In Haiti, many poor rural families hoping to provide a better future for their children send them to live as domestic servants in the homes of urban / semi-urban families. These children, mostly girls are extremely vulnerable to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. These children are known as Restavek.
Research on Certificates of Age
A higher number of Restavek children do not possess any certificate to prove their age in comparison to non-Restavek children. Examples of certificates documenting age include birth certificates, baptism certificates, passports, vaccination cards, and school report cards. Of those documents, only passports and birth certificates have legal value.
According to data, almost 50 percent of Child Domestic Servants or Restaveks do not possess any certificate of age. Most of the children in Haiti, who do not possess any certificate are one-year-old. Around 16.43 percent of six year olds do not have any certificates to prove their age.
In most instances, both Restavek and non-Restavek children, have only one certificate which is their birth certificate. Non-Restavek children have a school report or vaccination card as their second age certificate which is not the case for Restavek children, as very few of them are able to attend a school or have access to vaccinations. Children in both categories, however, most do not possess passports as they do not have birth certificates and the other certificate, issued by non-government entities, cannot be used legally for this purpose.
Haiti Now relied on data obtained from the FAFO Research Foundation and the Institut Haitian del’ Enfance. The data was collected from 2013 - 2014.
Haiti Now has published this data online in an interactive manner. Click here to review this data in more detail, and to see other dimensions of the living conditions of Restavek in Haiti.
Another Option for Abandoned Girls in Domestic Servitude
Haiti Now ‘s mission is to give Restavek girls the ability to:
- leave domestic servitude, and
- prepare for the future they and their parents had hoped for.
Our current goal is to build a residential school for Restavek girls. We intend to provide the support needed for these girls to build a healthy and financially secure future, all under one roof.
In this residential school, girls will receive:
- an accelerated education,
- health care,
- emotional support,
- arts and sports, and
- healthy socialization with peers and adults.
Envision the opportunity for these girls reaching their potential at our residential school, and join us to build this facility.
Please support us at https://www.haiti-now.org/donate/