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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                                                                   

Dominican Republic

The country has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. Although 2007 saw inflation around 6%, the rate grew to over 12% in 2008. High food prices, driven by the effects of consecutive tropical storms on agricultural products, and education prices were significant contributors to the jump.

Although the economy is growing at a respectable rate, high unemployment and underemployment remains an important challenge. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GNP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of national income.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Dominican Republic.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Situation Of Minors In The Dominican Republic

Organization of American States OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, "Report On The Situation Of Human Rights In The Dominican Republic", 7 October 1999 -- OEA/Ser.L/V/II.104, Doc. 49 rev. 1

[accessed 8 May 2011]

E. CHILD PROSTITUTION  -  425 In the Dominican Republic, there is a considerable population of minors for whom the streets have become home, who have faced a hostile world from an early age.  Most "street children" beg as a means of subsistence; one-third turn to robbery and other means to get by, such as selling drugs; and approximately one-fifth engage in prostitution. sccp


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 2 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children also work as street vendors and shoe shiners.  Some children also work as domestic servants in homes of third parties.  Children from poor families are sometimes “adopted” into the homes of other families, often serving under a kind of indentured servitude, while other poor and homeless children are sometimes forced to beg and sell goods on the streets.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 8 February 2020]

NATIONAL/RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES  - The IOM estimated that approximately 650 thousand Haitian immigrants--or 7.5 percent of the country's population--lived in shantytowns or sugarcane work camps known as bateyes, which were harsh environments with limited or no electricity, usually no running water, and no adequate schooling.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 26 January 2001

[accessed 27 February 2011]

[23] In the light of article 2 and other related articles of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party take, as a matter of priority, effective measures to ensure that children of Haitian origin born in the State party's territory or belonging to Haitian migrant families have the same access to housing, education and health services as other children. The Committee also recommends that the State party strengthen and increase measures to reduce economic and social disparities, including between urban and rural areas; to prevent discrimination against the most disadvantaged groups of children, such as girls, children with disabilities, children living in and/or working on the streets; and children living in rural areas; and to guarantee their full enjoyment of all the rights as recognized in the Convention.

[45] Concern is expressed at the large number of children living and/or working on the streets.

Dominican Tourism Police will ID vendors, rescues street children

Dominican Today, Santo Domingo, 19 September 2007

[accessed 8 May 2011]

He said those who result positive in the dope tests will not be given an ID, and instead be taken to a detox center, so they can again work as vendors. "This program we are going to develop will be with the utmost possible respect and using a personal doctor, orientation and psychologists so they understand the importance of living a completely wholesome life.

The official also said the program to rescue minors who roam the streets, beaches and avenues advances, and the children are taken to shelters operated by the Office of the First Lady and other government agencies. He said the program will also include Boca Chica, Juan Dolio and other places tourists frequent by the thousands.

America/ Dominican Republic - “Yo También”

R.Z., Agenzia Fides 2004-04-27

[accessed 8 May 2011]

Click [here] to access the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 28 November 2016]

Nearly all the children who come to the Yo también Home are in very poor health. “The most frequent diseases include: parasites, hearing defects, conjunctivitis, bronchitis and asthma, TB gonorrhoea, syphilis and cancer, trauma due to violence or accidents, broken limbs, leukaemia, hernia, anaemia, AIDS, hepatitis b, etc. Many suffer from anxiety, emotional disturbance, neurosis, guilty complex, lack of concentration, trauma from sexual abuse and therefore sexual problems, brain damage, intolerance, aggressiveness, regression, many are prone to glue sniffing and alcohol abuse.

Traffickers Target Haitian Children

BBC News, 11 August, 2002

[accessed 8 May 2011]

Traffickers on either side of the shared border smuggle the youngsters into the Dominican Republic to work as farm hands, construction workers and street peddlers.  Once inside the country, Haitian boys and girls are usually forced to beg on the streets, while older youths are shipped off to farms or construction sites, the report said.

Street Children of the Dominican Republic [mp3]

World Vision Report

[accessed 8 May 2011]

Thousands of children in the Caribbean are living on the streets -- doing the unimaginable, simply to survive. World Vision Radio's Peggy Wehmeyer takes us to the Dominican Republic to report on a very different definition of childhood.

Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC) Initial Report Of The Dominican Republic

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Press Release, 24 January 2001

[accessed 8 May 2011]

The Dominican Republic had the necessary infrastructure to provide street children with education and training, the delegation said; however, what the country lacked was the technical know-how and assistance in the field; and the Government was expecting much from the international community.

Treaties and Reports to Treaty Bodies

“For the Record 1997” Vol.4

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 May 2011]

Concern was also expressed over ... reports received on the occurrence of child labour and child exploitation, including sexual exploitation; the increasing number of street children; the low rate of school enrolment ...

Protection Project - Country Report [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Haitian girls have been trafficked along the border with the Dominican Republic, and thousands of Haitian children reportedly have been trafficked into the Dominican Republic, where they are forced to beg in the streets or perform manual labor

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