A Qualitative Analysis of Child Trafficking in Haiti and the Dominican Republic Using the Capitalist Theory

Shanelly Pena


On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced an earthquake that brought the country more dreadful governance, economic and human rights situations. Despite the billions of dollars that have been donated toward the reconstruction effort in Haiti, the country still remains the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. “What was already a difficult place to live has also become a nearly impossible place to police” (UN, 2012). Haitians have been struggling to survive for decades; the earthquake has worsened the situation, sending many Haitians to the Dominican Republic and exacerbating child slavery in the region. The purpose of this research is to analyze the economic situation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic that causes certain individuals in the two nations to engage in child trafficking. The illicit trade has been caused by serious issues in Haiti such as a poor economic system, the lack of education, many displaced people, and poverty. Certain individuals in Haiti and the Dominican Republic who are motivated by profit are using child trafficking as a means to enrich, themselves. This capitalist impulse causes instability in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Capitalist Theory is based on the individual’s motivation for profit. Utilizing this theory, this paper therefore hypothesizes that the greater the profit to be gained from child trafficking, the greater the incentive for certain individuals in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to engage in the trade. This capitalist impulse through which private means of ownership are used for profit maximization generates instability. To test the hypothesis, qualitative data were collected from both primary and secondary sources using expert interviews, document analysis and observational techniques. The data collected were systematically analyzed, and the findings delineated from analysis support the hypothesis.


Economy; Restavek; Haiti; Dominican Republic

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

The Proceedings is produced as a service of UNC Asheville.