London: Over 2,000 children, orphaned after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, have been sold as sex slaves by child traffickers, officials said.
The January 12, 2010, quake killed around 230,000 people in the country.
Babies and toddlers have also been taken from makeshift camps in the capital Port-au-Prince and sold for as little as 30 pounds a child, the Daily Express reported.
The UN also reported an upsurge in child trafficking and most have ended up in neighbouring Dominican Republic or sold in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Government official Guymari Manigat said: "There are tens of thousands of children without parents. The gangs used to steal children before the earthquake but thousands more have been taken."
A trafficker named Prosguel Andre, 32, of the Cannibal Army gang, admitted selling more than 45 children.
"There are a lot of orphans here. Babies with nobody to care for them. It's easy to take them. Last month, a white woman came from the Dominican Republic. She gave me $500 for two little girls. I don't know what she wanted with them," he said.
Marie Ganier, 34, lost one daughter to the earthquake and another to traffickers.
"One of my daughters aged just eight was playing with friends but the house was flattened by the earthquake. I haven't seen her again but they never found her body unlike her friend and her parents. I know a gang has taken her. I pray she is safe but I cry when I think someone is hurting her," she said.
Story first published:
January 10, 2011 19:44 IST