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Child trafficking or "rescue mission?"

10 Americans detained for trying to "rescue" 33, Haitian children, some were not orphaned.
10 Americans detained for trying to "rescue" 33, Haitian children, some were not orphaned.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. The 10 US Baptists' who tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the country without permission, "knew that what they were doing was wrong." They did not have the necessary documentation needed to cross the border. Not all of the children were orphans. It is still unclear why this group took the children and planned on keeping them in a hotel. They claim they were just, "trying to do the right thing."

The 33 kids, ranging in age from 2 months to 12 years and with their names written in tape on their shirts, were being sheltered in a temporary children's home, where some told aid workers that they have surviving parents. Lassegue said the Social Affairs Ministry was trying to find them.

"One (9-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, 'I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.' And she thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that," said George Willeit, a spokesman for the SOS Children's Village.

The arrested Americans include members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho. The churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is America's largest Protestant denomination and has extensive humanitarian programs worldwide, but they decided to mount their own "rescue mission" following the earthquake.

With all of the issues concerning child trafficking in Haiti, it is interesting that this group that has no formal or informal international relations would take this route to "help" the children. Desperate times call for desperate measures indeed, however, this effort needed to be planned out and handled legally.

The judicial system has to determine what their true intentions were concerning their flawed "rescue mission."

For more info: If you or someone you know in the Huntsville, Alabama area needs help please visit, Family Services Center, 600 St. Claire Ave., Huntsville, AL. phone (256) 551-1610. To report child abuse, sexual abuse or neglect please contact Department of Human Resources (256) 535-4500 , Huntsville Police Department (256) 722-7100. Crisis Services of North Alabama. Source AP


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