Childs Play

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Dummy Spits, Politics

The Nile -Australia's Largest Online Bookstore

Do you realise, that as you are reading this, somewhere in the world, approximately 73 Million children under 10 years of age, are being used as slaves.

I know that is a shocking number, however it gets worse. The number of child labourers/slaves across the world, of all ages, is estimated at 246 Million. And I know you are probably thinking, that this is all in far away places like Africa, Cambodia, and Romania, however an estimated 2.5 Million of those children are being used in developed economy countries. That means places like, America, The UK, and of course Australia.

These children could be doing almost anything. Cleaning your hotel room, preparing your food, picking your fruit and vegetables, cleaning your office… almost anything. Your actions here also have an impact on slavery overseas. For instance, what you buy has a huge impact. You may remember the outcry, and the public backlash against Nike, when it was discovered child labourers were sewing their sports shoes together. The fallout from that almost sent Nike under, and it forced them to change their practices.

Not to mention the despicable and morally repugnant child sex trade. Paedophiles are boarding flights in staggering numbers, and heading to places like Cambodia and Thailand, to have sex with children as young as 6, for as little as it costs us to buy lunch at McDonalds. Please don’t think that these paedophiles are the worst either, remember, for every pervert having sex with one of these children, someone is actually making money organising another plane load of sicko perverts to follow along behind.

But please don’t think that these paedophiles need to travel overseas to do this.

A highly publicised incident of child trafficking involved Ms Puangthong Simaplee, a Thai national. In 1986, Ms Simaplee, then aged 12, was sold by her parents to traffickers and brought to Australia on a false Malaysian passport. She was forced to work in a brothel for the next 15 years until 2001, when immigration officials picked her up during a raid on a Sydney brothel and put her in Villawood Detention Centre. By this time she was addicted to heroin and severely malnourished. Ms Simaplee was seriously ill and despite receiving medication at Villawood she died three days later.

It was not until a coronial inquest delivered a verdict on Ms Simaplee’s death in April 2003 that this case made headlines around Australia. The coroner found that Ms Simaplee had died from pneumonia and malnutrition and called on authorities to use whatever means necessary to eradicate trafficking in persons. Additionally, the coronial inquest’s finding that Ms Simaplee was trafficked into prostitution attracted significant public attention and placed pressure on the Government to take action to address this issue. As a result of this incident a joint Parliamentary inquiry into the trafficking of women for sexual servitude was held.

In April 2007, Ms Jetsadophorn Chaladone (known as ‘Ning’) received compensation from the New South Wales Victims Compensation Tribunal for post-traumatic stress and depression suffered as a result of being sexually abused at the age of 13, when she was forced to work in a Sydney brothel.

Ning was trafficked to Australia in 1995 with the consent of her father who thought she would be working as a nanny. When she arrived in Australia she was put to work in a brothel. Her traffickers told her that she had a ‘debt’ of AUD $35,000 which she had to pay off by having sex with 650 men. Ning was found in the brothel ten days after her arrival during a routine compliance inspection by immigration officials. She claimed that during that ten-day period she had sex with as many as 100 men. No police investigations were ever carried out against the traffickers, despite pressure by immigration officials on the NSW Police Force, evident from correspondence between the two agencies. It is worth noting that no federal anti-sexual servitude and no trafficking offence existed at that time. As a result, the Australian Federal Police lacked jurisdiction to investigate the offences committed against her. It has also been alleged that neither state nor federal agencies were notified of the fact that Ms Chaladone was a minor. However, media coverage of her case in Australia led Thai police to investigate her traffickers, leading to the conviction of three Thai nationals who were sentenced for up to 19 years in jail.

What can you do about this, you may well wonder. Well, in the child sex industry there is not a lot you can do in your day to day life to change things (unless you are a paedophile, in which case I would suggest having a nice sleep on some train tracks). However, there are charities that you can support who are experts in this field.

As for the use of children for forced labour. The main thing I can suggest is, do some research, hit Google and see what you can find out, especially before making a big purchase.

Here are some companies that are, allegedly, using child labour in their factories:

Apple ( although in their defence, they keep changing factories as they find out about child labour, so they are trying to do the right thing)
Disney (children in Haiti stitch clothes and toys)
Mattel ( in the manufacture of Barbie dolls)
Tommy Hilfiger
Ralph Lauren

This is just some of them. If you feel strongly, write a letter to these companies, send them an email, tell them how you feel. If enough people do it, then maybe they will start to take some notice.

In the meantime, check out these charity organisations. They could do with your support.

The Grey Man (odd name, great group) the name is explained on their website
Anti Slavery A good UK charity, also posts info on companies using child labour
Amnesty International
Salvation Army Salvo’s have a division dedicated to human trafficking that is non religious.

MDTA – MDTA have an Armchair Warrior Programme which is a non profit charity dedicated to wiping out child trafficking

Also a good source for information and research is Human Trafficking Org I would suggest signing up for their newsletter also.

Another group with information on the practices behind the brand names is Free 2 Work
Let’s do whatever we can to stop these disgusting practices, and let these people know that a childhood is supposed to be treasured, not dreaded.

If you live in Sydney and would like to learn more, please consider attending the event below.

Charity Shop

  1. Kim says:

    This is a really shocking problem that deserves more attention. Thanks for writing about it Wixxy.
    I’ll be sharing this post.

  2. […] of you may have read some of my previous posts on child exploitation and human trafficking, it is a subject I feel strongly about. However what you may not realise is how your purchasing […]

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