Child Slavery Rampant in Haiti

Even before this week’s devastating earthquake, a new study found as many as 225,000 children work as unpaid domestic servants in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. By conducting 1,458 door-to-door surveys, the Pan American Development Foundation discovered that 22 percent of children that were surveyed were living away from home, and that 30 percent of households had child laborers, who are known as “restaveks.” Unsurprisingly, the study noted that the rise of Haitian child slavery is “intimately linked” with the dire conditions that characterize life in the island nation, such as hunger, lack of adequate shelter, and joblessness. While many children work in the homes of relatives, the study found that these familial ties do no guarantee better treatment.