How much would you pay for a person?

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Wednesday night International
Justice Mission (IJM), along with the Presidential Leadership Academy hosted a
movie screening of the documentary “At the End of Slavery”. The movie, produced
by IJM documents the state of human trafficking in East Asia, Africa and Europe
today, and included detailed personal testimony by victims of slavery about the
horrors they faced. In addition to investigation and after care counseling for
victims, IJM runs sting operations to convict traffickers and put them in jail.
The movie showed one of these operations where an IJM investigator in Cambodia
set up an appointment to purchase three girls aged 9 to 14 from a local
trafficker. When the man arrived to the exchange point with the 3 girls, he was
arrested by Cambodian police and the girls were taken in by IJM social workers
before being sent back to their families. At the end of the movie, we were told
what happened to the three girls that were freed from prostitution. One of them
moved on to work for the orphanage that took her in when IJM could not locate
her family; the second went back to school and is on her way to pursuing
studies that will allow her to be a social worker and rehabilitate other girls
who have gone through her trial. The third girl, however, upon being reunited
with her family, was sold back into prostitution by her own mother. To me, this
goes against every natural instinct that one should have toward his or her own
children, and it makes me wonder what it takes for some to count the life of
their own daughter as less valuable than themselves to the point of selling
them into a life of rape and violence.


The worst part though, is that this
happens all the time. Every day, children are sold by their own parents for as
little as $30. Seems like nothing, right? I spend about that much on lunch
every week. It isn’t that much, and interestingly enough, it only costs $30 a
month to keep a kid in school, out of trouble and free of starvation. If you
don’t believe me, check out this website:


The CFCA was ranked #1 on Charity Watch’s most
efficient child sponsorship agencies
, and it’s probably the easiest step
you could take toward saving a kid from a life of slavery and abuse.


2 thoughts on “How much would you pay for a person?


    Harry, I think it is so great that you wrote an article about the dangers children face in other countries especially when it comes to sex trafficking. I just finished reading Steig Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire, and in that book it talks a lot about underage girls being trafficked into Sweden from countries such as Russia. The book also talked about how a lot of girls end up going back into the business even when they are freed. Like you mentioned in the article, sometimes their parents sell them back into the business, but other girls lack the education to become anything else. They get stuck in a vicious cycle with drugs and selling their bodies, and eventually die that way. I took a brief look at the website and it seems that there are so many great ways to help a child’s life. The organization I am part of sponsors a child in the Philippines to insure his basic needs are met. Thank you again Harry for devoting your blog this week to this topic. It is definitely something everyone in PLA should be educated about!


    Harry, Thanks for this. As I started reading your post, getting ready to do the routine comment as per our new blogging schedule, I wasn’t in the most optimistic of moods — tired, dreading my homework, and hating the fact that tomorrow’s already Monday. But, I’ll admit, this helped to snap me out of it.
    “Tragic” doesn’t seem to do justice to the type of horror inflicted upon the victims of human trafficking, and, though it might not be something we’d all like to think about, it’s something we should. The idea that masses of children are forced into this “trade” each day — as I sit lamenting my academic burdens, otherwise immensely healthy and secure in comparison to a majority of the world’s population — is a sobering one, to say the least. Even more sobering, I might add, when you consider that it’s not just something reserved for third-world countries, it happens just as frequently in America, too:
    Even more concerning is how easily swept under the rug the crime can be, how difficult it is to see being played out and, ultimately, how difficult it is to put an end to. Though it’s a messy situation, to say the least, it’s so nice that you and others have taken it upon themselves to do what they can to bring some semblance of justice to those who need it.

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