It’s unfortunate that it takes a tragic death, like that of Shaniya Davis, to bring the issue of child trafficking in the United States into the light of mainstream media scrutiny. Evidence has surfaced that perhaps her mother sold her for sex to pay off a drug debt. But the only thing that makes this case truly unique is Shaniya’s age.
“Lois Lee, the founder and president of the non-profit Children of the Night, said drugs are often involved when mothers are found to have sold or traded their children. But the trafficking of a 5-year-old is ‘very rare,’ Lee said. ‘And very rare that they would call it trafficking.’” – ABC News
“While there are no numbers on how many young children are trafficked by their own parents, there are about 100,000 minors trafficked in the United States each year”. – ABC News
Shaniya is one of 100,000. That number should shock you. It shocks me and it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. So while I applaud Shaquille O’Neal for stepping up to pay for Shaniya’s funeral. More people with means need to attach themselves to the fight against child sex trafficking, the most hideous form of child slavery. And more needs to be done to combat it.
I wish I had some answers. Unfortunately, stories like Shaniya’s leave me with only questions.
On May 14, 2009, Patrick A. Trueman and I sat down to discuss what we both agreed was the most evil form of slavery – child sex trafficking. Our meeting took place in Washington, D.C at a small table in the restaurant of The Washington Marriott. It seems fitting in retrospect. A few miles away and 144 years earlier, on February 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States of America.
We are all taught that slavery in the United States officially ended that day. It didn’t.
Partrick Trueman is the former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U. S. Department of Justice. Mr. Trueman has spent over 2o years in the battle against child sex trafficking and has some very strong opinions about the correlation between pornography, prostitution and the child sex trade. You may agree or disagree with his conclusions, but when you finish listening to this conversation, you will not be able to argue that you are unaware of how pervasive child sex trafficking is right here in the United States of America. This is a very frank conversation. If you are easily offended or are simply not ready to open your eyes to this issue, don’t bother clicking on the links below. If you are ready to get a more complete understanding of child slavery in America, please make the time necessary to fully digest the two clips of audio that follow.
Intro to Patrick Trueman’s history with child exploitation & child sex trafficking.(4:30)
The next piece of audio represents the rest of the recorded conversation. It is almost 50 minutes long. I had originally wanted to chop this up into several parts. I posted a small excerpt, 60 Seconds On Child Trafficking, a few days after our time together and had delayed posting the remainder until I could spend the time necessary to do intelligently split the conversation. In listening to it again, I realized this would be a mistake. Each piece of this conversation needs to be heard in it’s the context. There are some very sensitive issues that could easily be misinterpreted otherwise. So, while I realize that 50 minutes is a significant time investment, I am certain you will find the conversation as enlightening as I did.
Pornography, Prostitution And Child Sex Trafficking: An Interview with Patrick A. Trueaman.(49:39 this may take a few moments to start)
The humans being trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes in New Jersey were from Mexico and Honduras. They were either promised marriage or decent wages if they moved to America, but instead they were forced into a life of prostitution. These are young girls, children by definition. And let me repeat, they were FORCED into this life, into a form of modern slavery we call sex trafficking. They were brutally exploited for the sake of profits. That is what makes this next quote so hard to to understand.
“These cases are tough,” Brian Hayes, an FBI agent in Atlantic City said. “They are tough because the victims in child prostitution cases by definition are committing a crime. And they have a distrust of law enforcement. Just as illegal immigrants distrust law-enforcement, prostitutes distrust law-enforcement because they don’t want to get arrested.”
Read that again: “Victims in CHILD prostitution cases by definition are committing a crime.” I’ve read this over and over and I can’t reconcile this in my mind. They call the CHILD a VICTIM and then say the VICTIM is committing a crime?
No wonder we have a problem. Child sex traffickig is one of the most evil forms of modern slavery. It would be more accurate to call it “rape for profit.” The pimps are slave owners and the clients are pedophiles. And the brutalized, exploited CHILD VICTIM is committing a crime?
The scope and magnitude of human trafficking is growing to epidemic proportions. Efforts directed at public awareness campaigns and victim support are useful, but they don’t address the source of the problem: The Demand. – Global Centurion
This is the worst form of child slavery.Global Centurion is “dedicated to eliminating child sex slavery by focusing on investigation, arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the predators and perpetrators.” Please go visit their website to learn more about this non-profit organization.
Imagine: Picture yourself a child, in a poor country, from a poor family … you sleep on a mat on the floor, eat maybe once a day … there are too many mouths to feed … too many bodies in too small a space … chaos, filth, hunger, pain, despair – these are your daily companions … the family needs to reduce the number of hungry mouths or bring in extra money. Your parents decide to take desperate action. They owe money and can’t feed the rest of the family. Older siblings who can find work do, but what to do with you, the young one? Their desperate act? The act designed to help solve their financial troubles? They “sell” you to a flesh merchant who will keep you locked in a small, dirty room, fed enough to not starve. Your job? To “service” your clients. To sell your young body for the sexual pleasure of the adult men who pay high dollar for young flesh.