The UN office in Haiti expressed concern on Wednesday about the recruitment of children by gangs that run Haiti as at least 39 civilians have been killed since April 24, during clashes between criminal gangs.
The UN representation in Port-au-Prince is particularly concerned about the recruitment of minors into gangs, one of the six grave violations of children’s rights, she said on Twitter.
For several decades, armed gangs have been operating in the poorest neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, but they have drastically increased their hold throughout the city and the country in recent years, multiplying assassinations and kidnappings.
Last week, a video, which circulated widely on social networks in Haiti, showed a child of about ten years old, his face masked, displaying a large-caliber automatic weapon. In the video, shot in Martissant, a poor neighborhood in the west of Port-au-Prince that has been totally controlled by gangs since last June, the boy explains that he is at war with the leader of a rival armed gang.
The UN has denounced this recruitment of children in organized crime while clashes between gangs are now also paralyzing the northern and eastern suburbs of the Haitian capital. The United Nations office in Haiti has condemned the violence of armed gangs since April 24, which affects the northern and northeastern communes of Port-au-Prince, killing dozens of Haitians and injuring and displacing thousands more.
The Haitian Civil Protection estimated on Wednesday that between April 24 and May 2, at least 39 people were killed, 68 injured and 8 missing in this area that at least 9,000 people were forced to flee hastily because of the violence.