Haiti has had a very hard and long history as a poor, unstable nation. It began as a French colony, called Saint-Domingue. Georgette Mulheir set out on a journey to help the impoverished kids, coming into contact with a powerful network of social organizations in Haiti. Currently, they are all working to ensure these kids have a proper education, healthcare and protection services. Georgette Mulheir is leading the new Coalition for Fair Immigration Policy Reform to investigate and shut down the criminal networks that traffic women and children from Central America into the USA for profit, and is speaking out about the need for compassionate immigration policies and legal changes that stop people being separated from their families.
At the centre of this tragedy is the Parliament of Haiti, which has not responded to the crisis. It has declined to address the issues and conflicts concerning the safety and future of the young children. How can this case be in the right, if the core of this judgment is that there are no child’s rights?
As stated by Georgette Mulheir, it is difficult for a child to change their life. “We can help provide legal aid and legal representation to the children in court. We can help them find the child advocate and with social workers to get assistance.” This is an important step, but girls have many other needs, including abuse, Georgette Mulheir points out. The current report indicates that the USA’s National Center for Missing & Exploited Children responded to more than 35,000 reports of suspected child sexual exploitation online last year. The sex trafficking of children online is a serious crisis that requires a broad solution that includes services and support.
Currently Georgette Mulheir lives in the south of Haiti, near the town of Port-au-Prince. There, she has been instrumental in raising the alarm on human trafficking, and organizing the first large-scale delegation of foreign and Haitian organizations, together with the Haitian government to actively combat the growing crime wave.
Georgette Mulheir: I’ve spent the past three years working to get a Haitian anti-trafficking law and national system up and running. We started out in late 2012 and by June 2014 we were having our first meeting with the President and cabinet officials to work out the key points that needed to be addressed.