London ~~ Sunday March 8 2009, page 42
Sex attacks blight lives of Haitian girls
By Tracy McVeigh
Inside Haiti's foetid slums, where criminal gangs use rape as a weapon to control the millions struggling to survive extreme poverty
Scroll down for link and copy of Amnesty International United Kingdom petition to Stop this Violence
Link to this video: HERE
The government of Haiti is being urged to take action to stop the wave of sexual violence that is blighting the lives of young women in one of the world's poorest nations.
An online petition has been launched by Amnesty International to protest at Haiti's high incidence of rape, often of young girls by gangs of armed men, that was first highlighted in 2006 when UN workers discovered that up to half of the women living in the capital Port-au-Prince's vast slums had been the victims of rape.
Since then the government, which only made rape a crime in 2005, has taken little or no action to hunt down the offenders, among whom are said to be police officers.
BBC filmmaker Xanthe Hinchey met several victims forced into hiding after their attacks because of the risk of being killed. Nahomey, now 21, told how she was raped in the street: "It was a policeman and a civilian. Now they say they will kill me because they are in prison."
Another girl, 17-year-old Jina, is now pregnant after being raped by three men.
Amnesty International United Kingdom
Rape and other forms of sexual violence are widespread in Haiti; the majority of victims are young girls. Sign our postcard HERE and stop the violence.
In 2006, the Haitian government agreed a National Plan to Combat Violence Against Women which includes measures which, if implemented, could do much to stop violence against women and girls. In practice not enough is being done to gaurentee their right to live free from fear and violence. As a result those responsible for rape are not being brought to justice and women are unwilling to speak out about such crimes.
On the 23rd March we will be delivering a giant postcard, signed by you, to the Haitian authorities. Add your name and ensure that the girls of Haiti are able to live in safetY:
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you to express my deep concern at the levels of sexual violence perpetrated against girls in Haiti, particularly during the carnival period. While the true extent of sexual violence against girls is not known, every year, in Port-au-Prince alone, dozens of girls report being raped at gunpoint by groups of young men.
I therefore urge you, with the support of other members of the Haitian government and the international community, to implement all necessary measures to prevent rape and protect girls' right to live free from violence.
I also urge you and other members of the Haitian government to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that the victims recieve adequate support and reparation.