In Haiti are over 300 000 ÒRestavek. The Restavek are children of Haiti living in a family different from their family of origin and often used as domestic servants or as slaves. From poor families in rural areas, they are placed by their families in urban families. Often the economic situation of host families is not very different from those of biological families of these children. Also orphans often end up as Restavek.
Miriam is a little 7 year old girl who lives in Port-au-Prince and is a restavek. Her father died 4 years ago. Her mother went to the countryside to organize the funeral and never returned. Today, she lives with her neighbors, who have a 6 year old son. When he is outside playing with his friends, she does the cleaning, dishes, and shopping. In return for her work Miriam has the right to sleep on the floor and eat the remains of the family meal.