Torture in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                          gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Haiti.htm

Republic of Haiti

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation.

US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US … the apparel sector accounts for two-thirds of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Haiti

Scope and Magnitude: Several NGOs noted a sharp increase in the number of Haitian children trafficked for sex and labor to the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas during 2008. The majority of trafficking cases are found among the estimated 90,000 to 300,000 restaveks in Haiti, and the 3,000 additional restaveks who are trafficked to the Dominican Republic. Poor, mostly rural families send their children to cities to live with relatively wealthier “host” families, whom they expect to provide the children with food, shelter, and an education in exchange for domestic work. While some restaveks are cared for and sent to school, most of these children are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude. These restaveks, 65 percent of whom are girls between the ages of six and 14, work excessive hours, receive no schooling or payment and are often physically and sexually abused.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]

 

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Haiti.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Haiti: Socio-Political Crisis OCHA Situation Report No. 14

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA,  19 Jul 2004

reliefweb.int/report/haiti/haiti-socio-political-crisis-ocha-situation-report-no-14

[accessed 13 June 2013]

CHILDREN AT RISK

9. Child domestic workers are perhaps amongst the most exploited sectors in Haiti. A child who stays with and works for another family is called a "restavec" (rester avec), in Creole. According to the Restavec Children Foundation, these children are often given away or sold by poor families in order to survive. Frequently the children's most basic rights to health and education are denied. They are not paid for their work and often abused. For instance, the restavecs have to return to their duties in the house, after having escorted the house owner's children to school. The restavec boys and the girls often flee at the age of 12-13, joining one of the many street gangs or ending up as prostitutes.

Slavery: Worldwide Evil

Charles Jacobs, President, American Anti-Slavery Group

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

HAITI: SUGAR SLAVES - Next time you add sugar to your coffee, think of Andre Prevot. A Haitian, Prevot met a man who promised him a good job nearby in the Dominican Republic (DR). But, as we've seen with the Asian slavers, this is a classic lure. "He took me across the border and sold me to the Dominican soldiers for $8," explains Prevot. Once in their custody, he suffered the fate of thousands of his countrymen who are forced against their will to cut cane for six or seven months — from December to June — for little or no money.

Though many Haitians work willingly in the Dominican sugar plantations (Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere), there is a perennial shortfall at harvest time. The State Sugar Council, known as the CEA, fills the gap with a system that violates nearly every internationally recognized labor code against forced labor. Although political turmoil in Haiti has put an end to cross-border recruiting, the enslavement of blacks continues.

 

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/haiti.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - A common form of exploitive child labor in Haiti is the traditional practice of trafficking children from poor, rural areas to cities to work as domestic servants for more affluent urban families.  A 2002 survey by the Fafo Institute for Applied Social Sciences estimated that 173,000, or 8.2 percent of children ages 5 to 17 years, were child domestic workers.  Many domestic workers, known as restaveks, work without compensation, reach the age of 15 to 17 years without ever having attended school, are forced to work long hours under harsh conditions, and are subject to mistreatment, including sexual abuse.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61731.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Rural families continued to send young children, particularly girls, to more affluent city dwellers to serve as restaveks in exchange for that child's room and board. While some restaveks received adequate care, including an education, the Ministry of Social Affairs believed that many employers compelled the children to work long hours, provided them little nourishment, and frequently abused them. The majority of restaveks worked in low-income homes where conditions, food, and education for non-biological children were not priorities.

The results of the most recent study of trafficking across the border conducted by UNICEF in 2002 reported that between two thousand and three thousand children were trafficked to the Dominican Republic each year.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/haiti2003.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

[60] The Committee is deeply concerned at the high incidence of trafficking of children from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. The Committee is concerned that these children once they are separated from their family are forced to beg or to work in the Dominican Republic.

Assistance for children victims of human trafficking in Haiti

International Organization for Migration IOM,  04 Dec 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

www.iom.int/cms/en/sites/iom/home/news-and-views/feature-stories/feature-story-listing/assistance-for-children-victims-of-human.html

[accessed 14 July 2013]

After the death of his father, Daniel was torn from his sobbing mother to work in Port-au-Prince to alleviate the family's extreme poverty. In one of the capital's many shantytowns that suffer from neglected infrastructure and income-generation needs, a poor "host family" recruited Daniel as unremunerated domestic labor to fetch water from distant distribution points, among other tasks.

Daniel says he felt "not human" when preparing the children's uniforms and lunches while being denied an education himself. Despite being regularly humiliated, abused and under-fed, Daniel did not attempt to return home alone lest he be forced to join the street children.

Survival is Greatest Challenge for Haiti's Children

UNICEF Press Centre, Montreal / Madrid, 22 MARCH, 2006

www.unicef.org/media/media_31793.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Violence and Abuse. There are thousands of street children throughout Haiti. Many children are forced to fight in gangs or become part of the restavek subculture of bonded servitude, where 300,000 children work as unpaid domestic servants.  Girls account for three-quarters of these workers. - htsc

30,000 Haitian children smuggled annually

China Daily, 200511/08

english.peopledaily.com.cn/200511/08/eng20051108_219788.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Around 30,000 Haitian children are illegally smuggled into the Dominican Republic every year to work as child prostitutes or be forced into other degrading occupations, UN and Organization of American States (OAS) officials said on Sunday.  In Haiti itself, children are recruited as gang members or are tortured, kidnapped, sexually and physically abused, abandoned and traded like personal property. - htcp

Psst! Buy Yourself A Haitian Slave-Child For A Hundred Bucks

Gary Younge, the Guardian, reporting from the Dominican Republic, 2005-09-28

www.haitipolicy.org/content/3249.htm?PHPSESSID=

[accessed 8 February 2011]

On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.  There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. - htcp

Servitude's chains steal childhoods

Gary Marx, Chicago Tribune, Port-Au-Prince Haiti, June 2, 2005

www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=662

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Each day, 13-year-old Claudia Lundi wakes at 4 a.m. and begins cooking, sweeping, fetching water and doing other household chores that last until well after sunset.  She sleeps on the concrete floor cushioned by a pile of clothing and eats sparingly, alone, in the kitchen. "If I don't finish my work they will beat me up," said Claudia, picking nervously at her fingernails. "They beat me with a whip all over my body." - htsc

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 4   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/haiti

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

www.hrw.org/americas/haiti

[accessed 8 February 2011]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number F1934 .D64 2001

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/httoc.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American

Recollections by a former restavek, Jean-Robert Cadet 1998 in his autobiography, "Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American"

www.carfweb.net/haiti_appeal.html

[accessed 5 September 2011]

On average, restaveks work eighteen hours a day, seven days a week, have extremely poor health, nutrition, low educational attainment and their living conditions are appalling. They sleep on the bare floor or on a mat on the floor next to their master's bed or under the kitchen table. They use an old rolled up dress as a billow or a blanket. Restaveks wear dirty, old clothing and shoes with holes in them, sometimes too big for their small bodies. Also, they are permitted to bathe only once a week. While these children prepare meals for their masters, they are not allowed to eat with the family and must wait until everyone finishes and leaves the table in order to eat the leftovers from the meal that he or she cooked. The master requires that the child domestic use a specific plate, cup, and fork, made out of tin and bent out of shape. The restavek must wash and store these utensils separately, perhaps for a fear that he or she will contaminate the rest of the family's "good" dining equipment. The child is further separated from social life as the restavek spends virtually the entire day indoors unless he or she is fetching water, cleaning chamber pots, or visiting the market. And while indoors, he or she sits in isolation when not doing chores. These children are not allowed to speak unless their owners speak to them or permit them to speak. In addition to the daily schedule and tasks and the living conditions, these children suffer great physical and emotional danger, are beaten, tortured, raped, falsely accused and verbally assaulted. — Recollections by a former restavek, Jean-Robert Cadet 1998 in his autobiography, "Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American"

Haiti: Socio-Political Crisis OCHA Situation Report No. 14

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA,  19 Jul 2004

reliefweb.int/report/haiti/haiti-socio-political-crisis-ocha-situation-report-no-14

[accessed 13 June 2013]

CHILDREN AT RISK

9. Child domestic workers are perhaps amongst the most exploited sectors in Haiti. A child who stays with and works for another family is called a "restavec" (rester avec), in Creole. According to the Restavec Children Foundation, these children are often given away or sold by poor families in order to survive. Frequently the children's most basic rights to health and education are denied. They are not paid for their work and often abused. For instance, the restavecs have to return to their duties in the house, after having escorted the house owner's children to school. The restavec boys and the girls often flee at the age of 12-13, joining one of the many street gangs or ending up as prostitutes.

Prosecutors to seek reduction of sentence for Pines woman in slavery case

Ann W. O'Neill, Sun-Sentinel, 8 June 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

A 12-year-old girl, referred to in the indictment as "W.K.," was nicknamed "Little Hope" in South Florida's Haitian community when her plight became known five years ago.  She claimed to have been beaten, raped, and forced to work as a maid and serve, since the age of 9, as a sex slave for the Pompees' son, then 20.

According to the indictment, the girl was smuggled from Haiti after her mother, who once worked there for the Pompees, died in 1996.

Haiti - Tarnished Children

Jacky Delorme, International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), January 2004

www.restavekfreedom.org/document.doc?id=27

[accessed 14 July 2013]

[page 7] LESLIE - I am eleven years old. I don’t remember how long ago my mum placed me in the care of my aunt. I’m the only one to sleep on the floor in her house. Every day, I get up at 4 o’clock. I do everything. I prepare breakfast for the children, I sweep the floor, I go to collect water. And when my aunt goes to work in the market, I carry on: I go for more water, I do the washing, and I wash the dishes… One day I had a quarrel with one of my aunt’s daughters, and she whipped me for that. On another occasion I was watching television and the food that was on the cooker got burnt.  I also got whipped for that. My mum lives in the province. She came to see me last Sunday, but it’s very rare. I have given up asking her to take me back with her. I know she doesn’t have enough money to feed me.

Haiti's Dark Secret: The Restavecs

National Public Radio NPR, March 27, 2004

www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1779562

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Haiti, a nation of only eight million people, is home to some 300,000 restavecs -– young children who are frequently trafficked from the rural countryside to work as domestic servants in the poverty-stricken nation's urban areas.

Among her other duties, Josiméne cares for two younger children, cleans the house, washes dishes, scrubs laundry by hand, runs errands and sells small items from the family's informal store. She has lived this way for over two years, since she was seven. It has been over six months since she has seen her family.

Aristide leaves Haiti

This Week in Washington with Congressman Jo Bonner, March 04, 2004

bonner.house.gov/HoR/AL01/News/Columns/2004/03-04-04+Aristide+leaves+Haiti.htm

[Last access date unavailable]

Haiti also has a long record of human rights and security violations. The government of that country has not fully complied with international regulations regarding the trafficking of children for both labor and sexual exploitation. As one major example, a 2003 report issued by the Organization of American States stated that between 90,000 and 300,000 children between the ages of four and 14 in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are used as unpaid domestic labor. Additionally, following a 2001 announcement of "zero tolerance" policy towards suspected criminals, the Haitian police and organized mobs committed numerous executions and lynchings. The national media was forced to self-censor itself, and many reporters either fled the country as the result of death threats or were captured and executed.

Slavery: Worldwide Evil

Charles Jacobs, President, American Anti-Slavery Group

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

HAITI: SUGAR SLAVES - Next time you add sugar to your coffee, think of Andre Prevot. A Haitian, Prevot met a man who promised him a good job nearby in the Dominican Republic (DR). But, as we've seen with the Asian slavers, this is a classic lure. "He took me across the border and sold me to the Dominican soldiers for $8," explains Prevot. Once in their custody, he suffered the fate of thousands of his countrymen who are forced against their will to cut cane for six or seven months — from December to June — for little or no money.

Though many Haitians work willingly in the Dominican sugar plantations (Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere), there is a perennial shortfall at harvest time. The State Sugar Council, known as the CEA, fills the gap with a system that violates nearly every internationally recognized labor code against forced labor. Although political turmoil in Haiti has put an end to cross-border recruiting, the enslavement of blacks continues.

Haitian Coalition Unveils Report on Slavery and Trafficking of Haitian Children

Merrie Archer, The National Coalition for Haitian Rights NCHR, Miami, April 18, 2002

www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti-archive/msg11671.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

"Estimates reveal that as many as one out of every ten children in Haiti is a child domestic servant, known in Creole as a restavèk," said Merrie Archer, co-author of the report and Senior Policy Associate at NCHR, "and there is evidence that this practice has been carried over to the US and other places where Haitians have migrated."

Child Labour Persists Around The World: More Than 13 Percent Of Children 10-14 Are Employed

International Labour Organisation (ILO) News, Geneva, 10 June 1996

www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/press-and-media-centre/news/WCMS_008058/lang--en/index.htm

[accessed 6 September 2011]

"Today's child worker will be tomorrow's uneducated and untrained adult, forever trapped in grinding poverty. No effort should be spared to break that vicious circle", says ILO Director-General Michel Hansenne.

Among the countries with a high percentage of their children from 10-14 years in the work force are: Mali, 54.5 percent; Burkina Faso, 51; Niger and Uganda, both 45; Kenya, 41.3; Senegal, 31.4; Bangladesh, 30.1; Nigeria, 25.8; Haiti, 25; Turkey, 24; Côte d'Ivoire, 20.5; Pakistan, 17.7; Brazil, 16.1; India, 14.4; China, 11.6; and Egypt, 11.2.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Haiti", http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Haiti.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Haiti]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Haiti]  [other countries]