Mass child slavery in occupied Haiti

This video from the USA says about itself:

California activists demonstrate for peace, justice, and democracy in Haiti, and in opposition to U.N. violence against Haiti’s poor.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Over 200,000 Haitian children forced into unpaid household slavery

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti‘s cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, a US-funded aid group revealed on Tuesday.

The non-profit Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) released a report which found that almost half of 257 children interviewed in the sprawling Port-au-Prince shantytown of Cite Soleil were household slaves.

Young slaves are known as “restavek” in Haiti – Creole for “stays with” – and their plight is a source of great shame in the Caribbean state that was founded by a slave uprising more than 200 years ago.

PADF researchers found that some of those children – mostly young girls – suffer sexual, psychological and physical abuse while toiling in extreme hardship.

The report recommended that Haiti’s government and international donors focus efforts on educating the poor and expanding social services such as shelters for girls, who make up an estimated two-thirds of the child servant population.

Glenn Smucker, one of the report’s authors and a cultural anthropologist known for extensive work on Haiti, said that he believed the number of restavek children was increasing proportionally with the population of Port-au-Prince as more migrants flee rural poverty to live in the capital.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,400 random households in five Haitian urban areas in late 2007 and early 2008, with funding help from the US Agency for International Development.

The most widely used previous number for restaveks came from a 2002 UNICEF survey, which estimated there were 172,000.

Also from the Morning Star:

Anti-slavery campaigners have called on two leading high street retailers to end the sale of clothes made with child labour.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and Anti-Slavery International have accused H&M and Zara of using cotton suppliers in Bangladesh which obtain many of their raw materials from Uzbekistan, where children as young as 10 are forced to work in the fields.

3 thoughts on “Mass child slavery in occupied Haiti

  1. Pingback: Haiti in ruins | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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