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Child Labor In Haiti Essay

1693 words - 7 pages

The employment of children under the age to which it is illegal or inhumane is considered child labor. Its causes and consequences are myriad, touching every aspect of Haitian society. Children who are working are more likely to become physically and mentally underdeveloped than children who go to school. Haiti is certainly below the poverty line ranking as the 20th poorest country in the world and is considered to be one of the most under developed countries in the world (Pasquali). Not only is child labor itself a social issue, but it leads into more acts of cruelty bestowed upon the innocent children of Haiti. It is unjust to not only advocate such things but to just sit there knowingly and not take action. Many have proposed organizations such as Unicef, Restavek Freedom, or Kids Around The World have proposed ideas on how to help or set up funds that go towards the needs of the children. Although these thoughts and ideas are good, they are plans of action that only affect the immediate children under such conditions. To solve this problem, the people of the world, would need an international restriction on the working age. With these restrictions in place worldwide, we would be able to enforce the laws for the betterment of Haiti but for countries across the world.
History/Background Information
Most people most people perceive child labor and visualize it as it was from the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s in country’s like England and the United States. During this time period, “power-driven machines” succeeded in the triumph of hand labor, dominated industries in the making of most manufactured items. Industrialism was becoming the turn of the century. Machinery was something that “did not require adult strength.” Children then started to be hired because they were able to work at lower wages ("TEACHERS"). That image of an over worked child sitting at a machine laboring over their work was true for such countries; but Mr. Jean-Robert Cadet, author of Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American, paints an image entirely different. Unlike the the United States and Europe, who passed laws to prohibit child labor, this unjust cruelty to kids has been happening for over centuries. According to Cadet on Tell me More (NPR), what he calls “‘restavecs’ can be compared to modern-day slavery.” Restavecs has the literal interpretation, that comes from the french, that means “to stay with”, but Cadet explains it as the children are being given away by their own families to perform domestic labor in exchange for food and shelter. Seeing it and experiencing it for himself, Cadet refused to call the domestic laborers but states, “I call them domestic slaves because they they don't have any rights whatsoever”.
Restavecs work for their owner working the streets, doing what ever their owner asks in return for food and shelter. Outside of homes, children work in marketplaces and stalls, taking part in crafts and sales, and boys in...

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