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Saviours or kidnappers?

IT MUST have seemed like a good idea at the time. The New Life Children’s Refuge, a Christian group from Idaho, saw no need to bother with paperwork or official permission when they decided to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic where they apparently hoped to build an orphanage.

Furious officials arrested ten of the group’s members on charges of kidnapping (which they deny). Many of the children turned out to have families. A similar row erupted in 2007 when workers from ZoĆ©’s Ark, a French charity, were accused of kidnapping 103 children in Chad. Ostensibly orphans from the Darfur region of Sudan, destined for adoption in France, many turned out to be local children, and not orphans. Six charity workers were jailed.

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