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#3559: Ohio State U. speaker says Haitian children expect ... (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By Beth Clevenger
COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 10 (The Lantern, U-WIRE) -- Internationally known
author Jean-Robert Cadet hoped to increase awareness about the child labor
practices in his native Haiti during a speech at the Hillel Foundation
Today, 400,000 children in Haiti are involved in a child labor practice
called Restavec, Cadet said. This practice involves poor parents sending
their children to live with wealthy families in hopes of getting them an
In almost all cases, the education is never received and these children
are forced into servitude. Nearly 10 percent of all Haitian children are
involved in such labor.
"This has been going on for 200 years in Haiti," Cadet said. "It is part
of the social fabric and is going to be very hard to get rid of, but it has
just got to stop."
Cadet is the author of his autobiography "Restavec: From Haitian Slave
Child to Middle-Class American" and has just returned from Haiti where he
helped to put together a one-hour CNN documentary on Restavec.
His book is now being used in universities to help educate students
about these labor practices.
Various organizations were interested in bringing Cadet's message to
OSU, said Liba Beyer, director of Social Action Programs at OSU Hillel.
"Blacks and Jews have come together to bring Cadet to OSU to help incite
activism here on campus," Beyer said. "It is a multi-cultural mixing of
past despair and overcoming it in the future."
Michael Cohen, co-president of Hotep-Shalom: Partnership of Blacks and
Jews, said that the group became interested in Cadet's story after hearing
an interview with him on National Public Radio.
"You don't see a lot of groups with different problems coming together,"
he said. "It is important for students to realize that they have these