Geneva, Jan 27: At a time when Haiti is yet to recover from the devastating earthquake, the news of children missing from the hospital has plunged the nation into farther despair.
According to media reports, UN Children's Fund (Unicef) said on Friday, Jan 22 that around 15 children have gone missing from hospitals in Haiti.
"We have documented let's say around 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals and not with their own family at the time," said Unicef adviser Jean Luc Legrand.
Citing the agency's long association with Haiti, Legrand said that it could possibly be a case of trafficking for adoption abroad.
"Unicef has been working in Haiti for many years and we knew the problem with the trade of children in Haiti which existed already beforehand, and unfortunately many of these trade networks have links with the international adoption 'market'," Legrand said.
He added that Unicef has already warned countries not consider adoptions from Haiti at the backdrop of the earthquake, adding many countries like Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States are already reconsidering the adoption procedures.
Comparing the current situation with that of the Tsunami aftermath, which took place in 2004, Legrande said that the trafficking networks have picked up pace after the disaster.
"Trafficking networks were springing into action immediately after the disaster and taking advantage of the weakness of local authorities and relief coordination 'to kidnap children and get them out of the country,"Legrand said.