Date: Fri, 24 Jul 98 19:16:08 CDT
/** hr.child: 55.0 **/
Casa Alianza moves to counteract the use of Honduran street children in the sale of drugs on the streets of Vancouver
Casa Alianza release, 23 July 1998
Casa Alianza is investigating, along with its sister organization Covenant House in Canada, reports that Honduran children are being used by drug dealers to sell crack cocaine on the streets of Vancouver.
According to Staff Sergeant Doug Mackay-Dunn from the Vancouver police force more than one hundred children, who are mostly boys aged between 11 and 18 years old, could be located in the city where they sell drugs.
Its reported that the drug dealers help smuggle the children into Canada finding loopholes for them to apply for welfare and refugee claims, while giving them jobs selling `crack' on the streets.
During one recent raid on a crack house, in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, it is reported that 10 Honduran children where found.
As a result of these reports Casa Alianza, with Covenant House Vancouver, is to place advertisements in Hispanic media, based in the city in order to let the children know the two organizations are linked, and that there is help available to them.
Simultaneously an announcement will be placed in the local press in Honduras to inform the families involved that the children's lives are at risk and that Casa Alianza will work with them to recover their children.
"Casa Alianza is trying to provide a link between those children being exploited and their families who are desperate to know what's happening," commented Bruce Harris, Executive Director of Casa Alianza for Latin America.
"The children are scared and have no one to turn to, they don't speak the language they're in a strange place and are at the mercy of the presumed drug dealers," he said.
Harris added that while it was crucial Casa Alianza takes this action to help the children, he hoped the Honduran government would also assume its responsibility to help and take care of the children.
For more information please contact Casa Alianza Regional Office on + (506) - 253-5439 or firstname.lastname@example.org