Earlier I wrote on this blog about child trafficking in China. As many as 200,000 children (or about as many people as live in Little Rock, Arkansas) are being kidnapped every year for this purpose. I didn’t realize grown men were being taken, though, until I read this article, which mentions two men in their twenties who were kidnapped by traffickers and have been missing for several years.
The older people being taken are apparently being enslaved under very harsh conditions. One teen who was missing for two years before being able to escape “laboured in a brick kiln in Henan with more than 200 others, and wore clothes with the number 203 sewed on. She says he saw six people beaten to death in his two years there.” That reminds me of a Russian gulag. Or a Nazi concentration camp.
China, which will probably be the big superpower of the 21st century, is still trying to improve its human rights record. It seems like it would serve the nation’s interests and improve its reputation if it would put together an aggressive effort to curb human trafficking and bring the perpetrators to justice.
This blog is pretty US-centric, but this article from Jamaica caught my eye. Basically, it says that missing children are a terrible social problem among the poor and working classes in Jamaica, but are virtually unknown among the rich. Apparently a lot of kids run away or are lured away from home due to poverty-related circumstances. Of the 1,200 children reported missing since September, only a little over half of them have returned home by now, and three of them have been found dead.
A related article says hardly anybody has subscribed to Jamaica’s Ananda Alert system, which seems to be some kind of Amber Alert type thing for cell phones. So not only are poor Jamaican kids vanishing left and right, but nobody seems to care.
Terry Carrick, whose seventeen-year-old son Brian disappeared from Johnsburg, Illinois in December 2002, has died of cancer at age 65. She had both leukemia and lung cancer. She left behind her husband and thirteen other children besides Brian.
As I’ve observed on this blog before, I’ve noticed a lot of cases of parents of missing children dying young, or relatively young. (The most striking example I can think of is Sofia Juarez‘s mother who died of unspecified “natural causes” at age 26.) I don’t know if this is an actual statistical trend or not, but the stress involved in having a missing child certainly isn’t conducive to a long life.