Wealth and Household Breakdowns of Families with Restaveks

Wealth and Household Breakdowns of Families with Restaveks


This is the latest installment of this blog highlighting the conditions of Child Domestic Workers in Haiti.

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. The majority of these children are girls and are extremely vulnerable to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. These children are known as Restavek.

Wealth of host families

Data collected by CF International in 2011 shows that over 50% of families with Restaveks are deemed wealthy, with 28% considered part of the wealthiest class in Haiti. These more affluent families typically consist of between 4 to 6 members with heads of households usually in their 30’s. It should be noted that the term “wealthy” in Haiti does not necessarily mean the same thing as “wealthy” to someone living in a more prosperous western country. In fact, many times the host families these children are sent to live with are only marginally better off than the children’s own family.

We can also see that class differences are clear in the data. Half of Restavek households are low on the wealth index and are classified as being among the poorer and poorest classes. These households typically have 6 or more members and are the most likely to have between 9 and 10 members. This class is also most likely to be older in age, often between their 50’s and 70’s.

Data Source

CF International 2011. Demographic and Health Surveys Methodology - Questionnaires: Household, Woman's, and Man's. MEASURE DHS Phase III: Calverton, Maryland, USA.  Click here to see all our visualizations.

Building The Residential School

Haiti Now administers comprehensive programs that enable girls to overcome domestic servitude. It is now working on building a residential school dedicated to the long term empowerment of Restavek girls.

In this residential school, Haiti Now will provide an accelerated education, health care, emotional support, mentoring, arts, sports, and healthy socialization with peers and adults. Our goal is to provide the comprehensive support needed for Restavek girls to build a healthy and financially secure future, all under one roof.

Please support us at https://www.haiti-now.org/donate/