On January 24, the Haitian government announced that all children exiting the country on humanitarian parole must be approved, on an individual basis, by the Haitian government. It is our understanding that to date, no agreement has been reached on the process by which the approvals will be issued. It is also our understanding that to date, the Haitian government has not begun reviewing individual cases and has issued no travel approvals.
Joint Council strongly supports reasonable efforts to ensure the protection of children and encourages the Haitian government to protect children with great urgency. The the review and approval of individual cases should begin immediately. Children who have or will qualify for humanitarian parole yet have not received travel approval from the Haitian government continue to be at significant risk. Inadequate safe shelter, food, water and medical care combined with the risk of aftershocks places children in unnecessary danger. Children should be protected in a holistic manner. The protection of one right at the expense of the right to safety, food, safe shelter and a family invalidates the legitimacy of current child protection measures.