Georgette Mulheir has been working with a group of activists called Defend Haiti’s Democracy since the country plunged into political turmoil. The biggest challenge the group is dealing with is a rogue law enforcement that has sworn loyalty to the dictator president in Haiti. In many countries, Georgette Mulheir has been heavily involved with campaigns that care for and protect children who end up being separated from their families by civil unrest. Her mission in Haiti also addresses the problem that political instability has introduced to the country’s young people.
Since the dissolution of the Haitian government at the parliament in 2020, after elections came to a stall, the current local gangs have been reported to be forcibly recruiting the youth. They do so in order to use them as child soldiers to fight anybody that does not support the sitting regime. Under a full dictatorship and after the Haitian president declined to hand over power at the end of their term in early 2021, he remodelled the senior positions by installing his loyalists to ensure a firm grip on political power. For Georgette Mulheir, most of the dictator’s allies have, in turn, sought to enforce their authority on people through street gangs.
The current leaders of the gangs are well known in the public domain, but nothing is done to stop them because they enjoy government protection. To keep any government resistance at bay, the street gangs coerce young children to join and engage in public acts of violence upon anybody who speaks up against the government. Georgette Mulheir has been following the status of the children who are regularly kidnapped and forced to bear arms for the gangs (Crunchbase).
From these, negotiations are constantly at work to return the young people to their families since many of them fear trying to escape because of threats to harm their families by fellow gang members. In some instances and under the worst cases, within the gang dynamics, some of the children have been killed by fellow gang members for refusing to act as commanded by the gang; Defend Haiti’s Democracy has reported such outcomes as a blatant violation of children rights. Under the leadership of Georgette Mulheir, Defend Haiti’s Democracy has been calling for international attention towards the civil crisis taking place in Haiti. UNICEF has also pointed out that many of the children in these gangs are taken from poverty-stricken homes and work for the gangs to earn a living instead of living the ordinary lives of children; these actions also fall under forced labour by minors.