We didn’t, but a family in Albania did. Consider the following paragraph:
Abolitionists fighting sex trafficking in both Southeast Asia and Latin America report that parents commonly sell their kids so that they can make an improvement on their home or purchase a vehicle or other consumer item. These stories align with a report in the New York Times that parents in Albania sold their children to traffickers so that they could buy a color television.
That paragraph is from the book Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade — and How We Can Fight It, written by David Batstone. The New York Times article that is referenced in that paragraph can be found here.
Deciding I needed to take a break from taking a break, I spent the better part of yesterday and this morning reading Not for Sale. And being horrified. And shaking my head in amazement. And, I think, steeling myself to get involved in abolition. I’ll be writing more about this book and about this topic in the near future, but for now I’m feeling like I’ve just waded through a cesspool of evil. Sometimes swimming in that cesspool. Don’t get me wrong, I recommend the book completely…though be warned, as the yellow box on the back cover of the book clearly states, “Advisory: This book deals with mature subject matter.”
I find myself wondering if this is what William Wilberforce felt like after he had been awakened to the horrors of the British slave trade.
The introduction of Not for Sale opens with these words:
Twenty-seven million slaves exist in our world today. Girls and boys, women and men of all ages are forced to toil in the rug loom sheds of Nepal, sell their bodies in the brothels of Rome, break rocks in the quarries of Pakistan, and fight wars in the jungles of Africa.
Go behind the facade in any major town or city in the world today and you are likely to find a thriving commerce in human beings. You may even find slavery in your own backyard.
Like I said earlier, I plan on writing much more about this topic in the future, including an overview of Not for Sale and what it is about. For now, I’d suggest bracing yourself for the truth, opening your eyes to the real world all around you, and getting your hands on a copy of this book.