Human trafficking is such a horrible scourge in our world, such a horrifying stain on modern civility and morality. I adore and admire Nichols Kristof for working so tirelessly to bring our attention and concern to unsavory matters like the forced prostitution of young girls and women around the globe. His article today doesn’t describe anything I didn’t already know, but I was reading it at breakfast with the boys; juxtaposing their childhoods and those of the children Kristof writes about was stunning, and not in a good way.
Kristof describes a recent raid on a Kolkata brothel in which girls as young as 5 were rescued. Jack is nearly 5, and as I looked at his little boy body, watched him pretend play with Oliver, reflected on his not being potty-trained at night yet, thought about how terribly young and little he really is even though he is also so capable, I was more than sickened by the thought of little girls being sold by or taken from their parents, raped repeatedly and having their childhoods, and lives really, stolen from them in such a vicious fashion. In India, much of the trafficking maps with caste; the lowest classes are beyond poor, desperate for money, food and so forth. But to stand by, doing little if anything, watching all this unfold in today’s world, isn’t that something like standing by as genocides unfold? Genocide isn’t the correct word, but isn’t this a similarly gross repudiation of human rights, dignity and the commonalities we share simply be being human?
It is too easy to get caught up in the challenges, tragedies, time constraints and such of our own lives, the issues we’re already so concerned with, that have already spoken to and moved us towards thought and/or action. But I gotta tell you, this article makes me want to find more time.