Pulitzer Center Update

Senators Introduce Bill to Combat Child Trafficking and Slavery

Image by Carlos Avila Gonzalez. Nepal, 2009.

Last Thursday, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) introduced the Child Protection Compact Act (S. 3184), a bill providing the State Department with additional tools to combat child trafficking, exploitation and enslavement.

A press release from Senator Boxer's website states, "1.8 million children worldwide are exploited for pornography and prostitution, with many more exploited through trafficking and enslavement."

The Child Protection Compact Act aims to provide financial resources and a targeted approach to child trafficking by authorizing the Secretary of State to establish three-year "Child Protection Compacts" with governments demonstrating willingness to combat trafficking but lacking the necessary resources.

A number of Pulitzer Center-sponsored multimedia reporting projects address child exploitation, putting human faces on child trafficking and enslavement statistics.

NEPAL: OLGA'S GIRLS follows Olga Murray, an 83-year-old resident of northern California, as she travels to Nepal to combat a common practice among farmers of selling their daughters into domestic slavery, often for as little as $50.

RESTAVEKS: CHILD SLAVES OF HAITI, a short documentary, exposes the everyday lives of child slaves who compose approximately 10 percent of Haiti's youth population. Facing extreme poverty, some Haitian parents see indentured servitude as a means of ensuring their children's survival.

COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THAILAND is a video report exploring child exploitation in Thailand's tourism-driven sex trade.