Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Children languish in Haiti’s jails: rights group


PORT-AU-PRINCE – At least 58 children are languishing in Haitian jails on the heels of the January earthquake that devastated the capital area, a rights group reported Sunday.

“These minors are receiving no special treatment whatsoever and routinely face… prolonged preventive detention, overcrowding, poor conditions and no rehabilitation strategy,” said the Haitian National Human Rights Defense Network.

The January 12 earthquake leveled much of the capital Port-au-Prince, killing more than 250,000 people and leaving 1.3 million living in precarious tent camps exposed to tropical storms in Haiti.

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Following the quake more than 4,000 prisoners escaped from Haitian jails, including more than 200 minors. But now, 43 boys and 15 girls have been thrown in two prisons built for adults, the rights group said.

“There are 15 girls jammed into one little cell in which there are supposed to be a maximum of four people,” the group said.

Haiti was the poorest country in the Americas even prior to the killer earthquake.

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