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Restavek

Child Labor in Haiti or Restavek

The term used for children with this arrangement is restavek (one who stays).

Haiti suffers the reputation as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many Haitian families cannot afford the care of their own children, so they send them to live with rich families as unpaid domestics or Restaveks.

Sometimes a restavek will live with a family, who can afford to educate them and give them adequate living conditions. If not, will use the floor as their bed and be subjected to sexual abuse.

Restaveks are domestic slaves, and the majority of them are girls, 80% of them. They perform household chores, not for pay, but in return for shelter, food, clothing, and education, usually of inferior quality. Even under optimal conditions, restaveks have inferior status in the household, even with peers and younger.

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Child Slave and Trafficking Statistics

The child slave trade has been growing exponentially during the last decade.

After landing in the streets, 2.8 million juveniles are snatched by pornographers. Nearly 1 million children are forced to prostitute themselves. What is even more horrific is their extreme youth, averaged at age 12.

Within U.S. borders, 200,000 juveniles are at peril for being exploited within the sex trade each year. It is estimated child trafficking in the world market is pulling in $12 billion plus every year, affecting 1.2 million plus children. Women and girls make up 80% of victims, half of them minors. Numbering 300,000-400,000, they are kidnapped, bought, and sold between countries for use in the sex trade business.

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