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English Comp II Mr. Rafalowski: Taylor Lewelling

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Child Poverty in Haiti

Haiti is a beautiful island in the Caribbean, but it has an ugly scar: extreme poverty. Their poverty level is 65% in urban areas and 80% in rural areas, making Haiti the poorest country in the western hemisphere (Langley). Even though there have been large groups of people who have tried relentlessly to overthrow the self-centered government that existed after Haiti gained independence from France, most of their efforts have been unsuccessful. Haiti has made small strides towards better human rights, which many believe will lead to a more wealthy population. Although all of Haiti’s people suffer to try to live, Haiti’s children suffer in extensive ways. Many families do not have enough money to care for children, so the children themselves must go work. Sommerfelt addresses child labor when he states, “children work in marketplaces and stalls, taking part in crafts and sales, and boys in particular are involved in carrying and loading goods. In the urban centers, children who shine shoes and clean car windows are especially visible. Some of the children who live in the streets try to live from begging, and some are forcibly recruited into prostitution or into armed gangs” (Sommerfelt). The influence poverty has on the lives of children is abundantly clear, it causes children to be unhealthy, uneducated, and abused. Poverty for children in Haiti is a complex problem that has a variety of causes, effects, and solutions.