Forced into a life of domestic servitude, Haiti’s child slaves

Repeating Islands

PD-HAITI-1[Many thanks to Holly Bynoe for bringing this item to our attention.] Photojournalist Paddy Dowling (Independent) travels to Haiti to document its next generation: ‘restaveks’ – children separated from their families, heartbroken and forced into a life of slavery.

Seated in a darkened room at the end of a long corridor, hiding his face, he looks down. When questioned, he simply shrugs his small shoulders. One by one, tears cascade onto the table where he sits. Esperence Richardson, 10, a “restavek”, given up by his biological parents aged eight, surrenders to his emotions. He turns away, finds space and tries to wipe away the suffering with each pass of his shirt sleeve.

A country once enslaved, Haiti revolted in 1791 to free itself from the shackles of its French masters. By 1804, Haitians – led by the heroic military strategist Toussaint L’Ouverture – had achieved the only successful slave revolt in modern history. But today, children…

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