Monthly Archives: September 2008
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.
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.
I am only one of 6,000 children who will be orphaned today by AIDS.
I am only one of 25,000 people who will die today of hunger.
I am only one of 12 million people trafficked into forced labor or the sex trade worldwide.
My name is not important, because there are so many of us. You may pass me by and not even notice me. You may think I am in some far reaches of the world, some impoverished third-world country that has too many problems to fix. But I am where you live, too. I am everywhere.
Am I less than human? Am I so easily discarded and forgotten?
Will you look away?
I have not written at Stop Child Slavery as often as I would like. But every day I am drawn to the administrative panel of the web site to deal with the dozens of spam comments that find their way into comment moderation. They are impossible to ignore. They scream at me.
Of course, none of them ever make it onto the pages of the blog, even though they try very hard. They are caught by the spam blockers. I go through them to make sure no real comments are missed. Most of it is garbage text that is not meant to be understood. Some of it is the promise of celebrity nudity, and easy to understand. What is shocking and almost impossible to comprehend, however, is how large a percentage of the spam comments are advertisements for “teen sex.” They are overt in their attempt to come as close to child pornography as possible without stepping over “the line.” And it’s overwhelming.
As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as a child prostitute.
As bad as that sounds it is still a mask for what it really is. Children in the sex trade are sex slaves. Period. It is a particularly evil form of forced child labor. And it’s acceptance is perpetuated by the porn industry’s continued use of “teens” as bait for their web sites.
The fact that these kinds of spam comments end up making their way to a site about stopping child slavery is an indication of how pervasive they are. I doubt that any blogger has been spared the attack. It leaves me wondering what can be done. And I’m left scratching my head.
I’m no prude. I believe in an adult’s right to engage in consensual sex with anyone they choose. They have the right to videotape those act if they like. And in many places, they can legally sell them if they choose. But the boastful screams of teen sex that permeate the web, that are protected by “free speech,” are most certainly a part of a mindset that allows the trafficking of child sex slaves to continue to flourish in our modern societies. If there were no market, there would be no trade. Supply needs demand. And while I know the demand will never go away, I fear our cultures senses are being dulled by the onslaught of “near child pornography” that perpetuates the internet.
I fear that the weight of silence will continue to be borne by millions of children unless we can figure out a way to quiet the screams of the adults using teens as bait for the porn industry.
This post was written by guest author Jeff Turner, who runs the Stop Child Slavery blog.