Soapbox: Light shone on child slavery, trafficking

The following column was submitted by reader John Cappelletti in response to recent letters published in Town & Village on the contraception debate. This includes the letter, “Abstinence… makes the heart grow fonder,” published on April 5.

What a person believes is often more real to them than reality.  For example, centuries ago people believed that the earth was flat and that the sun moved around the earth. This was their reality and no amount of facts could persuade them they were wrong. In fact, if you disagreed with them you could lose your life, which is why scientists like Galileo had to deny that the world was round.

Nowadays, people still deny the truth because it may not agree with their religious or political beliefs, like evolution for example. Despite this, I’d like to share these facts, not theories or beliefs, about abstinence, contraception and bringing children into the world.

A report called “Unwed Mothers Now Claim Most Births Under 30” in The New York Times (2/18/12) states: “Researches have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.” In the report about Loraine County, Ohio,  “63 percent of births to women under 30 occur outside marriage,” the result of unprotected sex, the lack of sex education and beliefs.Another report about a child whose “uncle had sold her to a job placement agency” called “Maid’s Cries Cast Light on Child Labor in India” (The New York Times, 4/5/2012) states: “The International Labor Organization has found that India has 12.5 million laborers between the ages of 5 and 14 with roughly 20 percent working as domestic help.

Other groups place the figure at 45 million or higher…The demand is so huge,” said a group that combats child trafficking, “that the government is tending towards regulation rather than saying our children should not work but should be in school.”

Millions of poverty-stricken parents around the world sell their unwanted children to a life of slavery or, worse, a life of prostitution and the sex industry. While most of these children are girls, it should be noted that many are pre and pubescent boys who become easy prey for predatory pedophiles. A glance at reveals the global extent of human trafficking. The tragedy is widespread, not specific to third world countries. In the USA one woman “sold 5,000 children, most or all of them white” and a “father…traded his unborn daughter for a poker debt.”  The city of Houston, Texas with over 200 active brothels “is a major hub of human and sex trafficking.”

And concerning the affluent country of Switzerland, a report in The Telegraph, U.K., 3-14-4 states: “Tens of thousands of unwanted Swiss children were sold in auctions or given away as cheap labor until the 1950s. Many of the child workers, known as Verdingkinder (discarded children) ended up being beaten and sexually abused after passing under the auctioneer’s hammer in Swiss provincial towns.” Many more facts about unwanted children can be found online.

It should be obvious that people all over the world are not practicing abstinence nor are their “hearts growing fonder.” Also, they are not using contraception to avoid conception or abortion, but they are instead conceiving and birthing millions of poor souls to live a tragic life of poverty, slavery and prostitution, a life of hardship, a life of cruelty, a life without love or hope. God help them.

Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood each week (space providing). All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 800 words, to or Town & Village, editor, 20 W. 22nd St., 14th floor, New York, NY, 10010.

One thought on “Soapbox: Light shone on child slavery, trafficking

    Melinda Gates: I’m Catholic and contraception is not controversial
    by Timothy Herrmann

    On Holy Thursday Melinda Gates publicly professed her Catholic faith and then personally attacked her Church over its position on contraception. I could not help but be reminded of Judas and his mysterious betrayal of Christ that night, sealed with a kiss.

    But why attack the Catholic Church? Well, because the Church isn’t confused about contraception. In fact, even if the contraceptive movement really had successfully cut ties with the population control movement and no longer had anything to do with the promotion of abortion, which is very hard to believe thanks to the work of UN agencies like the UNFPA, the Church would still refuse to change its message: Contraception is bad for people.

    That is why Melinda Gates did what she did. As a Catholic, she knows contraception is controversial, and she knows that dismissing the controversy isn’t as simple as laying the blame on confused people making confused arguments about the very real dangers of contraception and its affects on human health, relationship, and society. So she knew she had to dismiss the Church’s teaching as unreasonable and to do it publicly. If she was going to prove to the world that contraception was objectively good, she had to dismiss the Church and, and particular the Church’s audacious claim that it speaks the truth.

    Today, most Catholics struggle with the Church’s teachings on contraception, but many are convinced by and in wonder of the person of Christ and the Church which continues to proclaim His truth. Melinda Gates is not convinced, and so she chooses to deny its teaching, not because she hates the Church, but because she feels somewhat betrayed by it—because she can’t understand it, just like Judas couldn’t understand why Christ, instead of accepting to be turned over to the Romans, didn’t raise up an army of angels to take over and have Himself crowned King. However, we can’t forget, that those who stayed, eventually did.

    In June the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the support of the British Government and the UNFPA will host a family planning summit in London. Her speech was meant to pave the way for its success and to call for the entire world to get behind what she claims is a very worthy cause.

    Those who denied Christ also did so for what they considered a worthy cause, and this story, even 2,000 years later, continues dramatically today.

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