The U.S. slams the Dominican Government on Haitian children trafficking
SANTO DOMINGO.- The head of the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking warned that the United States could penalize the country, on “frustration” with the Government’s alleged lack of commitment in the trafficking of Haitian children.
Luis CdeBaca, interviewed by newspaper Nuevo Herald of Miami, said since his visit to Santo Domingo last summer specifically to be apprised of the traffic and exploitation of children, little advance has been made.
He said if decertified, the country could lose economic and military aid; some exports to the U.S. may be blocked and face opposition to its votes in entities such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
He revealed that Dominican Republic has until June to implement the State Department’s recommendations to pursue and punish the traffickers of children, as well as the officials who help the traffickers of minors from Haiti. “The problem is that we have not seen cases against anybody in Dominican Republic. With the countries that we deal with we tell them that it’s good that they arrest not only the traffickers, but the official accomplices. In Dominican Republic we have not seen the first, there is where the frustration is.”
CdeBaca said that he hasn’t seen a great change, so if nothing happens and the problem continues, "not only could we degrade the country in the ranking of the report (State Department on human traffic) but also recommend to the President concerning sanctions."
The recommendations appear in the report on the Traffic of People 2010, which classified the Caribbean nation as level three, the lowest rank.
Together with Cuba, the only other country of the Western Hemisphere that fell in that category for being simultaneously "a source, transit and destination of men, women and children subjected to traffic, especially forced prostitution and work forced labor,” it says.
In October and November Nuevo Herald published a series that showed how many children are forced to beg in the streets of Dominican cities.