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Funding Haitian Orphanages at the Cost of Children's Rights

Funding Haitian Orphanages at the Cost of Children's Rights

This report presents an overview of the pattern of foreign donor support to children in Haitian orphanages, the estimated flows in financial and other support from from private, faith-based sources, and the outcomes for the children.

An estimated 30,000 children live in approximately 750 mostly privately-run and financed orphanages in Haiti. The Government of Haiti estimates that 80 percent of children in orphanages have at least one living parent, and almost all have other family members. Poverty, lack of access to basic services, and the desire to provide an education drive parents and caregivers to place their children in orphanages. With adequate support, many children could return to family- and community-based care, and at-risk families could be strengthened to prevent separation in the first instance. More than 80 years of research demonstrates the physical, social, and psychological harm caused by raising children in orphanages and that family-based solutions reduce risk of abuse and result in better outcomes for children.

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