Conn said people are driven by causes that contain “adventure, risk management and purpose.”
A restavek (from the French rest aver, “one who stays with”) is a child who is sent by their parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child. Restavek may refer to a child staying with a host family, but usually refers specifically to those who are abused.
For Conn, the opportunity to help the estimated 300,000 children living in slavery in Haiti, fulfilled the requirements he had listed.
Conn said, “Haiti is a failed state” with no effective government, no economy and no services available to its people. This failure has led to a scarcity mentality which has led to a climate of modern day slavery, even though Haiti is the country known to have had the first successful slave revolt.
Raymond Conn first discovered the practice of child slavery during a trip to the country about 10-years ago.
Even though Haiti is in the center of the U.S. Caribbean playground, he discovered a “stunning, shocking, thing” when he arrived in Port au Prince.
“Haiti is a splinter in my mind.”