Buy a human being for the price of cab fare to JFK

Posted: January 8, 2012 in forced prostitution, human trafficking, modern slavery, sex trafficking
Tags: , , , ,

I’m reading A Crime So Monstrous by E. Benjamin Skinner.  Skinner visited Haiti to investigate human trafficking.  He wrote that one could “successfully bargain a human being down to the price of cab fare to JFK.”  The seller was offering to find him a 13 year old girl, maybe younger, to take back to the US for housecleaning work, and even as a sex partner. 

On one hand, I would prefer not to know that kids are able to be bought, and so cheaply.  But this is stuff I’m choosing to find out.  Why? As I’m learning more about human trafficking, I’m realizing that my consumer choices have an impact on slavery in places like Haiti.  My chocolate, my clothing, my coffee, my smart phone, my computer, the cleaning service, and more.  When I spend based on price and brand alone, without regard to the labor and raw material purchasing policies of the companies that produce my stuff, I give those companies an incentive to use slave labor to keep their prices low.  At the very least, those companies don’t have an incentive to carefully monitor the sources of labor and raw materials for their products. Reading a book like Skinner’s helps me be a more responsible consumer and a more compassionate person.

Skinner’s book and others related to human trafficking are listed on the Non-fiction books page.

  1. The quote about being able the bargain for a child made my jaw drop. This is something so terrible and as you had mentioned it is not something one likes to think about. However, If everyone were to take into consideration this fact and the many more like it, maybe people would become more aware as to the goods they are consuming, as you have, to help stop the need for this monstrous crime. Definitely made me think twice about what I am buying.

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