Restaveks

Haiti to Address Broken Adoption System

By Bryan Schaaf on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Adoption can be controversial.  In the case of Haiti, many orphanges are poorly managed and with little oversight.  Major challenges are a lack of livelihoods and access to family planning information and commodities.  Many children in orphanages are not really orphans as they have parents - albeit parents that could not afford them.  Trention Daniel notes Haiti is in the process of updating its adoption laws for the first time in 40 years.  This would being Haiti's adoption practices closer to international standards.  Read more »

State Department Awards Grant to Fight Human Trafficking in Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, January 21, 2011.
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The U.S. State Deparment's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) today announced a grant of $4.75 million to ten grantees to strengthen the capacity of the Haitian government and civil society to prevent and respond to human trafficking. Information about grantees and their activities follows in the official announcement below.  Background on human trafficking in Haiti and the Dominican Republic can be found in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report.    

U.S. State Department Releases 2010 Human Trafficking Report

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, June 14, 2010.

The U.S. State Department released its 2010 Annual Report on Human Trafficking today.  Haiti remains a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.  The most significant trafficking issue concerns restaveks – forced domestic servitude of young children given to (mostly) urban families by parents (mostly) from rural areas with larger families.  An estimated 225,000 children were enslaved as restaveks prior to the 2010 earthquake.  Even more children are vulnerable to exploitation in the earthquake’s aftermath.  Below is the Haiti section of the report, which includes recommendations for the Haitian government and the international community. Read more »

U.S. State Department Releases 2009 Human Rights Report for Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, March 12, 2010.

Each year, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is mandated to release country specific human rights reports that address individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As this report pertains strictly to 2009, it does not address human rights issues in post earthquake Haiti. Still, it is highly relevant as long term recovery and reconstruction will depend in part upon creating a culture that respects human rights and a government that can enforce them.  Read more »

State Department Releases 2009 TIP Report: Haiti and the DR

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, June 22, 2009.

Human trafficking is a global problem that affects every country in the world.  Last week, the U.S. State Department released its 2009 annual report on how well partner governments are preventing and responding to human trafficking. Understanding trafficking in Haiti requires understanding the situation in the Dominican Republic.  Neither country complies with minimum standards for eliminating trafficking, although both governments acknowledge the need to do more. This is an issue that clearly requires cross-border collaboration. Read more »

Stay with Me: An Evening of Hope for Haiti’s Restaveks (Friday, June 5)

By Bryan Schaaf on Saturday, May 23, 2009.

It is a sad irony that child slavery still exists in the only country to have led a successful slave rebellion.  On June 5th, Beyond Borders and the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington DC will host an event to raise awareness (and possible solutions) for the restavek crisis in Haiti.  Sociologist and Pastor Dr. Tony Compolo will speak as well Alina Cajuste and Helia Lajeunesse.  Alina and Helia are former restaveks who went on to become members of grassroots movements against child exploitation.  Below are Alina and Helia's stories and a schedule for the event which is free and open to the public.  If you can participate, please register onlineRead more »

Jimmy Jean-Louis Kicks Off Anti Human Trafficking Campaign

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, April 20, 2009.

There was an interesting post on Corbett's List today which described how Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays "The Haitian" on NBC's Heroes, is kicking off a campaign to fight human trafficking in Haiti.  The campaign intends to raise awareness concerning the 200,000 children in Haiti  who are the victims of modern-day slavery, trafficking and exploitation.  You can visit the website here. Read more »

UN Voluntary Trust Fund Makes Small Grants Available to Fight Slavery

By Bryan Schaaf on Tuesday, February 17, 2009.

The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery makes grants available for up to $15,000 for programs of humanitarian, legal and financial assistance to individuals whose human rights have been violated as a result of contemporary forms of slavery.  Human trafficking and restaveks are just two areas where these funds could make a difference in Haiti.  No awards were given for Haitiian programs last year, but hopefully a number of organizations will apply this year.  Attached and below is background on this fund and the programs it supports. Read more »

The World Enslaved (Benjamin Skinner)

By Bryan Schaaf on Sunday, April 20, 2008.

Benjamin Skinner wrote an article in Foreign Policy about the modern face of human slavery.  According to Skinner, there are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history.  He states true abolition will elude us until: (1) we admit the massive scope of the problem; (2) attack it in all its forms; and (3) and empower slaves to help free themselves.  Even in Haiti, the only country to have led a successful slave rebellion, slavery thrives. Slavery has many gusies and "restaveks" are just one.  Read more »

IOM Releases Video on Child Trafficking and Abuse in Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.
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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is active in Haiti in a number of different areas. One if its priorities is the prevention of child abuse. In advance of a forum in Vienna next week organized by the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UNGIFT), IOM releasd a video to raise awareness of the plight of an estimated 173,000 Haitian children internally trafficked for domestic servitude, known as Restaveks.

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