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Haiti is a small nation which has been devastated about 10 years ago by a terrible earthquake. Thousands of people were left homeless, families lost parents and children across all generations, homes were destroyed and businesses wiped out. In a nation that was already poor such an event is a catastrophe.

Hospitals, telecommunications centres, water supplies, shelter are all badly affected in such events. Recovery is already hard but when surrounded by ocean on all sides and the whole community is affected, finding resources to bring about improvement is doubly difficult.

With no infrastructure to start the recovery, outside help was needed esoecially while people were still in shock from the terrifying experience of the strong earthquake and the lost of livelihoods, loved ones and basic necessities for survival. After a server earthquake, the aftershocks go on for days and days. They can be as strong as a new earthquake, bringing more fear to the survivors and any fresh damage to those few structures still standing.

Humanitarian aid poured in from around the world, to help the people of Haiti recover from this devastating event. Private individuals donated small amounts to charities and relief organisations, while some larger companies and organisations gave greatly of time, personnel and medical supplies, food and clothing and urgently needed materials. The mainstream volunteer groups and charities like the Red Cross, Save The Children, Medecins Sans Frontier were there. Other international bodies such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation assisted. Some nations such as Cuba sent over 200 doctors. Larger nations such as USA or the EU gave more in the way of support, funds, personnel and supplies. Many famous celebrities made large personal donations while many governments also contributed financially. John Travolta personally flew his private plane bringing 6 tons of food and medical supplies, along with medical personnel and ministers.

But in the midst of all the confusion it was found that some unscrupulous people took advantage of the disorder and distress to exploit the situation. They used it to abduct children for their child trafficking ends. These stories are covered elsewhere, shocking as it may seek, child traffickers used the opportunity to smuggle children out of the country.

So what can be done about it?

Operation Toussaint tells the story of how one man, Tim Ballard, became involved in people smuggling. He went to Haiti to investigate and save children who were being trafficked. Tim started an organisation called the The Underground Railway.

Another person’s answer was to educate people about Human Rights.

After World War II, the united Nations put together a document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its purpose was to help prevent further outbreaks of war and injustice, to better conditions around the world.
Dr Mary Shuttleworth took this Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She travel the world lecturing and teaching people about their rights.

You can find out more here.


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