On 10 October, over 170 children, along with their parents expelled from Cuba as well as the mainland territories of the United States of America by their ruling government. UNICEF has stated this data. Among the expelled Haitians yesterday, the majority of them were residents of the Southwestern area of Haiti, which was badly affected by the strong shakes of the earthquake on 14 August.
Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, said, “Most Haitian children and their parents who were expelled yesterday are from the southern peninsula of Haiti, which was hit by a massive earthquake last August. They left the country in early September as they had lost everything. These children are likely to leave again for the U.S. unless conditions are created for them to live decent lives in their communities.”
7 fights were operated from Cuba, and 1 was from the U.S. to send the Haitian migrants back to their country. These flights were operated in one day. They were carrying 96 boys and 73 girls on board.
The estimated figures of UNICEF shows that 80 per cent of the children who were expelled were under the age of 5. Out of these families, many Haitians left Haiti on makeshift boats. During this operation, at least two people have been reported dead. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) states that there are a total of 1069 people who were dislodged from the lands of Cuba and the U.S. yesterday. Out of the total, 34 % were children and women.
In addition to these newly operated flights, a Cuban boat also took some 348 migrants, inclusive 12 girls and 26 boys, near the area of La Saline, in the outskirts of the Haitian capital.
UNICEF noted about 4 children who were alone and were among the children expelled from Cuba.
Maes said that when he was at the airport, Maes saw children who were malnourished or had skin infections. They would most probably go back to the south, where most essential aids for children, such as education and health assistance, still largely upset from nearly two months after the earthquake hit. More solidarity would be needed to support the migrant families who lost everything and needed to restore their lives in Haiti.
UNICEF has been asking the world leaders to extend support for the number of Haitian Migrants who have been expelled. They should be supported to rebuild their lives and help children regain access to health services and go back to school.