15 of 17
Ghana isn't the only country where children are forced to work. Jean-Robert Cadet, who is now a college graduate, husband and father, says he grew up as a nameless child slave in Haiti. After his mother died, Jean-Robert says his father abandoned him and he became a restavec. Meaning "stay with," the term refers to children in Haiti who live as unpaid domestic servants.

Jean-Robert says he never knew his birthday or age—and, like many restavecs, he never even had a name. "I was the first to get up in the morning and the last to go to bed at night," he says. "From the minute I woke up, the chores never stopped. I cleared the table after they ate. If there's some leftover food, that's what I ate."

Jean-Robert says he was one of many restavec children in Haiti—and even now, there are hundreds of thousands in that country. "When you go to Haiti, you will see children living on a landfill," he says. "At Christmastime, the only toy they have is a used condom, and they're blowing it and playing with it like a balloon."
FROM: A Special Report: The Little Boy Oprah Couldn't Forget
Published on February 09, 2007


Next Story