Action Alert from Church World Service
Photo: Jonathan Ernst/ACT Alliance
Contact your Representative urging her or him to co-sponsor and support House Resolution 521.
Two years after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, women and girls continue to be at risk of physical and mental abuse, forced labor and sexual violence.
Church World Service and other colleagues from the Haiti Advocacy Working Group in Washington, D.C., has learned that women who live in tent camps – where up to 700,000 people continue to live – face insufficient policing and security, lack safe access to sanitation facilities surrounding the camps, and feel unsafe at night with many women being raped.
Children are also at risk. Hunger drives hundreds of adolescent girls to sell unprotected sex to strangers. Forced child labor prevents young children from getting an education, locking them into a vicious cycle of poverty and marginalization.
H.RES.521 calls on the Government of Haiti to prioritize women and children, to swiftly pass proposed legislation on violence against women, provide medical and psychological support to affected women and children, train public officials, the police, prosecutors and judges so that they can become more responsive, and fund specialized units within the Haitian National Police so that they are sensitized and equipped to provide support when members of the public report crime to them. The resolution also urges that U.S. Government humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in Haiti prioritize the issue of violence against women and children.