Tsunami aids child slaver gangs?

Updated: 21 May 2008, 22:59

Originally written: 05 January 2005

UNICEF and Indonesia’s government, and national police chief, bring to light another terrible result of the devastation caused by the recent tsunami. Child trafficking.

Birgithe Lund-Hendriksen, child protection officer in UNICEF’s Indonesia office is “sure it is happening.” Carol Bellamy, UNICEF director, said that “this is a situation that lends itself to this kind of exploitation.” In an interview on Tuesday, 3 January, she said “our concern here is … whether these children are frankly turned into child slaves, if you will, or abused and exploited.” Bellamy did not know if this has happened, but would not rule it out. She believes that it is not yet widespread.

The Swedish branch of Save the Children has warned governments in south Asia to be mindful of children left orphaned, cautioning that the children could be targets for paedophiles.

The government has temporarily banned Acehnese children under 16 from leaving the country. The national police chief, General Da’i Bachtiar has ordered provincial commanders to be alert to possible child trafficking. He has placed officers in some Aceh refugee camps.

Apparently the fears are not without cause. The port city Medan and the island of Batam, both near Aceh, were already well-known transit points for established gangs shipping children and teenagers out of Indonesia. Even without a natural disaster, it was a profitable disaster to sell children.

With perhaps 35,000 Acehnese children losing one or both parents, the pickings should be good for the slavers. Malaysia and Singapore are some of the nearby countries in which people were previously purchasing this profitable commodity. With so many children available, the slavers may have to plumb the global market, more than previously.

What kind of society makes it profitable to sell children as sex slaves? Capitalism.

What kind of society so distorts the human psyche that someone would sell children? Capitalism.

What kind of society conditions people to believe that it is acceptable to buy a child slave, or any slave? Capitalism.

What is the motive for these gangs of slavers? Profit.

Capitalists and their brown-tongued apologists tell us that “profit” should not be a dirty word. Socialists disagree.

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