J.D. Bruce wrote -
Kids Saving Slaves
Kestral Bruce, Kaden “KK” Kessel, Jack Mete, and Max Sever
It is estimated that at least 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world, which is double the number of Africans enslaved during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We are a group of 6th graders in Dr. Paul Astin’s class at Mariposa School of Global Education in Agoura.
Slavery does not mean not liking your job, or having to do chores you don’t want to do. It means working without pay or with very low pay and not being allowed to leave. About half of the slaves in the in the world today are under age 18, and two children per minute are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Right now, you’re probably wondering why parents would sell their children into slavery. The answer is that they are desperate. Imagine a family in Ghana that has a ten-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. There is a good chance that the parents are working full-time every day, including weekends, and still don’t have enough money to feed the family or pay for school fees. They might very well sell their daughter into prostitution to pay for their son to go to school. In Haiti, ten percent of the population under 18 is enslaved.
Did you know that within the first 48 hours of being on the street, one in three kids are put into some form of slavery? Get ready, there’s more. There are an estimated 14,500-17,500 men, women and children who are trafficked into the U.S. annually.
In addition, the travel and tourism industry plays a vital role in facilitating child sex trafficking. Many hotels have become havens for what has become known as “child sex tourism,” in which traffickers and sex-offenders utilize hotel facilities to carry out their illegal activities. This has become the case due in part to the lack of set human rights policies at these hotels. Further, many of these hotels do not have programs to train their employees in how to identify and handle these illegal activities when discovered.
This is the most heart-breaking fact: 100,000 U.S. children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year, and approximately 300,000 U.S. children are at risk. I know a lot of people who think pimps are cool….NOT!! True pimps are known to recruit at many fast food restaurants, schools, and after-school programs. One ploy is the “lover-boy” approach of appearing genuinely interested in a romantic relationship while gradually coercing the victim into prostitution.
Slavery is a survival technique for some. You have to understand that these moms and dads are often dying and they have no choice. So they have to sell their younger kids to eat or so that maybe an older one can survive and grow up. We feel so bad (and lucky) because we get to live in a place where we aren’t being sold. We also appreciate that our little brothers and sisters don’t have to be sold so that we can attend school.
We hope you found this article interesting and learned about the sad truth of slavery. We never really thought there were slaves around today. Only a week ago we found out that there were 27 million slaves around the world, maybe even where you live. Kids, adults, anyone can be physically forced, tricked, or coerced into prostitution or hard, involuntary work. We are all eleven or twelve years old and we just yesterday found out that kids younger than 18 are being sold for sex tourism.
75% of the money we earn from donations and CD sales will go to "Free the Slaves" and 25% to "Love146". We feel lucky and mad. If we lived in a poor country, our parents might sell us to some man who promises us money, shelter, and food. So if you want to make a difference, for less than the price of seeing a movie with a friend this week ($14), you can provide a year’s schooling for a freed child slave in Ghana. If you’re feeling a little more open-hearted, $150 can fund a raid that frees multiple children and helps them lead a decent life, one that every child deserves. Our mission is to free fifteen slaves, and to know that we made a difference. Please help us!
· There are 27 million slaves in the world today
· 2 children per minute are trafficked for exploitation
· Slavery is illegal everywhere, but it still happens everywhere, even in the U.S. and the U.K.
· $90 is the average cost of a human slave
· Trafficking in people is the second most lucrative crime in the world
What You Can Do
· Educate yourself: learn about slavery (links at our website)
· Only buy fair-trade coffee and sweatshop-free clothing: they’re more likely to be slavery-free
· Buy our CD or donate. All of the money will go to organizations trying to solve this problem. Our goal is to free 15 child slaves.
· Tell your friends: raise awareness
Our teacher, Dr. Paul, is a professional jazz pianist and everyone in our class has been taught how to play an electric keyboard. He invited a professional saxophone player, Rob Kyle, to come to our class and record a CD with us. We used original compositions that we created in trios and quartets on our own to produce the CD, which we’re selling to raise money for our cause.