Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Haiti PM: Traffickers targeting Haiti's children, human organs

January 27th, 2010
09:37 PM ET

By Tom Evans

(CNN) –  There is trafficking in children and human organs in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti, killed more than 150,000 people, and left many children orphans, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Wednesday.

"There is organ trafficking for children and other persons also, because they need all types of organs," Bellerive said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

He did not give any specifics, but asked by Amanpour if there is also trafficking of children, Bellerive said, "The reports I received say yes."

Haiti is trying to locate displaced children and register them so they can either be reunited with other family members or put up for adoption, Bellerive said.

But, he said, illegal child trafficking is "one of the biggest problems that we have."  Many groups appear to be legitimate, "but a lot of organizations - they come and they say there were children on the streets.

They're going to bring them to the (United) States," he said.

Bellerive said he's trying to work with embassies in Port-au-Prince to protect Haiti's children from traffickers.

"Any child that is leaving the country has to be validated by the embassy under a list that they give me, with all the reports," he said.

Speaking at his temporary headquarters in a police station near the Port-au-Prince Airport, Bellerive said the first thing Haitian officials seek to confirm is whether the children have adoption papers before they leave the country.

In Washington, the State Department said Wednesday it is moving cautiously on the issue of adoptions from Haiti.

"We want to be sure that when a child has been identified, that due diligence has been done to make sure that this is truly an orphan child and not a child that actually has family," said State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley.  "So sometimes if you push too hard, too fast there can be unintended consequences. So we are being very, very careful."

Crowley added, "We respect the sovereignty of Haiti and their right to control the departure of Haitian children. So we think the system that has been established is working effectively. I know there is a perception out there of 'cut through the red tape.' But there are very good reasons we want to make sure this process works well."

On the broader issue of Haitian children, Bellerive also told Amanpour that the government will reopen schools Monday in most of the country.

He said there were particular problems in Port-au-Prince. "We cannot open one school and not the other. But some of the schools want to operate right now. They say if there are tents - if there are facilities and we can help them - they are willing to open very rapidly."

Bellerive also highlighted the critical importance of getting enough tents and shelters to Haiti before the rainy season begins in May. He said he didn't know where all the tents promised by aid agencies and governments are.

"We have reports that they've already sent 20,000 tents maybe, and 20,000 more are on the way. But yesterday, when we didn't see the tents and we didn't see any action to organize the shelters, the president himself asked to see the storage place and we only counted 3,500 tents."

Bellerive said President Rene Preval has asked for 200,000 tents to house between 400,000 and 500,000 people. "We are very preoccupied about the consequences of all those people on the street, if it starts to rain."

The prime minister also rejected criticism from within Haiti and overseas that his government needs to be more visible to the Haitian people.

"We are in charge. Frankly I don't understand what that position is that we are not visible," he said. "I almost feel that I spend more time talking to radio, television, than I am working."

"I know it's part of my job and I have to communicate. But I really feel that I have spent too much time doing that."

Bellerive also said he does not believe it's necessary to relocate the capital to another part of Haiti. "I have to wait for technical and scientific evaluation, but from what I've heard until now, Port-au-Prince will stay there."

"Tokyo is still there, Los Angeles is still there. We just have to prepare a better constructed Port-au-Prince, a safer Port-au-Prince," he added.

He also acknowledged the need for more transparency and new procedures to prevent corruption in Haiti. But he said 70 to 80 percent of the aid coming to the country right now does not go through the Haitian government.

Bellerive said about 90 percent of American aid, for example, goes through Non-Governmental Organizations. "They are accountable to the American government, but not to the Haitian government," he said.

The prime minister told Amanpour that he does not believe people overseas are helping Haiti out of a moral obligation.

"I believe it's a more pragmatic responsibility," he said. "I believe Haiti could be an interesting market in the midterm. We are 10 million (people) here and it's a market."


Filed under:  1 • Haiti
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Lance

    Trafficking in children at their lowest point. Parents lost, hungry, no home. I am ashamed to be a member of the human race.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  2. Graham

    For the prime minister to say people are doing it for a market, is an insult to all the aid coming into his country. What a crappy prime minister.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  3. Ed

    Is the PM kidding? People are assisting because we're pragmatic and we're looking to open a market? Is he that ambitious that his country will catapult from third world backstop to first world open market, especially after a monumental natural disaster? If we needed Haiti as a market we would've assisted years ago, before the earthquake. What's happening now is out of a moral obligation. I really don't think this PM is pragmatic at all.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  4. Sarah H

    It's not necessarily true, either. What proof has this minister, when his government isn't even up and running? Unfounded accusations are not helpful.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  5. michele

    me too :(

    January 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  6. Laflores

    My mouth is still hanging open that the prime minister would believe we would only be helping the Haitians because of future marketing potential. My family, my childrens school, our church have ALL been involved in raising money because we are humanitarians. Shame on him for such a statement!

    January 28, 2010 at 12:03 am | Reply
  7. Compassionate donater

    {The prime minister told Amanpour that he does not believe people overseas are helping Haiti out of a moral obligation.

    "I believe it's a more pragmatic responsibility," he said. "I believe Haiti could be an interesting market in the midterm. We are 10 million (people) here and it's a market."}

    I can't speak for anyone else, but my donation to the Haiti relief effort was COMPLETELY motivated by compassion. I don't remember ever buying or owning ANYTHING that was stamped "Made in Haiti".

    Maybe, once Haiti gets back on it's feet, and gets a government that is more interested in serving the people than lining their pockets, Haiti will have something to offer the rest of the world. But for as long as I can remember, Haiti has been an economic black hole, sucking in money and resources and international aid and the people remaining poor and the country never climbing out of third-world status. I'm glad to read that most of the aid is not going through Haiti's government. Perhpaps if this remains the case, Haiti's people might have a chance to recover and survive this catastrophe. I don't know what the answer for Haiti is. I've read that a people deserve their government. Perhaps the people of Haiti need to rise up and say enough to their own corrupt government if they feel they deserve better.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:09 am | Reply
  8. S Callahan NYS US

    I'm and so glad they are now keeping 'paper' records of where each child is going...God forbid a parent surrvives and discovers their child was sent for adoption. I couldn't imagine the trauma from that.

    Shame on any scum that attempts to take a body, child or adult , for the purpose of harvesting their organs. That IS the lowest.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:16 am | Reply
  9. MonaHawaii

    Their president sounded great. And his assessment of the motives of 'Friends of Haiti' / World Bank, et al, may seem cynical and bold but was right on target. (Please know that I sent my $$ just hoping to relieve some of your burdens. I want nothing in return, and pray for Haiti's future.) Now stop all this nonsense about adoptions, red tape, blah, blah -and get these kids some SECURITY. Organ trafficking? God Lord. Are the volunteer doctors vetted?

    January 28, 2010 at 12:18 am | Reply
  10. TyHouston

    He did not give any specifics, but asked by Amanpour if there is also trafficking of children, Bellerive said, "The reports I received say yes."

    Maybe, err somewhat, could be, I read it in a horror novel somewhere...

    This one I'll call BS on and wanna see the proof.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:27 am | Reply
  11. Demetri

    Pathetic. so many children will be kidnapped and enslaved in the sex trade. Sick and pathetic. does anyone care?

    January 28, 2010 at 12:29 am | Reply
  12. Brandon

    You know this is going on. Truly sad.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:30 am | Reply
  13. Puss

    Lance, I totally agree. This is a very tragic event and people are taking advantage of helpless children. This is totally disgusting and sick.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:32 am | Reply
  14. Katie

    I'm really disgusted with Prime Minister Bellerive's comments about the outpouring of financial aid from people overseas being driven by motives other than empathy and moral sympathy. Millions upon millions of dollars in aid have come from private donors who only want to relieve the pain and suffering of the Hatian people. There will always be opportunists who will try to profit from disasterous situations, and unfortunately, predators also try to take advantage. But don't diminish the love and generosity shown by people all over the world! That comment really leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the Hatian PM.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
  15. Ed

    We need to publicly execute anyone confirmed selling or buying children. Period.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:50 am | Reply
  16. Nancy

    I think M. Bellerive is incorrect in his statement that overseas nations are looking at Haiti as an "interesting market". I think it is just the natural outpouring of compassion by people who have a great deal for those who have nothing

    January 28, 2010 at 1:16 am | Reply
  17. Monica Smothers Brentwood TN

    HELL does not burn hot enough for the monsters who are taking advantage of Haiti children... and if you are one of the degenerates mentioned scanning the comments, your time WILL come.

    January 28, 2010 at 8:12 am | Reply
  18. Mrs Audrey Druce

    So the Prime Minister told Amanpour that he does not believe people overseas are helping Haiti out of a moral obligation.
    His cynicism does him no credit at all and tells me by his words and actions he should not be in his present job.
    Perhaps it is better that he doesnt speak to the media but get on with his job, whatever that is !!!!!
    Diplomacy does not appear to be his strong point.
    The ex Prime Minister who was interviewed, I think her name was Madame Pierre Louis, showed more ability to communicate. Pity she doesnt have a more active role.

    January 28, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply
  19. MILFORT MARC

    As a prime minister is that something he knows for sure, or think of, and why he is no taking any action against that, as i said we need to shut down completely the haitian government. they are all liers and abusers. the US donate in 2004 24 million dollars just for education in Haiti, 24 million dollars for school only, that's the questions we need to ask. i am sick and tired of all this crap. someone need to do something soon or later to these people, like the president, prime minister, ambassadors, that should be they end, fired all and replace them by the graduates of Haiti that seat on they asses and not doing nothing...People are watching... if something is not done than their will have to react themselves. than the UN will hang them fro Human right... it is the time now to reform the government...

    January 28, 2010 at 11:44 am | Reply
  20. warey

    This is disgusting, the last case we heard of organ trafficking was Israelis Harvesting Palestinian organs

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs

    I don't think Israel should be allowed anywhere near Haiti given its track record

    January 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  21. priya bery

    How low are we going to go! Profiting from sheer despair. I wonder how many children will knowingly participate, just hoping they can help their families.

    January 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  22. Ta Fay

    I would like to adopt this child in this photo. Where should I start with. Please HELP

    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/president-Bill-Clinton-Haiti/photo//100128/photos_pl_afp/fb3fde1af9fcce8eeb0f473814a8f1a7//s:/time/20100128/wl_time/02880419533791953494195716000

    January 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  23. Risa

    Everyone believes in reunification of children with their family should be the highest priority. And everyone also agrees that there needs to be safeguards in place to protect children from falling into the hands of people who want to place children into servitude. However, this is not happening through the US International Adoption process. Is the PM aware of what parents have to go through to adopt internationally? Fingerprinting? Back ground checks? Home visits? The amount of MONEY it takes? If human trafficking is happening.. it's not happening with people walking up and applying to adopt the kids via Interantional adoption. Someone needs to educate the PM and let him know that these organizations are promoting their own agenda above the agenda of creating families first. They believe that it's better to keep a child in their own culture even if that culture isn't safe, able to provide shelter, food, or an education.

    Please... please investigate these human trafficking stories and show that they are NOT related to International adoption.

    January 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  24. psych37@twitter

    Mr. or Ms. Warey: Just because some pathologists harvested organs doesnot mean the IDF set up a hospital in Haiti for that purpose. Just as not ALL Muslims are Jihadists; not all Israelis are organ thieves. Your statement displays elements of both propaganda and anti-semitism. You wrote a very PREJUDICED comment. I'm sorry for you that you are so full of hate that you have to stereotype a whole race of people, and deliberately misjudge them.

    Sincerely,

    psych37@Twitter.com

    January 29, 2010 at 2:11 am | Reply
  25. Paula

    I couldn't believe my ears when Bellerive told Christiane "it comes cheaper" for foreign countries to send aid instead of receiving the people. Let's turn things around Mr. Prime Minister: It would "come cheaper" for you getting rid of your own people instead of keeping them in THEIR OWN Land, wouldn't it? You're not worth a thing! (I knew it from the beginning when he came on TV with the President – which by the way is also useless – )

    January 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  26. Jean-Marie

    Planeloads of our children have been rushed out of Haiti. Why aren't the supposed adoptive parents being investigated? Why have none of these children been returned? Why has not a single pedophile or organ harvester been exposed and punished? As for the Minister's mention of a market, it is not a market that is wanted in Haiti but cheap labor, a deep harbor, offshore oil, and most of all, a stage on which the rich can play god.

    January 30, 2010 at 2:13 am | Reply
  27. Mohammed

    I do not understand how a politician or a family man man like the prime minister of Haiti to respond to Amanpour regarding the reopening of Schools in Haiti, a place where children and schoolteachers do not have a lace to live and parents won't be able to pay for the children to go to school. There will be a lack of concentration and children are not going to be able to focus clearly after the devastation.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  28. Sandra

    To Graham,
    It is not a question of shame, what it is is trafficking human parts which is ilegal in US. Helping them does not mean removing their dignity.
    I will tell you that God loves you regarding how you feel about them.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  29. Asher Paldi

    I was shocked, dissapointed and disgussed hearing the Prime Minister using cold-war anti Western, anti White, anti Capitalist expressions, hinting that the rescuers came to rescue the poor people of Haiti, in order to create future markets for their products...
    Shame on you Mr. P.M. – you showed us why the people of Haiti and your friends in Cuba live in such a poverty. With leaders like you, they have no chance.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  30. Asher Paldi

    FEEL FREE TO MODERATE IT... I HAVE NOTHING TO MODERATE.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  31. Asher Paldi

    You are asking me to moderate? Look at the remarks of "warey" above about "Israelis harvesting organs of palestiniens". Such expression is OK?

    January 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  32. Mohammed

    The ministry of education in Haiti needs to rethink about the reopening of school in Port au prince, Jacmel, Leogane and the rest of Haiti for another month. There are too many children without no parents and place to live.

    February 1, 2010 at 1:34 am | Reply
  33. Ahmed

    On behalf of all haitians people, It is an imperative for me to thank the world for the support ,all kind of aid ,they provided already to haitian people.Many thanks for all .Thanks to Christiana Amanpour ,Anderson Copper and all others CNN REPORTERS and all reporters around the world.
    The position of the prime minister Belrive doesnt surprise me at all. The ex prime minister will react better and better on that situation.Most of us believe that government must go.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  34. gina

    Why was he laughing when he "confirmed" his allegation that children's organs were being harvested? It appeared that Ms. Amanpour didn't think his statements passed the smell test, nor do I.

    His absurd and insulting assertion that the humanitarian aid pouring into his country from individuals and nations worldwide is mere selfish pragmatism makes me quite skeptical about anything else he might say.

    February 18, 2010 at 12:32 am | Reply
  35. Craig

    Why does amanapour allow such anti-Semitism in comments on her own blog? It reflects on her character, and is one of the reasons Americans cannot trust her. I will never forget when she gave Hezbollah terrorists a mouthpiece in 2006 as they were bombing Israeli Jews & Israeli Arabs.

    April 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  36. Pharmg400

    Hello! edceedk interesting edceedk site! I'm really like it! Very, very edceedk good!

    August 3, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.