Joane is a 14-year old Restavek whose mother lives in a rural area. She started her schooling on time as she was in the third year of primary school at the age of 8. However, before moving to Port Au Prince, she dropped out of school. She says that she would like to go to school, but in case she doesn’t she will sell things in the market when she is older.
At her current home, she does a lot of work but is not treated well and also paid nothing. Joane does all the washing, cleaning and cooking. She is allowed to play with the other children only when there is no work. It brings her to tears when she watches them go to school because she cannot.
She is treated badly and beaten a lot at the house where she stays. She says that the caretaker beats her because she isn’t her own child. The family eats well but doesn’t give her proper meals. She is not given any food even when she’s hungry. On asking for even 5 Gourdes, she is told that there isn’t any money. She eats from the leftovers she finds at the time of washing up the dishes. She also sleeps with a sheet on the floor while all the others have a bed. (Fafo – Child Domestic Workers in Haiti)
The factors that enable the perpetuation of the Restavek System are of socio-economic order (extreme poverty). They are not cultural, nor legal.