Poor security leads to risks of violence, sexual assault
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Even before the earthquake, nearly 80 per cent of Haitians lived below the poverty line, and violence against women was rampant. But security is inadequate in the 758 camps that remain around the country, and rape is one of the problems that comes with that lack of security. Aid groups say they are doing what they can to prevent sexual assaults.
Save the Children has trained hundreds of child protection committees to serve as a neighbourhood watch in the camps, the organization’s Haiti country director said. The committees also try to make simple changes to protect the children in camps, such as having them sleep in groups with a couple of parents in the same tent, keeping children away from the tent door, sending them to the bathroom at night in groups and installing better lighting for latrines, he said.
“It continues to be an issue, another reason to try to get people out of these camps and closer to neighbourhoods,” Gary Shaye said. “The camps are probably the most risky situation.”