Just when I thought I had my moment, when I was interviewed by our local paper last December about my fundraising for Haiti, I got another chance. This morning I received a call from the BBC; they had discovered my blog entry about the plight of the Haitian children. I mentioned the Americans who are under arrest for human trafficking in Haiti for attempting to cross the border with 33 Haitian children. I was invited to participate in a BBC Radio show called, "World Have Your Say."
Unfortunately, the show opened with my answering a brief question (which I didn't expect), then the conversation quickly moved from person to person. Before I had a chance to jump in, I was thanked for my participation and that was that. I wasn't sure if they wanted interruptions or not, but I noticed the two other participants didn't jump in either. I expected it to be a conversation between the participants but it just moved from person to person.
It seems most of the callers were interested in ensuring the letter of the law be followed when it comes to removing children from Haiti. The problem is, there really is no law, or at least any consistent law that can be followed with an end result in sight. Now, I don't believe children should be randomly picked up on the street and taken out of the country. However, there are plenty of children who were in orphanages prior to the earthquake who are eligible for adoption.
In addition, there are approximately 2000 children who are taken across the border every year to become virtual slaves in the Dominican Republic. Haven't heard any outrage over that. It reminds me of the time I lived in Florida and many residents were afraid of having casinos in Florida. Said it would open the door to organized crime in the state. Organized crime? In Florida? Where had those people been living? Now we have the issue of human trafficking in Haiti. Suddenly it's a problem? And it seems people don't care about that. They just care about the letter of the law. And don't get me started on the callers who were concerned (with much prompting by Ros, the moderator) with the Christian "agenda."
This is a complex issue but there are reasonable solutions. I just hope the children aren't forgotten after the Red Cross and other international agencies move on to the next disaster spot.