Haiti permanently shuts down orphanage amid neglect, trafficking charges (VIDEO)


Police authorities permantly shut down a Haitian orphanage Friday after government officials deemed the children were living in unsanitary conditions, The Associated Press reports.

The Son of God orphanage investigation was prompted after a group of U.S. Christian organizations accused Maccene Hypolitte, the orphanage's director, of neglect, physical abuse and human trafficking. The 46 children who lived there were relocated to new homes.

Diem Pierre of the Institute of Welfare and Research told The AP the children at the orphanage looked malnourished–an all too common problem with one in four infants in Haiti born under weight due to malnutrition from 2005 to 2009, according to data from UNICEF.

A church group from the First United Methodist Church in Albany, Ga., demanded the orphanage to be shut down after they visited the place last year. A coalition of churches who have reportedly given aid to the orphanage wrote a report with the allegations.

Pastor Tim Davis, who was part of the group wrote in a statement: "We are continuing to pressure the Haitian government to conduct a deeper investigation of wrongdoing at this and other orphanages."

The number of orphans in Haiti vary. The AP reported there to be 50,000 children living in orphanages today while UNICEF estimated there to be 380,000 in 2007 alone–a number that has surely risen since the January 2010 earthquake that crippled the country, The Daily Mail reports.

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