Monday, May 12, 2014

The Nigerian school girls

Michelle Obama's comments about the abducted Nigerian girls has gotten some attention, "In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters." All North and South Americans could be reminded that we can see our fellow citizens with African heritage in this tragedy.  This reenacts in the 21st century what Arab (Muslim) and African tribal groups, where reducing your enemy to slavery was the custom, contributed to the slave trade of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Europeans couldn't get to the interior of Africa (just as they aren't having much luck finding these girls today) so had to rely on those who knew the territory.  It was lucrative for all involved--Arabs, Africans and Europeans (especially Dutch and Portuguese). Today's slave trade is far larger than the Atlantic slave trade of 5 centuries ago, much of it for sex and cheap labor of children.

“The sex trafficking of boys is often hidden, reflecting cultural taboos in many parts of the world. In Afghanistan and coastal Sri Lanka, boys are more likely than girls to be subjected to prostitution; in Mexico and Central America, boy migrants are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation en route to the United States; boys in Southeast Asia are exploited in prostitution; to a lesser extent, men are victims of sex trafficking; in recent years, Brazilian men were identified in forced prostitution in Spain and men were identified as sex trafficking victims in the United States.” U.S. State Department report on Trafficking, 2013

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