How To Buy a Child in Ten Hours

Reporter Dan Harris meets with a child trafficker at a busy restaurant in Haiti.

In July, Nightline on ABC ran an investigative news story about child trafficking and slavery. The report, by Dan Harris, is focused on Haiti, which has over 300,000 children trapped in child slavery. As the story indicates, the irony is hard to miss. Haiti is an independent nation as a result of a slave rebellion that took place from 1791-1803.

Harris traveled to Haiti and met undercover with a trafficker, who assured him that he could easily procure a 10-year-old girl for him within hours, although he suggests that a 15-year-old might be better because she would be “better developed.” As Harris writes in his report, he thought, “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.”

And how much would it cost him to buy this child? $300. Yet Harris is able to negotiate down to $150.

And the most disturbing thing is that, after the trafficker leaves, two waiters in the restaurant where the meeting took place approach Harris. The reporter fears he will be rebuked or shamed; but instead, the waiters offer to sell him a child as well.

Onise, 8, was given away by her family.

Click here to view a slideshow of photos and stories of Haitian children sold into slavery.

Click here to visit ABC’s page to learn what you can do to help end child slavery.

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

Posted on September 19, 2008, in children, India, news, poverty, shelley seale and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Terrible, just terrible.
    But maybe not just traders are to blame, but also the culture.

    The gipsy minority in Eastern Europe does almost the same. A few of them work or try to educate. Men spend their lives in prison (for Bulgaria – about 6% of the population does 70% of the crimes), and their wives… produce children to live on governmental social care. My mother is a child doctor and tells me terrible stuff how they injure or leave infants to take cold, so the mother could also live and feed free in the hospital until her child is sick. After the child matures enough not to be such a source, they just leave it on the street or SELL. And give a birth to another one… Some clans still proudly market and trade brides.
    No, this can’t be stopped! This is a vital cultural tradition of theirs! And they sue in an international court everyone that says this is wrong.

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