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Human Trafficking

Got a Stop Watch? It Only Takes 10 Hours to Buy a Child Slave

It takes just 10 hours for someone in New York City to travel to Haiti and buy a child. ABC News reporter Dan Harris found that out when he set out to test the ease of securing a child slave. For as little as $150 one trafficker guaranteed Harris a "trained" 11-year-old. Another child salesman asked $10,000 for a pretty 11-year-old, for which Harris could do whatever he wanted with the girl.

Still hidden in a cloak of charity, this modern travesty began less tragically. Traditionally, poor rural families gave their children to wealthy city dwellers. The child did domestic work for an education. But now, these young innocents face a nightmare of hard labor, beatings, and sexual abuse without even a glimmer of hope for an education. Harris explains that a happy ending for Haitian children of poverty seems to be leaving their families to live in an orphanage where they are safe and educated, a much better fate than that of Haiti's 300,000 child slaves.

Sadly Haiti, a country founded on an 1804 slave revolt, has little means to stop this abuse. Check out these suggestions of how you can help put an end to modern slavery.


Join The Conversation
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
...we could always raise money, buy as many child slaves as we can, and free them from slavery. Maybe then we can establish a kind of school for them, to help them advance.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 8 years
This is really sad. I knew about the extreme poverty these families were facing for years, as I went to school with some Haitian kids. My mother also works for a church and knows a Haitian priest. The desperation that the families have is just so sad. There are some lucky ones, like the kids who get to immigrate to the US. But still it's horrible. It makes me want to cry because in the year 2008, poverty still goes hand-in-hand with race the majority of the time.
gigill gigill 8 years
Jesus this is just disturbing; I had no idea child slavery was still going on around these parts. How sad and disturbing. :(
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It really works! I got two today...
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I don't even know what to say.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Wow 10 hours, I thought it was a shorter time period. I am just speechless.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Katie, thanks for the link to the movie website. It will be playing in Seattle on Sept. 28 - I am going to organize a group of my friends to all go see this!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Thanks for the link, lovlie...
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I'm sure the parents pretty much always have good intentions, but I can see how it would be difficult for them to decide who's being honest and who isn't.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Katie it's great you're so proactive about this topic. There are apparently many non-fiction documentaries on this subject; of course I'm not aware whether they support the quest other than providing awareness; unfortunately or fortunately when you google documentaries on this subject there is a plethora of sites available involving more than one country. It is really heartbreaking actually. "Traditional" ~ that reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha; of course, better to be a Geisha than a sex slave. I can't think of anything more demoralizing.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Yeah, I guess that's the point I was trying to make. That these people tell the parents they are sending their children off to a better life and the parents believe them, then the traffickers wind up having less than noble intentions. Not in all cases, but in many.
bleached bleached 8 years
lilkimbo, a lot of the times, they are sending their kids to new opportunities. The problem is that these horrible people hide themselves behind a veil of charity and exploit the weaknesses of others. When you are desperate, it his really hard to distinguish good and evil
lovelie lovelie 8 years
Martini- To answer your question... "Until recently, the Haitian government did not acknowledge the scale of the restavec problem. Some officials still argue that this is the traditional way for poor rural families to help their children get on. "
liliblu liliblu 8 years
I watched the third installment of this story on tv and my heart broke. Watching that little girl crying for her mother and her mother being forced to leave her at the orphange to give her a better life just makes you feel helpless. But it is always most vulernable that suffer the greatest abuses.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
The sad thing is that a lot of the time the parents think they are sending their kids to "new opportunities." This practice is disgusting and unfortunately, I think it's wider spread than we will ever know.
k-is-for-katie k-is-for-katie 8 years
please check out! It's a fictional story about the horrors of human trafficking all around the world. It's graphic and heartbreaking, but depicts a truth that needs to be made aware of! The independent company that produced the movie made the movie to raise awareness and promote the END of human trafficking. By watching and buying the movie you are supporting them in this quest! If you don't think you can watch it, please just buy it and leave it in the plastic for all I care!
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
This is so sad. You have got to be the lowest of low life's on the planet to sell OR buy a slave child for any reason. There is NO good reason for it at all.
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 8 years
That hurts me :( I hate to think that any child would have to face such hardship at the hands of others.
stephley stephley 8 years
I wonder how many of these children end up in the U.S. and with whom: With all the airport security, someone in our government should have an idea of how many children fly in from Haiti: "As further enticement, the trafficker says he can even get me fake papers that would allow me to take this child back to the U.S. with me. Both traffickers say they have experience providing children to Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, officials have no idea how often this sort of transaction transpires."
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
hypno brings up a good point about prosecution. Liberty, is the Haitian government actively pursuing these criminals??
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
This is such a travesty! I cannot believe this is going on, it totally breaks my heart! Thanks for the post, Liberty (and your blog, Betty!). I will definately give my support to organizations fighting to end this!
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Sadly in bringing this issue to the forefront also provides advertising for predators. Hopefully awareness will result in solutions.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
It is stories like these that leave me shattered in sorrow. We've got to do more to protect these children. We've got to press the Haitian government to reform and enable them if need be with the tools to help investigate and apprehend these criminals.
bleached bleached 8 years
So sad. It's heartbreaking to see people take advantage of others that way. My mother is from the Philippines and it's true that poor villagers will send their children to work for wealthier families for food, shelter and an education. My mother's parents and now her brothers and sisters still in the Philippines still do it and between them, they have put dozens of people through school. I'm sure not everyone in the Philippines is like that though...
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