There is nothing quite like an evening curled up in a nice warm bed, cup of tea in hand, maybe some “Dove” dark chocolate, and CNN on the television. This was an experience I was lucky enough to engage in previously today and all of those things were wonderful except the one part that didn’t fit in to my ideal evening was CNN. It seems in this hustle-and-bustle world, crime and violence are nonstop. When I was watching CNN, I had a quick glimpse about the sex trafficking of little girls in the United States. This clip of a documentary caught my attention and immediately made me think “human rights,” and it was not long before I was on CNN.com, investigating the story of a young girl, only 13 years old, and how she had accidently stumbled into a life not too similar to the one she had when she was 12.
The article from CNN.com is titled “Underage sex trade still flourishing online,” which is part of a documentary that is supposed to be airing on CNN this Sunday at 8pm E.T. called “Selling the Girl Next Door.” The story and the investigation from CNN’s reporters was a year long investigation and targets the girls living here, in the United States, who are used in sex trade. After having read the article and having watched the small clips offered on CNN.com I kept tying this modern form of slavery to the readings that were assigned for Tuesdays class (1/25). In order to best understand the connection I went to the definition of sex trafficking found here: “Sexual slavery or Forced Sexual Slavery is the organized coercion of unwilling people into different sexual practices.”
The definition of sex trafficking helped me bring the reading assignment directly into place, using the views of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It was John Locke who described his views on slavery as follows:
“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of Nature for his rule.”
John Locke through this quote, showed how he felt men should not be under the will or authority of other men and this in fact is something that sex trafficking allows. Sex trafficking allows for individuals, and in this article, young girls, to be under an authority that then trades them or sells them to customers for sex. An abomination against John Locke’s own words, sex trafficking is a new slavery that seems to have sparked a new understanding of “under the will or legislative authority of man.” Locke directly addresses slavery, as for Rousseau, the readings I found tying him to the underage sex trade article is as follows:
“ Even if each person could alienate himself, he could not alienate his children; they are born free men, their liberty belongs to them, and no one has a right to dispose of it except themselves.”
This quote from Rousseau shows his feelings towards children and their role in slavery. I believe that this quote could even be taken to the next step and applied to the CNN article and documentary. As defined sex trafficking is in fact “sex slavery” and if one was to combine the two quotes on slavery and children, one would find that the act of sex trafficking is indeed an abomination in the eyes of these early philosophers.
Human rights are rights, which are held by all human beings and although the girls in the article were children, they are still human beings and by the standards of human rights, deserving of rights that are universal. Sex trafficking is a violation against those human rights, and although the girls often “accidently” stumble into the deep dark hole of sex trafficking, it seems that once they are in, they are unable to have or control their own inalienable rights.
Sex trafficking not only seems to be present in the United States, but it seems to be a worldwide phenomenon that is challenging human rights every day. These rights seem to be inalienable but if they are being challenged so often, it is hard to understand how they can be unchangeable since the rights and voices of these people, in this case these young girls, are being silenced. This issue is one that has sparked an interest in my views on human rights and although I sat tonight watching CNN and enjoying a cup of tea I can’t help but wonder about these exploitations and the very violations of sex trafficking.
I also invite all of you to watch a film trailer for a movie that is “A Fairytale about the Sexual Exploitation of Children.”
"Underage Sex Trade Still Flourishing Online" from CNN.com