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Child Slavery in the US? Wealthy Immigrants Bring "Hired" Help

Child Slavery in the US? Wealthy Immigrants Bring "Hired" Help


Well, this is just great. Behind the gated and planned communities of Southern California housewives aren't just employing children as drug dealers, they're smuggling children into the US to work.

As affluent immigrants move here from Africa, where the rich think nothing of employing children for little to no money, many bring children with them to employ for meager wages ($30-per-month meager). The US State Department found that in the past year, children from at least 10 African countries were sent to the US and Europe to work as maids.

To learn about one former child slave who found justice, if that's even possible, read more.

The family that brought Shyima over when she was 10 from Egypt was reported by a neighbor. After a long court battle — where the couple tried to claim her as their child — they pleaded guilty to forced labor and slavery. They were ordered to pay $76,000, which hardly seems like enough but is the amount she would have earned at minimum wage; sentenced to 22 months (wife) and three years (husband) in prison; and deported upon release. Shyima was adopted, finished high school, and at 19 now wants to become a police officer.

If it's possible to call Shyima lucky, it could be said. Because child slaves are cloaked behind the curtains of private homes, her case is an exception. Tasks like sorting laundry, taking out the garbage, and ironing shirts can easily be mistaken as chores, so nobody can even estimate how many children are enslaved. And since none of it is considered abusive (at least not physically), cases are rarely prosecuted.

People who keep child slaves not only see themselves as employers but also as benefactors, giving poor children opportunities. Sure, if you call 12-hour work days and no education in a nice American home an opportunity. And many in Africa, including Shyima's parents, do.

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