"Nightline" Investigates: How To Buy A Child In 10 Hours
POSTED: 9:01 am EDT July 2, 2008
UPDATED: 10:17 pm EDT July 7, 2008
Special Edition of "Nightline" Explores Modern Day Slavery Tuesday, July 8th.
In early June, ABC News correspondent Dan Harris took a three-and-a-half hour flight from New York City to Port Au Prince, Haiti to buy a child slave. Within ten hours of leaving ABC News headquarters in New York City, "Nightline's" hidden cameras captured three separate offers made to Harris for the sale of a ten-year-old child slave. Prices ranged from $150 to $10,000. One broker promised to personally train the child. Another promised a "pretty" girl and offered to provide false adoption documents (*see note below) to allow the child to be taken out of the country.
Harris' journey is part of a five-month long investigation into child slavery in Haiti to air as a special edition of ABC News "Nightline" on Tuesday, July 8.
Child slavery is a HUGE problem in Haiti. However, the problem is within country and across porous borders to the Dominican Republic and neighboring islands.
I spoke to UNICEF about this problem last December. Basically, UNICEF told me that there is a huge concern regarding household slavery (restavecs) within Haitian households. He said that UNICEF cannot do much about that because they cannot tell who is the household slave and who is a child of the family. Also, it is done behind closed doors.
The other real problem is the human slavery trafficing across the border to the Dominican Republic and neighboring islands of children and women. Many of the human slaves are used for household slavery and/or for sexual exploitation. He said that UNICEF cannot do much about that because they cannot control that traffic across those borders. They have estimates as to how manch children are smuggled across the border to the Dominican Republic, but those are just estimates from NGOs that operate in the area. UNICEF or the Haitian government has no means to control this across borders traffic.
So, I hope that this TV special is helping put the spotlight on the plight of Haitian children in terms of human slavery exploitation without making legal adoptions the scapegoat.