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Children targeted by gangs in Haiti, says UNICEF

Port-au-Prince, May 31 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Friday strongly condemned that children in Haiti are targets of panic sown by gangs.

UNICEF called on the international community to step up efforts to protect children in Haiti.

“They (children) are often forced to join armed groups,” UNICEF said ina statement..

Since the beginning of 2024, over 400 grave violations have been committed against children, according to UNICEF.

To date, more than 180,000 minors are internally displaced due to gang violence.

Recently, Haiti’s National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration reported that gang coalition continues to recruit minors in Port-au-Prince.

Over 400 children have been recruited in Port-au-Prince alone in recent weeks, the agency said.

Nearly 50% of the gangs are made up of minors, who today suffer from the impossibility of accessing their basic rights.

“Widespread poverty and the lack of economic opportunities are also driving children to join armed groups,” reported Haiti Libre.

The source estimated that 30 to 50 percent of gang members are minors.

In addition to wielding automatic weapons, guns and machetes, the children serve as spies, cooks and females are abused by gang members.