In Haiti, An ‘American Idol’-Style Contest About Child Slavery : Goats and Soda : NPR

The 2013 Global Slavery Index ranks Haiti second in the world for modern slavery, with an estimated 200,000 to 220,000 slaves. Only Mauritania is worse. While that number includes adults, the vast majority are minors. Restavek roughly translates to “stay with” in Creole “avec” is French for with. Often, families from the countryside send young children to live with wealthier families in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. In exchange for a promised better life and education, the child will contribute to household chores like cooking, washing clothes and fetching water.In thousands of cases, children are forced into servitude: They take on most, if not all, of the household work, they’re beaten and sexually assaulted, they never get the education they hoped to earn.In June, Haiti’s parliament passed a bill outlawing human trafficking, but the country remains on a U.S. government trafficking watch list because of concerns over whether Haiti will implement the new rules. Advocates worry about enforcement, in part, because of the magnitude of the problem.”This problem affects millions of people throughout Haiti, and it touches on several issues: gender inequality, illiteracy, overpopulation,” says Joan Conn, executive director of the nonprofit Restavek Freedom Foundation. via: NPR


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