A Serious Declaration

Today may be Human Rights Day, but in Haiti, dozens of Child Protection Committees (CPCs) are working hard to defend the rights of children each and every day. These Committees are made up of emerging local leaders who we help our partners train. They learn how to organize their communities to protect children from violence and exploitation.

One such leader is Suze Nozil form the rural village of Latig.

Just a few weeks ago, on National Day for the Elimination of Restavèk Slavery, she delivered a speech that was so stirring, I was nearly in tears.

[Listen to a translation of the declaration here.]

Madame Nozil also marched alongside more than 100 children from the village — some who were recently freed from restavèk and brought home.

Watch this 30-second clip of their march.

These children and Madame Nozil know well how important this struggle to protect children is. During her speech, she brought to light how deep this injustice really is:

restavèk  is the child who is mistreated, sworn at, abused, beaten, treated differently than other children in the house, children who — despite being of school age — do not receive any education, children who don’t have birth certificates, children who don’t have anything to eat, who don’t have clean clothes or shoes on their feet, children who don’t even have a moment to play because they exist only to work.

She also asked us to join the movement:

Society must treat ALL children the same, without discrimination. We ask everyone to work together with us to uproot the practice of restavèk in Haiti. In doing so, we can truly be a model community and a model nation.

Latig is quickly becoming the model community that she envisions, but we need your help to expand our work and build model communities all over Haiti. And, if you give today, every dollar will be matched up to $100K.

We need more communities to help protect children, to keep them free and safe at home. After all, it’s their right.

Thank you for your commitment to protecting the rights of Haiti’s children.