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Motion for a resolution - B8-0108/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Child slavery in Haiti

6.2.2018 - (2018/2562(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Norbert Neuser on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0100/2018

Procedure : 2018/2562(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on Child slavery in Haiti


The European Parliament,


-Having regard to its previous resolutions on Haiti;


-Having regard to the Joint Statement on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and the Commissioner for Development of 12 June 2017;


-Having regard to the UN Human Rights annual report highlights human rights advances and challenges in Haiti 2017;


-Having regard to the UNHCR, Universal Periodic Review of Haiti, 31 October – 11 November 2016;


-Having regard to the UN Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;


-Having regard to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;


-Having regard to Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;


-Having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;


-Having regard to the UN supplementary convention on the abolition of slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and practices to slavery, in particular article 1d thereof of 7 September 1956


-Having regard to the International Labour Organisation Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour and the ILO Convention 138 on the minimum age for employment;


-Having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals;


-Having regard to the UN declaration of Human Rights;


-Having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure;








A.Whereas Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries with severe corruption, poor infrastructure, lack of health care, poor levels of education and historical political instability the main sources for its crippling poverty;


B.Whereas the use of children as domestic workers, often referred to by the creole term “Restavek” is systematic throughout Haiti and exists mainly due to harsh economic conditions and the cultural attitudes toward children;


C.Whereas Restavek is a form of domestic trafficking and modern-day slavery, affecting one in every 15 children in Haiti 60% of which are girls; Whereas in addition to working long hours, these children are often physically, sexually, and verbally abused;


D.Whereas the Restavek children are typically born into poor rural families who have little or no means to raise and income and will sell a child to another family in exchange for food or money;


E.Whereas Haiti ranked 145 of 182 countries in the 2010 United Nations Human Development Index and whereas seven out of ten Haitians live on less than USD 2 a day;


F.Whereas more than 175,000 people including tens of thousands of children remain displaced in the aftermath of October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew living in extremely precarious and unsafe conditions; Whereas the 2010 earthquake claimed more than 220,000 lives and displaced some 800,000 children as a result of which many of which were forced into slavery;


G.Whereas the recent electoral and political impasse following the 2016 Presidential election, severely hampered Haiti’s ability to pass key pieces of legislation and a national budget to tackle urgent social and economic challenges;


H.Whereas a lack of accountability of officials has fueled impunity in Haiti, in particular the lack of systematic investigations into the use of force and widespread illegal or arbitrary arrests by police; Whereas Haiti ranks 159th out of 176 in Transparency international’s corruption index;


I.Whereas according to the UN Development Fund, approximately one-half of all Haitians age 15 and older are illiterate with 85 percent of schools run by private entities which are prohibitively expensive for low income families; Whereas hurricane Matthew significantly impacted access to education, damaging 1,633 out of 1,991 schools in the most hard-hit areas;


J.Whereas the EU has allocated EUR 420 million under the 11th European Development Fund with particular emphasis being placed in child nutrition and education to support enfant development;


K.Whereas in 2017 the EU launched an appeal "La promotion des droits des enfants et la protection des enfants victimes d'exploitation, discrimination, violence et abandon" whose main priority has been to return imprisoned children with their biological families or place them in care families.


1.Expresses grave concern about the continuing human rights violations, including gender based violence, illegal detentions, and the practice of keeping children enslaved as Restaveks in Haiti; Calls on the Haitian government to prioritize legislative measures to combat such issues with the support of the international community, while also re-establishing key institutions in the country which have stalled as a result of the recent political impasse;


2.Calls on the government of Haiti to prioritise and establish sufficiently resourced procedures to end the Restavek practice including, the training of social services to help place Restavek children away from abusive families and provide care which meets their physical and psychological needs, a system of official birth certificates as well as compulsory education. Underlines the need for reform of the Criminal Code and ensure that rape and other crimes of sexual violence, torture, enforced disappearance, crimes against humanity, and discrimination are defined in line with international law and standards;


3. Calls on the government of Haiti as well as the remaining Member States, where applicable, to ratify without making any reservations the following conventions which are essential in the fight against child trafficking and slavery:

·The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and opt-in to the inquiry and inter-state procedures;

·The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

·The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

·Ratification of the Rome Statute

4.Calls for EU development assistance to pay particular attention to assisting with urgent reform of the judicial system and assisting the training of prosecutors and judges in the handling of cases of rape and sexual violence, ensuring that police and judiciary are trained to deal impartially with women and girls reporting gender based violence;


5.Notes that in October 2017 the Haitian parliament passed an annual budget. Underlines that recent progress made with regard to the right to education, in particular through the Universal, Free and Compulsory Education Programme, which requires both a system of effective monitoring and enforcement and a sustained financial effort and financial commitments, both from the Haitian national budget and EU development assistance; Calls for greater attention to be given to the well being and rehabilitation of Restavek children in the framework of the next EDF and Haiti’s National Indicative Programme.


6.Expects the EU and its Member States which have pledged assistance to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, to honor their pledges, and help the country to overcome its long-term challenges;


7.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the Commission, the President and Government of Haiti, the UN Secretary-General and the governments of the Member States.



Last updated: 6 February 2018
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