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Contact: Merrie Archer, 954-462-8231

Haitian Coalition Unveils Report on Slavery and Trafficking of Haitian Children

Miami, April 18, 2002 – Slavery is alive and well in Haiti, birthplace of the world’s only successful slave revolt, says the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR). The year-long examination of the situation of Haitian children in domestic servitude debunks the myth that restavèk servitude is practiced in the best interests of the child.

"Many Haitians maintain that they are acting in the best interests of the child when giving her away to a family who is sometimes only slightly better off in the hopes that she will have access to better opportunities in life. Many of those who take in restavèk also believe that they are helping them out of poverty," explains Mr. Jocelyn McCalla, co-author of Restavèk No More: Eliminating Child Slavery in Haiti, "The evidence suggests otherwise as the practice fuels the cycle of poverty rather than breaking it."

Restavèk No More exposes the restavèk practice in light of international and Haitian standards on children enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and shows how it embodies a number of other traditions and practices that constitute tacit support for a wide array of human rights abuses that, nurtured during childhood, retard Haitian development and fuel its chronic socio-economic and political crises.

"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."

To order a copy of the report, please fill out this form or if you like, please review the executive summary.

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The National Coalition for Haitian Rights is a nonprofit non-governmental organization that seeks to promote and protect the rights of Haitian refugees and Haitian-Americans under US and international law, and to advance respect for human rights, the rule of law and support for civil and democratic society in Haiti. It has offices in New York and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


  Campaign Overview
  Rights of the Child
  Where is Your Grown-up?
  How You Can Help
  Children of Shadows - 54-min documentary
  Defensora de la libertad
Restavèk No More: Eliminating Child Slavery in Haiti - NCHR Report - April 18, 2002
  State Party Report - Haiti to the UN with Respect to the Convention on the Rights of the Child Submitted in 2001
  Ti Saintanise - restavèk story in Creole by Maurice Sixto
  NCHR Urges Haiti President to Fullfill Promises on Children's Rights
   Restavčk: Four-year-old Servants in Haiti - Haiti Insight Dec '96 / Jan '97
   Join NCHR in the March for Children's Rights
   Articles and Books

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