I Believe That Child Trafficking Must Be Stopped

Natalya - San Jose, California
Entered on June 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that child trafficking in Ethiopia must be stopped. Ethiopian children have a horrible enough life as it is, but when they are trafficked, their lives get even worse. Just two weeks ago, I did not even know about this important issue that is causing up to 20,000 Ethiopian children a year to suffer. My World History teacher explained the options to pick from to write about for a global issues project, and child trafficking stood out to me the most to me since I love children, and it concerned me as to why these poor children are getting trafficked and what exactly is happening to me. I was definitely surprised as to what happens to the trafficked children. I assumed that the children are just used for labor, but they are also sexually abused, beaten, and turned into prostitutes. Yes, children prostitutes. It is truly horrible.

What surprised me was that the parents of the children usually agree to sell their kids. The poor parents living in rural areas are told by brokers that their children’s lives will vastly improve if they go with the broker. They will receive an education, a proper job, and be placed with a loving family that will care for them. I would think the parents would find something fishy about that, but they don’t. They sell their children in hopes they will have a better life, but the complete opposite happens.

The girls are told by the brokers that they will work as nannies or maids, but the buyers and their children often sexually abuse and beat the girls or force them into prostitution. Girls often work more than eleven hours a day as domestic servants and earn less than $2 a month. Hardly any of the girls attend school, and if they do, they do not have enough time to study. Boys are required to work more than ten hours a day weaving dresses and are hardly given enough to eat. Boys are abandoned in the streets if they can not fulfill the job properly. Instead of a better life, the children’s lives worsen.

All of that is utterly wrong; children should be able to enjoy their childhood in peace. They should not be abused and forced to work as slaves and prostitutes. Doing so takes away the children’s innocence, and as a result of all the suffering and pain, the children will never be the same.

I have had an amazing childhood free of slavery, prostitution, and abuse. I believe that all of the Ethiopian children should have the same joyful experience. In order to achieve that, child trafficking must be stopped. That is what I believe, and I will stand by that belief. I can not wait to see a day when that occurs. With the help of caring people and organizations helping out, it is truly possible.