Modern Anti-Trafficking Legislation and Harmful Traditional Practices Haiti’s Restavek System

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Jane Charles-Voltaire
Susan French
Lily Vilsine Bernadel


This article presents a historical and contemporary overview of child domestic servitude in Haiti and an analysis of legislation that protects children from labor exploitation and trafficking. The range of criminal sanctions addressing the issue of child domestic servitude has created an unpredictable legal terrain for how these cases are resolved, allowing for prosecutors and judges to apply any one of the various applicable laws of choice with vastly disparate sentencing outcomes for abusers, recruiters, and parents.

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