Rubina Ali Is Not Alone

Repeated rape. Beatings. Threats. Starvation. It's an unimaginable way for a child to live. But for children in some impoverished countries, it's the only way they know after being sold.

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What are the general conditions of children who are sold?

More than 90 percent of children who work in any capacity in India -- even if not trafficked -- report some form of abuse, Seale says, adding that many domestic and factory child workers die every year at the hands of their "employers."

Those trafficked into the sex trade are usually locked up, beat into submission and raped repeatedly, she says.

As one can imagine, the emotional scars of child trafficking are deep. "There is a complete loss of any sort of trust or faith in other humans, and eventually an inability to attach or form any sort of relationships," Seale says.

When Macdonald went to Ghana, West Africa last month, he visited dozens of villages in Kete Krachi and interviewed hundreds of children, some of which were trafficked from nearby villages to work in the fishing industry on Lake Volta.

"These children are often beaten and forced to work under extremely harsh conditions with little food to eat, long hours of work and no access to health care or education," he says, adding that his organization was able to rescue seven young children who are now living in shelters in Kete Krachi and Tema.

What is being done to help?

Education and awareness are key. Macdonald suggests reading "Not For Sale" by David Batstone or "Disposable People" by Kevin Bales for more information.

Not For Sale's Global Forum on Human Trafficking is Oct. 9 and 10 in Carlsbad, Calif., where speakers include Luis C. de Baca, President Obama's appointment to monitor and combat human trafficking.

More information on Not For Sale's international projects is available at

Seale suggests investigating these organizations: South Asia Centre for Missing and Exploited Persons, Stop the Traffik, Human Rights Watch, UN Refugee Agency, International Justice Mission and Polaris Project.

more on the condition of children globally

TOMS helps shoeless Ethiopians
Fighting maternal & newborn deaths
The boy who saved thousands of lives

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Comments on "The sale of children in impoverished countries"

Keisha Rivera October 29, 2013 | 3:40 PM

The sale of children is getting out of hand. Every day more and more children are getting sold, bought, then forced to have then the majority of the time get murdered. It's wrong and people need to something more to stop it because what ever they're doing is not working. I think it's sing and revolting. The kids most of the time aren't even developed yet. Let them grow, have a good life. Let them live without being afraid. Without watching they're back of who might be out there to sell or kill or rape them. This needs to stop before it really gets out of hand. So bad to the point where you can't even walk outside without someone trying to kidnap you.

christina January 21, 2010 | 11:50 AM

Check out www.callandresponse or Not for sale campaign. Both are groups that show things we can do, on our own. Like finding out what companies do not use slave labor to get the product to us. How to be informed and help others get informed. They have a page to show what companies have responded to letters asking about the slavery issue with their product and what the companies are doing. Let your representatives know, locally and state and federally. When people have asked what we are doing about this issue, reps have said, paraphrased, people don't care enough to let us know they care, so why work for what they won't appreciate. Let them know that you care. It is a problem. I could go on forever, but check these sites out. I've been very impressed with them.

Chris Bryan October 25, 2009 | 1:40 PM

What if people who do not intend to mistreat these children decide to try to intervene by being the buyer and giving the child/children that they buy a better life instead of torturing them? I've never done this and I think that human trafficking is wrong, but what if we could take something that is used for evil and use it for good? I'm childless and I just simply want children of my own, so, don't get mad at me. I don't condone this torture any more than you do.

Sandy Seale September 17, 2009 | 3:18 PM

It is admirable that we have humanitarian writers to enlighten and make us aware of the global conditions so many are forced through no fault of their own to endure on a daily, yearly basis. It is a shame in this day & time of abundance in our world that people still are permitted to treat others in such a disgraceful & inhumane way such as this article describes. We should all be ashamed if we sit idly by and allow it to continue. When we are unaware it is sad enough but once we have been enlightened it is sinful if we turn away & fail to act.

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