Research & Publications

Ending Child Slavery

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In January of 2012, psychologist Dr. Cara Kennedy in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, Beyond Borders Child Protection Program, and a team of Haitian field staff undertook a series of studies to understand the range of challenges facing children who have been in servitude (restavèk, in Haitian Creole). Through interviews with children in transitional care settings and the communities to which they have returned, as well as with the adults who care for them, these studies revealed the range of challenges facing children who have been in restavèk (e.g., mental health, social, educational, familial, and economic) as well as what is currently being done to address them. Based on these findings, an assessment tool was adapted and studied to determine its reliability and validity in this context. The study reports below (in English and in Haitian Creole) document the rationale, methods, and findings of each of the studies.

 

 

 

Toward Effective Mental Health Intervention for Children Formerly in Restavèk March 2012

The restavèk system in Haiti is a system of child trafficking and forced labor that meets criteria for slavery and is estimated to affect 225,000-300,000 children, two-thirds of whom are girls. Children in restavèk are abused physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually; forced to do age-inappropriate chores; not sent to school; and treated as inferior to the children of the family. Anecdotal evidence from service organizations working with restavèk in Haiti suggests that the scale and consequences of restavèk are significant, with social costs to subsequent generations stemming from abuse and absence of affection among an entire class of citizens. Despite these anecdotal accounts, no systematically gathered data exists on the psychological, social, economic, and educational consequences of restavèk on the children who are forced to live in these conditions, or on their families in cases where they return home. This report describes a qualitative assessment conducted to better understand the problems of children who have been restavèk in Haiti, in order to equip Haitian governmental and local and international nongovernmental service, policy, and advocacy institutions with systematically gathered information on the challenges of former restavèk children, and to support these institutions to respond to the needs of this population.

Etid sou Sante Mantal Timoun ki te Restavèk. Pou rive nan entèvansyon sante mantal ki efikas– Mas 2012

Yon timoun restavèk an Ayiti, se yon timoun ki oblije kite kay fanmi li epi ale viv nan yon lòt kay kote premye obligasyon li genyen se travay. Timoun sa yo konn twouve yon nan sitiyasyon pou yo viktim tout kalte abi ki genyen. Dapre etid 2007-2008 Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) te reyalize,yon timoun restavèk se yon timoun ki p ap viv lakay li, k ap travay e ki pa touche. Timoun sa a, yo trete li yon fason ki vreman diferan ak lòt timoun nan kay la. Dapre menm etid sa a, yo te estime gen plis pase 225,000 timoun ki te nan restavèk nan zòn lavil, 2/3 ladan yo se ti fi. Malgre anpil òganizasyon ap denonse pratik sa a, e malgre anpil moun kwè konsekans li sou timoun yo avèk sosyete a grav anpil, poko genyen ase done teknik, sistematik sou konsekans pratik restavèk sou plan sikososyal, sosyal, ekonomik ak edikasyon. Etid sa te kolekte enfòmasyon ki soti dirèkteman nan pale ak timoun ki te restavèk, paran oubyen moun ki pran swen yo apwopo:

a) fason moun konprann, entèprete e konsidere sante mantal, pwoblèm sikolojik pami tout lòt pwoblèm timoun ki te restavèk ap konfwonte;

b) fason detrès timoun sa yo manifeste nan konpòtman yo ak nan relasyon yo ak lòt moun. Rezilta yo prezante nan rapò a.

Assessment of Child Survivors of Restavèk in Haiti – August 2012

This report describes the development and testing of an instrument to assess mental health and psychosocial problems among survivors of child slavery (restavèk) living in the Port au Prince metropolitan area, Haiti. Development consisted of generating a draft instrument that reflects the mental health and psychosocial problems that emerged in a previous qualitative study among the same target population. Testing consisted of assessing the instrument’s local acceptability, clarity, validity and reliability among the same population.  The results of this study as well as recommendations for use of the instrument among service providers in Haiti are reported here.

Devlopman ak Tès yon Enstriman Sikososyal ki Adapte pou Evalyasyon Sivivan Restavèk an Ayiti– Out 2012

Rapò sa a dekri devlopman ak tès yon enstriman ki evalye pwoblèm sante mantal ak sikososyal pami sivivan pratik restavèk ki viv nan zòn metwopolitèn Pòtoprens an Ayiti. Nan devlopman an, nou te konstwi bouyon enstriman an ki pou reflete pwoblèm sante mantal ak sikososyal ki te soulve nan yon premye etid kalitatif pami menm kategori timoun sa yo. Tès la li menm te evalye jan yo aksepte enstriman an nan popilasyon lokal, klate, validite, ak fyabilite li.  Rezilta etid sa ansanm ak rekòmandasyon pou fason enstitisyon kapab itilize zouti a prezante nan rapò a.