CNN/Anderson Cooper : Rèstavèk ou être esclave en Haïti.

Lundi 13 juillet 2009, Haïti est au centre de AC 360⁰, l’émission phare d’Anderson Cooper sur CNN. Le seul pays né d’une révolution d’esclaves est sous les projecteurs à cause, justement, des milliers d’enfants qui s’y trouvent dans un état de quasi-servitude. Le fait qu’un rèstavèk corresponde ou non à la définition du terme esclave fait encore débat dans certains milieux d’Haïti et beaucoup souligneront que Ti Joseph placé chez Tante Violette va à l’école le soir et reçoit deux repas par jour.

Néanmoins, quelque soit votre définition d’un rèstavèk, nul ne peut nier qu’il s’agit d’une condition humainement dégradante. Nul ne peut non plus attendre d’un enfant, qui passe ses journées à vider les pots de chambre (les fameux vaz) et à nettoyer les parquets sous les flots d’injures d’une Matant, qu’il apprenne grand-chose à l’ «école» (dans les cas où il y va) dans l’après-midi.

La Fondation Maurice Sixto et The Restavek Foundation (fondée par Jean Robert Cadet, lui-même ancien rèstavèk ) continuent de mener une campagne active contre le système et une plus grande attention est désormais accordée à la question au niveau international (cf : cet autre émission de CNN sur la question en 2007). Toutefois la lutte contre le « système rèstavèk » sera longue. Elle sera d’autant plus difficile que les conditions de vie du paysan continuent de se détériorer, mettant les parents sous la pression d’envoyer leur progéniture chez une Matant en ville.

La bonne nouvelle est que le sort d’une telle lutte dépend aussi de nos choix individuels. Chacun de nous peut décider de ne pas prendre en charge un Ti Joseph qu’on enverra peut être à l’école en échange de multiples services. Chacun de nous peut en parler autour de nous et travailler à changer les attitudes sur la question.

P.S. : L’ émission d’Anderson Cooper sur les rèstavèk sera en rediffusion ce mardi 14 juillet sur CNN à 10 heures PM (heure de l’est des États-Unis).

This entry was posted in AC 360, anderson cooper, cnn, esclavage, Fondation Maurice Sixto, Jean-Robert Cadet, restavek, The Restavek Foundation. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to CNN/Anderson Cooper : Rèstavèk ou être esclave en Haïti.

  1. Stefanie says:

    I also saw this report on 360 last night. The link that they made between President Obama visiting Ghana/the slave fort and existent slavery in Haiti is rather powerful. This campaign against modern slavery is gaining momentum as this is the 2nd major report from important news channels( months ago I saw another 1 on ABC. I find it very appalling that as a nation we can not deal with this issue but had to have the international community intervene,(as in everything else). That condition is indeed inhumane and I do agree that we must do something as a nation to combat it but this involves so many other facts that are reflective of our culture our history and also our economic state …….it is a serious matter but how do we start addressing it????

  2. FB says:

    I do believe that we have the choice not to take any "restavek" in our place. We have the choice to educate our kids to be independant… To do their rooms, to prepare their breakfast, to take care of themselves… Our boys to help clean the house, to cook for themselves… How come an Haitian is so independant when it goes abroad? This means that they can… They are not willing to do it… I do believe that it is not faire… How can our kids go to school and sometimes one of the best in town, while the "restavek" is taking care of the house, not being paid, having two meals and is going to school in the evening and which school? What we call a "lekol bòlet"…It's inhumane and it is modern slavery… That is a shame that it has to go internationally ! Haitian could see by themselves that it is not proper my people! We did 1804 to avoid this kind of practice and now we still have them in 2009 in another figure but it's the same thing being done…How to adress it? We need laws to banish it! And trust me Haitian will adjust with the situation and they will find a new style of living. The "Paysan" will find another solution… Sometimes we need to take a drastic decision to push us to wake up, to realize this needs to be change!!!! Yes my people it has to be changed!!!!

  3. Anacaona says:

    These are very powerful questions? The problem with the restavec system is that it is not organized or defined. It is common practice. Yes, we can say No to having restavecs as well as we could say Yes to treating them as other kids in the family…The thing is that it is hard to get people to do the right thing or to even recognize what is right. In this case, we do not even know, we know what is not wrong.Abolishing it is also difficult. What laws should be put in place? What is the definition of a restavec?I'm glad we are having that conversation but I fear it will be long before practices change but at least we are discussing the issue. I think we need to hear more from the families who are abandoning their kids as well.Me, I would say, legalize it, put rules, laws in place so that everyone knows their responsibilities but in Haiti…do laws mean that much? Thanks for posting this unbiased article which at least has context!So far, I have not heard any solution from CNN, ABC or else…

  4. Kay Ti Kal says:

    Anacaona: Thanks for your comments and interesting insights.I guess I understand the logic behind "legalizing" the practice, but even in such a case I think one fundamental problem remains unsolved. As FM said Having some legal safeguards to regulate the practice won't prevent what I see as a violation of children's rights.Even in a legal framework, these children will have to work. Which means less time for school, play or other activities that contribute to their personal growth. Some people may say that these children wouldn't have access to a daily meal or "evening school" anyway if they stayed with their parents. But I think we can still help them access all that by contributing to a charitable organization or by putting the pressure on the government so that basic public services are provided.But again, thank you for pointing to a very important aspect of the debate !

  5. Anacaona says:

    thanks for keeping this blog! I really like it! It's good to discuss. I learn so much with the posts and the comments! Good job to you for the blog and to all the participants! Thanks also for pointing out the problems with the legalization as well. 😉

  6. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, Haiti, once again is being portrayed negatively in the mainstream media. This is a practice to stop legally. But more should be done for Haitians to have less kids and create more resources.I produce a video on kids prostitution in haiti 15 years ago. This could add more insights to this topic.Roosevelt

  7. Kay Ti Kal says:

    This is a very informative video Roosevelt. And sadly I guess things must be worse now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s