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9194: restavek data (fwd)
Note: I thought since someone had asked for hard data on restaveks, it would
be useful to them. As an educator I may have some reservations about the
type of descriptions of behavioral characteristics but I am just translating
what's in the report. My only comment is that it looks like in Haiti we do
not love other people's children.
There is a report from UNICEF dated 1993 called "Les enfants en situation
specialement difficile en Haiti" containing a chapter on the Restavek
situation. In 1984 it was estimated that 11% of children between the ages of
6 and 15 were in servitude. In 1990 the total population of children in
servitude was estimated at 200.000.
61% of them in Port-au-Prince, the rest in the major cities of Haiti.
60-80% are girls
66% work in lower middle class families whose income is less than $500/month
Don't have time to play: 70% in PAP, 62% in Okap, 39% in Okay
Get corporal punishment: 77% in PAP, 81% in Okap, 69% in Okay
Get 3 meals a day: 17% in PAP, 33% in Okap, 48% in Okay
Would like to go back home to visit or permanently: 74% in PAP, 71% in Okap,
69% in Okay.
In PAP 11% go to school, 19% in other large cities, 6% in the rest of the
The report adds that "domesticite" generates frustration, mental illnesses
that bring on insomnia, lack of appetite, phobias, anxiety, lack of trust,
feelings of guilt and inferiority . All of these generate pathological
behaviors, run-aways, or neurosis and psychosis.
Characteristics of children in servitude:
-shows identity problems
-passive in the presence of adults
-below normal score in IQ tests (IQ around 75; report mentions lack of
cultural relevence of test)
-lacks self confidence
-comes from a poor family
-lives in a poor family
The report also has a chapter on homeless children living on city streets
(82% boys). They were estimated at 2000 in 1991 and predicted to reach 40-50
thousand in the year 2000 if life in Haiti did not change. More than half
admitted using drugs back in 1991.