Posted: August 25, 2007 in Justice

The picture is of a girl the same age as my youngest daughter. She is a Haitian “restavek,” which in Haitian Creole means “stay with,” but in reality means a child slave.

There are 300,000 restaveks in Haiti, which equals one out of every ten children.

Haiti is the poorest nation in our half of the world, and one of the poorest nations in the world. It is a short-flight from Disney World.

The restavek system has evolved from the mind-numbing poverty. There is no education, or hope, or future for children living in Haiti’s rural areas. Because of this, many families give their children to families who live in the city – to “stay with” (restavek) them. The children work as domestics for these families, and the parents of the kids simply hope that this translates into a chance for the kids to go to school.

But it mostly doesn’t. Instead, they are often abused. And for the girls, most graduate from this school of hard knocks to pursue a career in prostitution.

My wife and I have fallen for a group called Beyond Borders, and we’re planning a trip to Haiti for a week in 2008. You can read about Beyond Borders HERE if you’d like.

Because I’m on their mailing list, they sent me a link to an MSNBC article/video on the restavek system yesterday. I would really love for you to read the article and watch the video – it will do more than the few words I’ve offered. Check it out HERE.

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