JCICS has issued another statement specifically regarding the video recently released.
The abusive practices portrayed in the ABC News (Australia) story are simply indefensible. Violations of the rights of children and families outrage all who hold an ethical conscience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then images of children being recruited from existing
families is worth a million words of rage against corrupt practices, misguided efforts, unethical programs and illegal activities.
Joint Council has reported to the appropriate authorities and has, among other actions, initiated an aggressive review of possible violations of the Joint Council Standards of Practice by member organizations. Additionally, Joint Council will travel to Ethiopia on October 2, 2009. As appropriate, our findings will be reported publicly and to the authorities. (read more on Joint
Council’s activities related to Ethiopia.)
Those who are directly responsible for any illegal abuses must be investigated, arrested and prosecuted. Failing to take aggressive action against the individuals involved only further compromises children’s rights. And when the reaction to abuse is the elimination of a particular service (most often intercountry adoption) instead of prosecuting the perpetrators, children are
further victimized and their rights stripped away.
A critique of the ABC News story could easily point out inaccuracies and misrepresentations
beginning with a gross misstatement that over $100 million USD is provided to the Ethiopian government via intercountry adoption. But it is neither the time for such a critique nor the purpose of Joint Council’s current actions. At this moment, we must all be focused on supporting and sustaining the rights of children and families.
A subjective and narrow assessment of children’s services in Ethiopia discounts one of the primary needs and appropriate responses to an orphan crisis – the preservation of existing families. Without addressing this essential need, the orphan crisis will always be the shame of the world community.
Therefore, Joint Council calls on the world community to prosecute perpetrators,
conduct a balanced assessment of children’s services and to further develop
family preservation as a means of protecting families and their children.
(Please click on the above link for more information from JCICS.)
JCICS truly takes this type of news seriously and I have no doubt they will do a thorough investigation. I wish we lived in a world where organizations such as JCICS weren’t necessary, but the fact is, JCICS is necessary and it’s unfortunate. However, APs and PAPs also have to do their part. As much as we might want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that there is nothing unethical or corrupt happening in adoption, we can’t. We also need to do our part. We need to do what is right.