Virtual Briefing on Sexual Exploitation in Haiti
Posted on: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Statement from Marie Eramithe Delva, co-founder of KOFAVIV, MADRE's Haitian partner organization:
I’ve been working with women who are survivors of rape for many years now, but one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever witnessed is a terrible rise in the exploitation of young girls for sex. These girls are orphaned and hungry. Many lost what few possessions they had and all of their family in the earthquake. Some are even caring for other young children. Without homes or parents, these children have been forced to trade sex for money, housing, one single meal or even a pair of shoes.
That’s why, together with our friends, we decided to document this crisis so we can make a change. The situation is desperate, but we know what we need to do. We’re working hard to improve conditions on the ground by providing care and counseling as well as training sessions and skill-building activities to girls forced into survival sex. The program was a success, and we’re hoping to raise enough money to continue providing this support, giving girls back their childhoods, their health and their futures. And in the long-term, we have to protect these girls, which is what we’re calling for in the report.
We hope this report will bring attention to the crisis Haitian women and girls are facing each and every day. With the support of the international community, in collaboration with grassroots organizations like KOFAVIV, we can give girls the resources and care they need to find their way out of survival sex.