In Port-au-Prince, amidst the rubble and human heartache, the darkest manifestation of human depravity is rearing its ugly head. Sex-traffickers, finding easy prey among Haiti’s homeless youth, are seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the hopelessness so many of that nation’s young people now face.
Mark Driscoll witnessed such an incident first hand during his recent trip to the devastated capital. He talked about his experience in an interview with USA Today.
We were downtown loading up our film crew. There were no police, no medics, to be seen by a huge park with hundreds of people camping out with no where else to go. There was a little cart with a red umbrella and a man selling cell phones and cigarettes — and a few young girls.
“You want to buy loving?” the guy asked me. I said, “What in the world are you talking about?”
But there was another guy there, who claimed to be a translator for a relief agency, who was negotiating a price for a girl. I asked him what he was trying to do. He said, “Oh, she’s a friend of mine. We’re just trying to connect.”
That’s ridiculous. A young girl. A man 20 or 30 years older. I told him this was unacceptable. MacDonald confronted him, too. But there were no police and you could argue all you wanted but the girl took his money and they walked away.”
It is estimated that an average of 250,000 children are trafficked (for slave labor or the sex trade) in Haiti. The largest contributing factors to human slavery are poverty and vulnerability. Haiti was an impoverished nation long before an earthquake decimated its capital city leaving millions homeless, and the resulting chaos and disorder has left many young people even more vulnerable to those who would seek to take advantage of them.
As you continue to pray for the peace and stability of Haiti, don’t forget to include those children who are in real danger of being exploited in the wake of this tragedy. Also pray for, and support, those agencies and ministries – such as World Vision – that are working to end human-trafficking.
If anyone knows of any agencies working to end human-trafficking in Haiti, please feel free to post links in the comments.