Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Nightline" Investigates: How To Buy A Child In 10 Hours

"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 then met and interviewed child slaves and their masters, and explored the dire conditions that drive many rural families to send their children to live in urban households with the often unfulfilled promise of a better life and an education. Finally, he followed the heroic efforts of one mother to retrieve her child from slavery.

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.
* I was not able to watch this program, so I do not know if the reporter pointed out that he could not have sucessfully taken the child out of country and into the U.S. of such fake documents. Also, he had no record with USCIS to allow him to bring an adopted child into the U.S. Actual adoption takes around two (2) years in Haiti because it is such a lengthy and drawn out process. I would have loved to have seen those "adoption documents" that had been offered to the reporter. I am pretty sure that the reporter did not address this issue on the program.

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.


Anonymous said...

hello vera! I see that noone files leave the MOI of this moment. Would you know why? Y has there it a blocking? Thank you for your informations.
An adoptive french mum

Anonymous said...

No blocking. Last week some files from our orphanage came out of MOI.

kayder1996 said...

The ABC website promoting the show does not say anything about the reporter getting adoption papers. It just says the reporter was told he could get papers for the girl. It does not say what this would entail or if these papers would allow the girl to come to the US. It's pretty vague. I'm going to watch the show tonight and see what they say. Here's the link I read http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=5326508&page=1

Anonymous said...

Well done!!!
You could have not explain it any better. That was my first reaction when I read and watch this documentary about How to Buy a Child in 10 Hours. I am a Haitian and the ABC reporter left out a lot of important information that would have gone against his point.