This was going to be a short post with a quote and link to an article I read on sex-trafficking at the super bowl. Then I realized it would be good to gather together some thoughts about the issues with sex-trafficking here in Haiti. I wish I could say sex-trafficking didn’t happen in Haiti. It does and it shows itself in a few different ways. Let me explain some situations…
Haiti – Single Mother
It could be a single mom who is having a baby for which she cannot provide. It is not that the mom wants to give up the baby, because she doesn’t. She just cannot provide. So what happens now?
For example, Jenny came to Heartline asking for an abortion. (Excerpt from blog by Beth McHoul).
“Jenny is petite, barely looks pregnant at 16 weeks. She doesn’t have money enough to eat and is going from house to house to sleep.
We don’t throw rocks at our maternity center. We teach. We pray. We encourage. Through the months our ladies learn that God’s plan is best, sex within marriage is best, purity has rewards. For most these are new concepts and they may not live in a situation where this is possible. They are often forced and have been since they were little girls. Sex is a fact of life that they have to give whether they want to or not. STDs, HIV, and pregnancy are byproducts of sex often forced upon them. We treat the STDs, send women to HIV programs and cherish the pregnancy and babies.
These women, living in very difficult circumstances, cherish their babies too. With help, they do a great job at parenting”.
For mom’s that don’t get help, the kid may end up as a restevec. “A restavec is a child in Haiti who is sent by their parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child. Restavek may refer to a child staying with a host family, but usually refers specifically to those who are abused” (From Wikipedia). The definition while nice and concise can in no way express what kind of life these kids may grow up in.
Haiti – Orphanage
A kid grows up in a bad orphanage. An orphanage where the owner is thinking orphanage = money and orphanage = business. Sadly the child grows up being abused instead of loved, malnourished instead of feed. One such situation occurred at an orphanage were 11 churches were helping. The supplies, food, and kids were disappearing…
“Children have been and are currently being trafficked from the Son of God Orphanage. The evidence on human trafficking leads back to them. The orphanage director was imprisoned in July as part of a police-led operation that resulted in his conviction of trafficking a child.” – Article here or just do a google search.
To dig deeper – here is a article going into the problem with some orphanages run as a business here in Haiti.
America – Super Bowl
“The Super Bowl is the most-watched program on TV every year. But many people don’t know about its dark underside: the Super Bowl, like other large sporting events, is a magnet for sex trafficking and child prostitution. It is possibly the largest sex trafficking event in the US. As more than 100,000 football fans descend on Indianapolis, sex traffickers and pimps will also arrive in droves to take advantage of the demand. The event is actually near the Detroit-Toledo corridor, which has one of the highest incidences of trafficking in the country.” Full article here.
- Get informed and inform others.
- Read about the effects of sexual assault and sex trafficking.
- Support organizations fighting trafficking:
- Be informed as a consumer – bar code app!
- 10 other ways to get involved
Note about Heartline:
I was recently asked whether Heartline was involved with stopping trafficking.
Heartline is focused on development and long-term support. We want to empower women, support, and teach women. As an example, the sewing center is a place where women can earn a decent wage to support their families. This prevents them from having to trade sex for food or sex for living. I would say it is more indirectly related to stopping trafficking by giving women a rock to stand on so they can make a choice.