Experts estimate that there are approximately 300,000 child slaves in Haiti under the “restavec” system. Restavec is derived from the French words “reste avec” which means “one who stays with” and the system is not illegal under Haitian law.
Restavec children can be bought and sold in Haiti. Some are sold by desperate parents who hope that they might have a better life when living in someone else’s home. This is almost never the case.
“As the people of Haiti re-envision the future of their country and begin to build back better, there is an enormous opportunity for us to partner together to help develop a more modern economy that uplifts all Haitians. Protecting the rights of children is important, as is strengthening their access to quality education and health services,” said President Bill Clinton. “The Haitians are committed to this, and I am glad Demi and Ashton are taking action and supporting this important issue.”
“These children are slaves, and the fact that Haiti has allowed this system to exist is unacceptable” said Demi Moore, co-founder of the DNA Foundation. “As the world works to rebuild Haiti, the world should demand that child slavery and the restavec tradition are clearly and unequivocally out-lawed by the Haitian government. Haiti has the opportunity to build a better and more just society, and the elimination of child slavery should be one of the first steps.”
Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of DNA added “we call on donor governments, foundations and non-governmental organizations to demand that child slavery be banned as they fund the $11.5 billion that the Haitian government has requested. We will work to educate all of the major donors and members of the United States Congress on this opportunity.”
DNA – The Demi and Ashton Foundation – aims to eliminate child sex slavery worldwide. Believing that freedom is a fundamental human right, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher founded DNA to help raise awareness about this horrific problem, change cultural stereotypes and rehabilitate the innocent victims.
More information can be found at www.demiandashton.org.