Sanitation (CAEPA), explains the vital importance of the network and the changes in the lives of the inhabitants. He remembers the difficult period of drought when the river beds were dry, the trees were dying, the cattle heads were dying, it was really a disaster.

“In the past, people had to walk several miles to find the water, now it is no longer the case. Residents are happy with this improvement, it has improved the living conditions of people. Capture is a worthwhile initiative, “he says, adding that he wants state support for reforestation around the area’s water sources.

Manage the distribution of water

A young boy collecting water

DINEPA, UNICEF, Solidarités International, with funding from USAID, have undertaken work that has practically changed the lives of the population by facilitating access to water. Anel Colin, said to be satisfied at this level because it brings a big change in the community.

He deplores the cutting of the trees that were in the source of the river, which results in a decrease of the source.

To ensure the effective management and maintenance of the system, CAEPA has been formed with community members to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the water service. “The committee in concert with the people are developing a distribution schedule. My role is to collect the grievances of the population and find solutions to the problems, “he recalls.

Ensuring Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 6 states that we must “ensure access for all to water and sanitation and ensure sustainable management of water resources”.

Hamidou Maiga, UNICEF WASH Officer, emphasizes the importance of meeting this SDG. “Our mandate at UNICEF is to protect the lives of children and adolescents. Drinking water means less risk of getting sick. We stand alongside DINEPA in the implementation of public policies regarding access to water and sanitation, “he adds.

 

 

Official launch of National Child Week

The adolescents and Mrs. Villedrouin during the press conference

As part of the National Children’s Day to be held on June 10, the leaders of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) launched the week of childhood. This year, the celebration will be organized by and for the children. They logically participated in the launch conference by putting their aspirations on the map. Among the participants, UNICEF, which is a key partner in the child protection sector, was there.

“Konte m tankou tout sitwayen” (Count me like other citizens) is the main theme of this week. The children got together to choose it. The adults did not influence this choice, per the general director of the IBESR, Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin.

Konte m tankou tout sitwayen is more than a theme, it is a reminder of the obligation made to the Haitian State and parents to guarantee to every child, from birth, his right to identity, to a nationality and therefore, to a citizenship. In accordance with Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “said Marley-Gnuelia M., 14 years old.

She recalled that the child is a subject of law and deserves all the protection to which he is entitled. “We are Haitians because the state recognizes us as a group of people in society and is the guarantor of our rights. Because as a human being we are born with all our rights”, she added.

Dawoodly D., 14 years old, welcomed the fact that children are involved in all the commemorative activities of Children’s Week. “This is an opportunity to enjoy our right to participation, but also to invite decision-makers to take responsibility for the rights of every child,” he insisted.

“It is an obligation for the State to immediately provide identification papers to a newborn. Children are entitled to birth certificates that prove they are citizens of the country, by virtue the law, “said Dawoodly. For him, the State must put in place a system that allows the effective recording of information to avoid identity problems in the future. “It is an obligation for the State to guarantee our rights, it must be aware of our existence and recognize that it has obligations to us,” he said.

“I have to count myself as all citizens because we are all born equal in law. We have the same rights, per Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “said 17-year-old Ronide L.

The Haitian Constitution makes no distinction in terms of rights between adults and minors, she said. “Although we understand that for some rights, there are conditions that relate to age, physical and intellectual abilities …”, she said, adding that the State has the obligation to guarantee the rights of all children, living in the country.

A week rich in activities focused on children

Mrs. Villedrouin expressed her emotion by hearing the speeches of these young teenagers. “This indicates their willingness to recognize their place in society. They represent the future of the country. At the IBESR level, we really wanted to highlight children so that they could express themselves, “she said. She took the opportunity to greet the various partners present including UNICEF, “the day-to-day partner of IBESR”.

Among other activities: The Child Protection Fair, with the participation of partners; chats in different schools, there will be recreational activities throughout the week; the climax will be June 10 with more than 2000 children, with the participation of important artists like Jean Jean Roosevelt, there will be clowns, games for children. Most activities will take place at the IBESR premises.

The National Children’s Day was instituted by the Haitian State in 1960. It aims to promote the rights of Haitian children.

Community involvement at the heart of access to drinking water

A local resident drawing water

In remote areas of the country, access to safe drinking water can be a major challenge, considering the relief configuration and the availability of natural water sources. UNICEF, with funding from USAID, is implementing source capture and drinking water projects. Often community involvement is essential for the success of these projects. The locality of La Vallette, in the South-East department is a striking example.

Jacmel, 31st May 2018- As part of the fight against drought that hit several departments of the country including the Southeast, UNICEF in collaboration with USAID undertook work of rehabilitation of water sources in several localities. The La Valette source in the Montagne section La Voûte, 6th section of the town of Jacmel, is one of the beneficiaries.

Alma Oplan, the keen eye, the straight and decided step is the coordinator of Casec Section La Montagne. He was one of the great artisans, at the community level of the rehabilitation of the source of La Montagne. “As a development agent, our role is to work for the benefit of our communal section for the well-being of the community,” he says.

Problems that were recurrent

The rugged terrain has favored soil erosion in the area; the increase in the population has led to overexploitation of the system; natural disasters such as hurricanes (the earthquake, cyclones Emilie and Katrina and Hurricane Matthew …) have accelerated the degradation of structures. Regarding the catchment: there were cracks on the superstructure, the hatch was damaged, the nearby environment degraded. So, the rest of the network could not be powered.

The lack of ownership of the source by the community has led to a lack of monitoring of the works. People did not take care of the old catchment and threw filth, there was no cleanliness. “The situation was very difficult because people were drawing water, close to where the animals were drinking,” he says.

The community was involved

A water pump in a locality of South-East

Community members saw the need to repair the water source, so they made the request to the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA). USAID provided funding to UNICEF for the project. Solidarités International was chosen as the project manager.

When he talks about the realization of this project, a broad smile illuminates the face of Oplan. “People have taken ownership of the project from the beginning. They participated by giving and bringing construction materials to the site; sand, rocks, blocks, among others “, he says.

Alma Oplan was one of the driving forces behind the mobilization. He sensitized the inhabitants on the importance of the rehabilitation of the spring. He contributed to the food of the workers. He said he was satisfied with the result, although he thinks there may be some improvement.

The bulk of the work consisted of: the rehabilitation, the capture through the clogging of the leak and the cleaning of the environment close to the system; the repair of the internal and external water tightness of the tank; partial rehabilitation of masonry and plumbing; clogging and protection of pipelines at the catchment level; the construction of a retaining wall for the protection of the structure.

Per Jacques Touchard Adia, WASH specialist at UNICEF, the rehabilitation of the source will change the life of the population. Because the impact in their life is real and palpable. “It’s a big difference for the people of La Montagne, because before it was difficult to find drinking water. The population had water in quantity but which was not drinkable. The catchment and reservoir were contaminated with coliforms. UNICEF, in support of the Haitian government, has allowed these remote communities to access water. It will save the lives of children. We thank USAID for its important support to the realization of this project’’, he concludes.

Launch of the ” Journalistic Practical Guide: Promoting Children’s Rights in Haitian Media ”

Jacques Desrosiers, presenting the Guide. ( Photo Credit, J.J. Augustin)

Journalists can generate debate around the topics that shake society. They can move the lines. About children, there are many issues, we can talk about children who are not in school, access to health care, children in conflict with the law. It is for this reason that the main partners of the Child Protection have developed a journalistic guide to facilitate the work of journalists in the treatment of information related to childhood.

Port-au-Prince, 10 May 2018- UNICEF, the International Labor Office (ILO), MINUJUSTH together with the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) and the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) launched this Thursday, May 10, the “Journalistic Practical Guide: Promoting the Rights of Children in the Haitian Media”. The journalists were present in large numbers because they were the main interested parties.

Among other objectives; provide Haitian journalists with practical tools in the processing of information related to children; to ensure the effective and continuous promotion of the rights of the child in the Haitian press.

Mr. Jacques Desrosiers, Secretary General of the AJH, presented the main categories of the guide, designed in a practical way, and easy to use. The guide is divided into five main parts: ethics, legal framework, thematic fact sheets, fact sheets, main contacts to enable journalists to find resource persons in the processing of information related to childhood. “This book raises the issue of the rights of the child to achieve their respect and provide the necessary benchmarks, useful knowledge to those who are best placed to promote these rights: the journalists,” he said.

Promote children’s rights

Ms. Claudine Francois, ILO coordinator, a.i , welcomed the steps taken to “… harmonize reference documents for media involvement in issues around promoting and respecting the rights of the child. The guide will effectively reach public opinion and rally the greatest number to improving the health, well-being and protection of Haitian children. ”

“By my voice, the ILO in Haiti hopes that this guide will help you strengthen respect for the rights of our children, and that it will provide the right tools for a deeper engagement of each of you in your home institution. your community, “she told reporters.

Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, in her speech. ( Photo Credit, J.J. Augustin) 

Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, IBESR’s Director General, said this “journalistic guide is a sign of hope for the future. The hope that with this tool a step forward is taken for the respect of the constitutional and legal norms of the protection of the childhood in Haiti “.

“This guide should be a compass for you to accompany you in your job as a journalist today and tomorrow. The attention and understanding we give to children depends on our future, the future of the country, “she said, making a solemn appeal to the media on National Children’s Day June 10, 2018, for a more active participation by giving priority to the voice of children.

Raoul de Torcy, Représentant adjoint de l’UNICEF, a souligné que le « guide met l’accent sur ce qui implique l’enfance et le journalisme. Nous avons jugé importants de rappeler certaines règles. Les règles journalistiques destinées à protéger les droits de l’enfant. Elles ne sont pas toujours connues de la profession, elles sont pourtant universelles ; droit à l’image, au respect de la vie privée, entre autres ».

Mr. Raoul de Torcy, Deputy Representative of UNICEF, stressed that the “guide focuses on what involves childhood and journalism. We thought it was important to recall certain rules. Journalistic rules designed to protect the rights of the child. They are not always known to the profession, yet they are universal; right to the image, the respect of the private life, among others “.

The Deputy Representative of UNICEF further stated that UNICEF wants to engage in a frank and constructive dialogue to place the rights of children in various sectors of society, including in the press and in the field of culture. The goal is to use all possible channels for the promotion of the rights of the child, including the press and art. “We want to create a synergy around the defense of children’s rights by mobilizing all the players in society. The defense of the rights of the child concerns everyone, “he said.

At the end of the ceremony, the renowned Haitian artist Jean Jean Roosevelt presented the album “Jean Jean des petits: Let’s train the citizens of tomorrow”. This album was made with the collaboration of UNICEF, the songs promote the respect of children’s rights.

UNICEF builds capacity of MENFP executives

Participants with their certificate for a souvenir photo

UNICEF supports the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) in the implementation of public education policies. This support also involves strengthening the capacities of senior MENFP staff to ensure greater efficiency in their interventions. It is in this context that UNICEF responded positively to the request of the General Inspectorate for technical and financial support for the organization of a 4-day training session on ” Results-Based Management ” (RBM).

Port-au-Prince, April 27, 2018- The training was held from April 15 to 18. Participants included the Director General, Inspectors General, Technical Directors and Departmental Directors, Cluster Coordinators, senior management among others.

This seminar had several objectives: to promote an overview of RBM policy and principles; to help departmental staff gain possession of the key concepts and tools for results-based management; contribute to improving the administrative as well as the technical management of the Ministry; develop a culture of accountability and the search for concrete results. The exchanges were very instructive and the participatory method was favored.

Ensure effective follow-up

In his speech, Mr. Pierre Josué Agénor Cadet, Minister of National Education, emphasized the interactions that have been successful while wishing that the elements learned were well retained. Further on, he wanted to say “a big thank you in diamond letters to UNICEF who accompanied us in this activity in a very firm way”.

“We hope that with the support of our friends and all those who wish, like UNICEF an improvement of the educational question in Haiti, that the MENFP will be able to organize other sessions of the same kind,” he says, congratulating the participants for their enthusiasm.

Jackson Pléteau, the Minister’s Chief of Staff and Inspector General at the MENFP, insisted on the follow-up of the seminar. “What we expect is a change in the mindset, a change in the conduct of operations, a change in leadership. When we focus on fairness and justice, we will get there. You must show, from your leadership, that something has been captured from this training. He asked the executives.

Improve the education system

Participants during a working session

The UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Marc Vincent, took the opportunity to congratulate the Haitian Government and the MENFP for this crucial shift towards Results-Based Management. “UNICEF applauds this initiative and is pleased to be able to contribute,” he said.

“Results-based management will lead us to improve the efficiency of the sector, increase transparency and accountability in the MENFP, and ultimately produce tangible results for girls, boys, women and men. of Haiti without distinction of any kind, “he said, adding that RBM will help improve the management of MENFP programs at all levels and stages, from planning and implementation, to monitoring and evaluation. As part of the development of the 10-year plan, RBM is a tool to ensure that it can follow the steps of the analysis, the establishment of clear priorities and the definition of realistic results, the elaboration of a theory of change that will clearly show the path to expected results; and finally, a robust results framework to ensure proper monitoring of its implementation.

“The ultimate goal of all we do in the education sector is to create an environment conducive to the teaching-learning process, a climate conducive to the development and well-being of children, the educational community and the community. country, “he went on, further insisting.

UNICEF is committed alongside the Haitian government in implementing the universal schooling of all children in Haiti. This support focused on several areas: building or rehabilitating schools to improve access, interventions to improve the reading and writing skills of children in the first basic cycle, support institutional strengthening at central and local level, comprehensive early childhood development, action against school violence, prevention and disaster risk management.

 

Eliminating Cholera from Haiti – The last mile is the most difficult

Michel Ange supervising the a rapid response team at Carrefour

Port-au-Prince, April 2018: “It could be one of the most important activities happening in Haiti now,” states Michel Ange, team leader of one of the 58 rapid response teams working relentlessly to eliminate cholera in Haiti. “We are saving lives, educating the local population around hygiene practices, and helping to eradicate a killer bacterium.”

In 2017, for the first time since cholera was introduced to Haiti in 2010, the epidemic was under control and the highest suspected cases were concentrated in three out of the ten Departments: West (31%), Artibonite (29%) and Centre (19%). 2018 began with the lowest numbers recorded, 995 cases between January 1st and March 31st  compared to 4,248 cases for the same period last year (source: DELR/MSPP).  This evolution is largely due to a strategy that combines reinforced local coordination, surveillance, solid rapid response, and enhanced prevention through water chlorination and intensified hygiene awareness. With the support of UNICEF, the Ministry of Health launched this “alert-response” strategy in 2014, resulting in the activation of rapid response teams that are staffed with agents of the Ministry of Health response teams and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO). It required three years of close monitoring and technical support to reach a satisfactory level of performance, and now the results speak for themselves. Due to the availability of funding, all rapid response teams were activated in 2017, resulting in an unprecedented response rate of 95 percent to all suspected cases.

“We are good at what we do. You can see that in how the number of cases has dropped in the last year,” states Michel Ange. She is not showing off but simply stating a fact. Never has the chance to eliminate cholera been so close, yet the way there was hard. “It was an uphill battle but organizations like Solidarity International and UNICEF didn’t give up at all.”

UNICEF and the Ministry of Health continue to support a network of response teams nationwide. Four NGOs, are working hand in hand with the 13 teams from the Ministry of Health, called EMIRA (in French, Equipe Mobile d’Intervention Rapide), to deliver a complete package of activities: visiting affected households and an average of 12 houses living in a 50m perimeter around the patient’s house and establishing a “cordon sanitaire” to avoid the disease from spreading in the community. The teams provide oral prophylaxis to the patients and their families, disinfect homes, and distribute oral rehydration salt, soap and water chlorination tablets. They also secure water sources by establishing emergency water chlorination points or support DINEPA (National Directorate for Drinking Water and Sanitation) to chlorinate the water systems in affected areas when needed.

A rapid response team is distributing supplies to fight against cholera

These NGO teams are composed 100 percent with skilled Haitian professionals who have been trained to investigate and respond to suspected cases of cholera and other types of acute diarrhea, which directly benefit children as diarrhea remains one the main causes of child morbidity in Haiti.

Fund predictability also allowed for the improvement of complementary health and hygiene promotion activities and community mobilization, activities, crucial to ensure quick outbreak control. In addition to the work of response teams, UNICEF’s NGO partners deployed community engagement teams which reinforced the rapid response by conducting hygiene awareness interventions in schools, churches, places or events gathering people in affected areas, and food hygiene sensitization in public market places.

In the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince, rapid response agents like Michel Ange have contributed to respond to approximately 5,000 suspected cholera cases in 2017, and to sensitize over 360,000 people in affected neighborhoods. It is a labor of passion and love. “Haiti is my home, my country, and I love it with all my heart. Of course, it is a difficult place, but with the help of organizations like Solidarités International and UNICEF, we are learning techniques to address our problems, to take over,” says Michel Ange with a smile. “My children will grow up in a stronger Haiti, a better Haiti than the one I had…we will all help each other to learn and grow together.”

Today, the situation invokes optimism but the fight is not over. To avoid a resurgence of the epidemic, an effective set-up must be maintained to ensure surveillance, prevention and response until the last case is gone; this requires steady and predictable funding.

Haiti: Institutional death due to Cholera, Epidemiological Week 7 (February 2018):

Strengthen cooperation in the fight against child domestic work

A presentation session at the meeting at UNICEF’s local

The main partners involved in the fight against child domestic work, redoubled efforts, alongside the Haitian government, to reduce the incidence of this phenomenon on children for their full development. To make the fight more effective, many initiatives are being taken, including the project to combat child domestic labor. The Joint Steering Committee for this project is part of these coordination mechanisms. Canadian Cooperation and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) co-chair this structure, whose members come from international organizations such as UNICEF, the International Labor Organization (ILO), IOM and government agencies.

Port-au-Prince, March 29, 2018 – The members of the Joint Steering Committee met in the conference room of UNICEF to take stock of the progress of the project ” Fight against child domestic work in Haiti ”, discuss challenges and next steps in the implementation of the project.

Stéphanie Auguste, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, emphasized the importance the Haitian Government attaches to the fight against child labor in view of its dramatic consequences. “The disastrous consequences of the worst forms of child labor are well established. They have irreversible effects on their health, education, and psycho-emotional development that are their most basic rights, “she said.

Later, the Minister stressed the need to develop synergistic actions against child domestic work “We must therefore without delay clear the ways and means to undertake actions that must be historic and do not wait,” she added. She also praised the cooperation in this area between the Haitian government, Canada, and the United Nations, particularly UNICEF.

Successful cooperation

Minister Stéphanie Auguste in a presentation, UNICEF Representative on the Right and Canada’s Head of Cooperation on the Left

Carlos Rojas-Arbulu, Head of Cooperation at the Canadian Embassy, addressed the efforts of the Haitian government, which has ratified several international conventions on human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also thanked UNICEF and its partners for their efforts to achieve progress in the implementation of the project against child domestic labor, through the results presented in the first annual report.

Finally, he encouraged UNICEF and partners to strengthen the gender equality strategy and coordination mechanism by welcoming the leadership of the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor.

Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, recalled “the continued commitment of the Government of Haiti to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child”, emphasizing the leadership of the MAST in the sector.

He further recalled some important results since the beginning of the implementation of the project in April 2017 among which: the triggering of the dynamics to support the revision of the Labor Code and the way towards the adoption of the other legal texts such as the Child Protection Code and the list of hazardous work; the identification and care of 336 child domestic workers, 60% of whom are girls; identifying and supporting 2,357 families at risk of family separation to prevent child labor; identifying and supporting 1,215 children at risk or victims of violence, including GBV, 765 of whom are currently in school.

Figures that challenge

This project is taking place in three departments, including the South, Grand’Anse and the West, following the study on placement and child domestic work carried out in 2014. Per this study conducted by the Haitian Government with the UNICEF support and 28 national and international NGOs, the following situation was revealed:

  • 25% of Haitian children aged 5 to 17 live apart from their biological parents;
  • More than 400,000 children, of which 52% of girls are involved in domestic work;
  • 207,000 children aged 5 to 14 are in unacceptable forms of domestic work;
  • About 60% of children in unacceptable working conditions are girls who are mainly employed in urban areas;
  • High socio-economic precariousness of households explains this practice in most cases.

The joint steering committee reminds us of the need to reinforce synergies between actors to provide a multisectoral response to the problem of insecurity that leads to the exploitation of children through the worst forms of work. The Minister insists for:

  • a great mobilization of the actors at the level of the other Ministries and NGOs concerned in all the stages of the project.
  • The development of advocacy action in parliament for the adoption of ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and the Child Protection Code Act, and the revision of the Labor Code;
  • The establishment of a Child Protection Cluster that will bring together the actors at the strategic level regarding child protection.

With such a commitment to the summit and such a mobilization of development actors, hope is allowed when reducing exposure to domestic work for girls and boys in Haiti.