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#4569: Re: #4562: Restaveks (fwd)

From: E Vedrine <evedrine@hotmail.com>

As long there's no law passed to abolish the use of  "Restavèk" [in-house 
slave], another form of slavery in Haiti, this problem will always exist in 
our society. Many people in Haiti profit from it by using these innocent 
children [abandoned in the streets, from poor families, orphans...] who 
should have been in school for their age [some are only four years old]. And 
also, Haiti needs laws to protect children's rights and I think there should 
be a law passed for all children to be registered in a school from the age 
of six to 16 (where they would also attend school freely) [will Haiti's next 
president care about this issue?]. We can talk, keep on talking about ways 
to help them, but I think without LAWS nothing real is going to be done. 
These are important ussues for political platforms and for the media [had we 
had a real independent one in Haiti]. Some concerned people such as 
Jean-Robert CADET (a former 'restavèk' himself) is a well-known author now 
with his book RESTAVEK (an autobiography). The Haitian poet Keslèbrezo 
(Kesler Brezault) spent more than 8 years working on his novel SILFIZ (a 
Kreyol novel on the issue which will be out soon), just some examples of how 
some people show their concern, and some former comments from CORBETTERS 
(1998) but without real LAWS to protect our children there won't be any real 
change in this new century.

                       E. W. Vedrine

>From: Michael Brewer <haitianstreetkids@rescueteam.com>
>Restaveks: A countries most valuable asset is its' children. There are
>thousands upon thousands who would have the potential to carry the country
>forward if given the chance, but are unable and unlikely to ever do 
>worthwhile due to the tradition of restaveks. I know that with as many 
>infrastructure problems as Ayiti has these days, it's difficult for many in
>positions of power to put much time and effort into taking care of a 
>which would benefit the poorest of children while depriving the more
>priveledged. But, by having thousands of children in every generation being
>deprived of education, social
>development, and being emotionally and physically scared for life, serves 
>do nothing except to put more nails in the coffin of Ayitis' future. Give
>all children a chance, rich or poor, urban & rural, to have the education
>they deserve; to have the
>respect for their human descency they deserve, and at least let them have
>the chance to show what they may have to offer towards the future of the
>country. Laws concerning the treatment of children must be changed and the
>ones that are in place concerning restaveks, must be enforced. No child
>should be treated as soulless property.


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