Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haitian Government Announces New Exit Requirement for Children

It is Joint Council’s understanding that the government of Haiti, in protecting against the inappropriate movement of children to the U.S. and other countries, has announced that the Haiti government must approve the international movement of each individual child. This includes children that are bound for the U.S., whether through the visa process or humanitarian parole.

It is also our understanding that the U.S. government is actively engaged on this issue with the Haitian government. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which authorizes humanitarian parole for each child, continues to process cases at the US Embassy in Port au Prince.

The new requirement of the Haitian government may cause a delay in the travel of children who qualify for a U.S. visa or humanitarian parole. It is understandable that adoptive families who have yet to be united with the child they are adopting, may be concerned. Joint Council urges adoptive families to remain diligent and continue to seek humanitarian parole for the child they are adopting.

It is Joint Council’s understanding that this new requirement is in response to concerns that children who were not in the process of adoption, leaving Haiti for the U.S. and other countries. Joint Council shares in the concerns over the inappropriate movement of Haitian children.

Joint Council again calls on the U.S. government, UNICEF and others engaged in child protection to provide transport of Haitian orphans to safe shelter including nutrition and medical care, regardless of their adoption status. Any delays necessitated by this new child protection requirement only further support Joint Council’s standing advocacy for the safety and well-being of Haitian orphans and other children.

-Joint Council

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