Excerpts from the International Social Services March 2010 Monthly Review
HAITI: Update on child protection measures post earthquake
UNICEF has published a short report summarising the situation in Haiti post earthquake, paying specific attention to the needs of children. ISS is working on a report (which is still at a draft stage) with UNICEF on the adoption situation in Haiti post-earthquake. Available statistics indicate that approximately 1120 intercountry adoptions were carried out in Haiti in 2009. As of 23 February 2010, at least 1539 children had been adopted out of Haiti following the earthquake on 12 January 2010. USA, France, Canada, Netherlands and Germany arranged the transfer of approximately 1500 children for the purpose of intercountry adoption. The remaining children were sent to Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Italy. The latter two countries had suspended adoptions from Haiti in 2007 and only received the final authorisation for the remaining 9 children, from the pre-suspension period, to leave after the earthquake. ISS is concerned that the checks and balances, necessitating a 2 to 3 year period for processing intercountry adoptions under ‘normal’ circumstances in Haiti were not adequately respected post earthquake for all 1539 cases. Furthermore, UNICEF remarks that ‘reports of children being illegally displaced across borders ostensibly for inter-country adoption, care (including medical care) or for exploitation notably in the Dominican Republic, have continued unabated since the very first days.’
Source: UNICEF report http://www.crin.org/docs/UNICEF%20HAITI%20One-Month%20Sitrep%2012%20Feb%20(updated,%20compressed).pdf
NEPAL: Hague Conference calls for reforms to prepare the country for its ratification of THC-1993
In November 2009, the Hague Conference undertook a preliminary mission in Nepal in order to assess the needs of the country to prepare itself to the ratification of THC-1993 at the demand of the Nepalese Government. The results of this mission demonstrate clearly that an adequate legal framework for intercountry adoption in Nepal is missing. The Nepalese Terms and Conditions 2008 are not compliant neither with the art.21 of the Convention of the Right of the Child nor with the most important principles of THC-1993 such as the best interests principle, the principle of subsidiarity, lack of support and counselling for the birth parents about the legal effects of relinquishment or abandonment of their child etc. Other challenges include the identification of abuses linked to the declaration of the adoptability of the child, lack of transparency and accountability of the money coming to Nepal, falsification of documents of the child and the absence of a clear policy of intercountry adoption as a child protection measure. In light of these weaknesses, the Hague Conference with a number of receiving countries and other international organisations have offered to provide continued support to Nepal. In particular, the Hague Conference made some key recommendations such as the development of programmes for family preservation, a better regulation of Children’s Homes, the establishment of a new law on adoption integrated in a comprehensive law on child protection, capacity building and the elimination of financial gain form intercountry adoption. The Hague Conference finally underlines that a temporary suspension of intercountry adoption system will be necessary to reform the intercountry adoption system.
Source: Hague Conference Report http://www.hcch.net/upload/wop/nepal_rpt09.pdf
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.