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.
I wanted to thank you for getting the story out and let you know about a petition that one of our bloggers started that follows up on Shaniya’s tragic death:
Choice Hotels are the owners of the Comfort Inn where Shaniya was sold for sex. They are also one of a number of hotel chains that have not signed the ECPAT Code of Conduct, a commitment to preventing child sex trafficking, which disproportionally affects minority children in America.