Migration has become a key avenue for Haitians seeking a better life. Substantial internal migration is taking place, particularly from rural to urban areas, as people seek better economic opportunities and better services.
In addition, for both political and economic reasons, large numbers of Haitians have emigrated throughout the twentieth century building an important diaspora. According to the Global Bilateral Migration Matrix, one million Haitians were estimated to be living abroad in 2010.
Since 2004, peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti have assisted in maintaining civil order in Haiti; the mission currently includes 6,685 military, 2,607 police, and 443 civilian personnel; despite efforts to control illegal migration, Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic and sail to neighboring countries; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island.
Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most of Haiti’s trafficking cases involve children in domestic servitude vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse; dismissed and runaway child domestic servants often end up in prostitution, begging, or street crime; other exploited populations included low-income Haitians, child laborers, and women and children living in IDP camps dating to the 2010 earthquake; Haitian adults are vulnerable to fraudulent labor recruitment abroad and, along with children, may be subjected to forced labor in the Dominican Republic, elsewhere in the Caribbean, South America, and the US; Dominicans are exploited in sex trafficking and forced labor in Haiti.
Haiti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Haiti was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; in 2014, Haiti developed a national anti-trafficking action plan and enacted a law prohibiting all forms of human trafficking, although judicial corruption hampered its implementation; progress was made in investigating and prosecuting suspected traffickers, but no convictions were made; the government sustained limited efforts to identify and refer victims to protective services, which were provided mostly by NGOs without government support; campaigns to raise awareness about child labor and child trafficking continued (2015).
IOM in Haiti is committed to supporting the Government of Haiti in its immediate and long-term migration-related challenges by enhancing the capacities of national institutions to better manage their borders and regional migration dynamics, supporting public sector and civil society actors in reducing forced movement and the vulnerability of migrants, and mainstreaming migration into the development agenda through policies and legislation.