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Restaveks and children

Created by Myriam Dejean, PINP staff member


Ollanda always in the street thumb
Little boy in the street





Restavek, in Creole, is deriving from the French terms. for "Linving" (rester) and "With" (avec) it called maid in America.All children have rights to be educate, in health, to play and others things. some institutions are fighting to find a way to destitute that kind of domesticity in Haiti and around the world the domestic on other forms . it

What causes the domesticity?

In Haiti many children have left the country side come in Port- Au- Prince for a better life, some of them sent by their parents with a aunt or uncle even a friend stay as restack, the child does not need to know those persons to agree to stay with them, and so happy to leave they parents. Children are expected to participated in economic activities from an early age. sometime they are forced and other time it's because they wanted and have to.
Other reason also make make the children in a situation as restavek, the parents are obliged to give them to people who where passing by one day as a visitor, offered and sometimes forced the stranger person to take the child with them, with words like "if they do not want a child to help them at home, because they have too many children to take care of, it will be better for the child to be in life with another family instead of starving to death in their hands"
Most of the time they do not know and never seen that person before, and the parents expect some day that child will be able to help the rest of the family.

What is a restaveck?

Restavecs are slave children who "belong" to well-to-do families. They receive no pay and are kept out of school. Since the emancipation and independence of 1804, affluent blacks and mulattoes have reintroduced slavery by using children of the very poor as house servants. They promise poor families in faraway villages who have too many mouths to feed a better life for their children. Once acquired, these children lose contact with their families and, like slaves of the past, are sometimes given new names for the sake of convenience.
The difference between a restavek and a maid is that the former is a child

What happens when a child is being abused?

Those who have chance to be in family they have pity of it, even that child is engaged to work as restavek, sometime have chance to attend school and also will be well treated. Mardochee, who is 16 years old and Josias 12 years old, they have chance to be in good hands. That lady, when I asked her if I can interview the children that she has stay with her as restavek, she said, Myriam I am so sorry for you, they are not restavek, they are my children, I will treat them as I treat my children. It was like a choc to me when I heard that from her, at the same time it was good to hear. Even when sometimes I see Josias carrying some bucket to fill some drum, I said to myself, "<< not everything is free, you must give your participation>>.

Restaveks are not paid for long working hours. They work in horrible conditions that are not good for their health. While at work many of the children suffer sexual harassment from their owners.
Education is also an important indicator in detecting child domesticity. Children in domesticity may or may not attend school, but when they do attend, it is generally an inferior school compared to other children. Restavek children are also more likely to be overage for their grade level, and their rates of non-enrollment are higher than non-restav

What do the children of PINP think about a restavek?

Midielande Baltazar she is a restavek, she said " it good for you when you're a restavek because you learn to do many things that could make yourself useful tomorrow when you grow up." Rose Carline is a child lives with her mother, she said, "I not agree with you, these people abusing you and tell you the bad words they will never say to their children"
Children from Cite soleil do not know what does that mean do domesticity, even the creole's words. Restavek, What Mistafa Ladouceux thinks about a slave child. I do not know that word, but it's better to be with your mother your father. Wideline Poteau said, if your mother cannot help you it's okay to stay with another person but if they make you work a lot it is not good.

What is the solution?

Everyone has the right to freedom in all its forms, "this freedom is being able to do anything that does not harm the other. "Be free is to respect everyone's right. To implement these principles, the state must protect more people, especially young people, against the manipulations they can be from the unconscious that threaten all freedoms. Brotherhood and solidarity must be exercised at the same time in the family, neighborhood, city, country and world. We should not ban begging, but remove its causes. That all men are resolved and give mutual assistance in maintaining peace and security in the world.
In the countryside the school level are limited. they need more school, a decentralization of the Public' Services.

The consequences, how do they feel?

There are times when they want to talk to their mothers but no body can replace a mother that is really hard very difficult to live with. The only thing that I can do is to pray and keep thinking one day I will be with my mother and brothers and sister again.
I am sad, when I think about the time I have spent by my mother





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Personal Action tab.

 
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