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Wed, 01 Dec 2004

Human Trafficking

Just saw this on KERA. Not fun, and it is not easy to watch.

Child sex slavery is a result of numerous factors, including poverty and organized crime syndicates that profit highly from trafficking. The complicity of politicians and police officers make trafficking even more systematic, as well as more difficult to eradicate. As USAID health technical advisor Matthew Friedman says, “the amount of crime associated with [the child sex trade] is probably equal, if not exceeding, the drug trade… It’s very, very systematic.”


Children who come from the lowest rung of the economic ladder are at the most risk for sex trafficking. Girls, who hold a lower social status than boys, are especially vulnerable and accessible to traffickers. There are three ways in which a girl is trafficked: she is sold by a family member, friend or neighbor; she is tricked into going to another country with the promise of a job or a marriage proposal; or she is kidnapped and forcefully taken away. Once in the hands of brothel owners and pimps, the girls are subjected to a tortuous “break in period” that often includes multiple gang rapes, beatings, deprivation of food and being burned by acid or cigarettes. The abuse can continue for weeks or until the girl complies with the wishes of the brothel owners.


On the one hand you have the rampant evil and vileness inherent in this systematic abduction of young children who are then sold into sexual slavery. According to the program, there is a location in Bombay (yes, that Bombay) called “The Cage”, with a population of 200,000 people all related to the sex-trade, presumable all trafficked. This is bad enough, but you then add to the mix unprotected sex, an under-educated populace, a caste system that assigns some people to “roles” at birth, and a growing infant-to-death population (where a “trafficked” girl gives birth to a child, and that child is a part of the sex-trade for their entire life).

Internalizing all of it tonight has really been a downer.

If you are interested in trafficking issues globally, an investment in IJM is a solid one. They continue to work in countries around the world and most recently have targeted brothel owners in Cambodia with great success. If you are interested in supporting the young women and others like them donations of any amount go a long way in Nepal and India and they are always appreciated.


International Justice Mission, or you could always :help Uganda

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