Haiti Passes Anti-Trafficking Law

A form of slavery called restavek exists in Haiti, dealing in child trafficking. An international agency index reports over 209,000 Haitians are captives of human traffickers, many children among them. President Martelly's government has passed an anti-trafficking law to address problems of, not only restavek, but human trafficking in general. Before the law can be put into effect, an infrastructure needs building. On the first front, the Haitian National Police must be instructed how to respond to reports of human trafficking, intervention methods, and dealing with courts and social services.


Haitian law uses the term "trafficking in persons" as mobilization, conveyance, and ". . . receipt of persons by means of threat, or . . . use of force . . ." Also, bribing ". . . to achieve consent of a person having control over another person for . . . exploitation." The law specifies activities such as forced labor, prostitution, procurement, pornography to be "trafficking in persons." For youths not yet 18, the law will protect them because it does not require burden of proof, concerning coercion or fraud in restavek situations.

Ministry of Social Affairs' National Committee (NC) is creating initiatives to fight trafficking and ensure victims' personal safety, besides offering extensive victim services to cover psychological and medical needs, and family reunification.

NC has not produced education services to let the citizenry know about human trafficking. Creation of an awareness campaign depends on the government releasing funds, so NC can start putting a campaign together.

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