Human Trafficking is a Hydra with many heads

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

― Albert Einstein

For a long period in my life, when I thought about Human Trafficking, I did not pay attention. I took it very lightly, I may even have accompanied it through the news with an active disinterest, and regarded it as something that happens somewhere outside my field of consciousness. But life found a way to bring this extreme Human suffering to a serious part of my reality.

Human Slavery is more than a stain in the history of this planet; it is a monster. It reminds me of the giant mythological Hydra, there are many faces, and when you cut one of the heads, another one comes in its place. 
To tell the truth, I have no idea how we ended up doing what we do, and how we work where we work. The only thing I can say for sure is that honestly we are filling a need.

It was not until last December when our Albino Rescue outreach was violently attacked by Human Traffickers in Uganda, and our social media voices were hacked by them, that we came to the raw realization that, we were not only rescuing vulnerable children isolated at the margin of society, but we were actually fighting a multimillion dollars’ industry that profits from the suffering of millions of Human beings worldwide.

The Witch Children of Uganda & Congo


Dan Baguma and Daphne Twijuke are the last two kids rescued from Traffickers

Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.”― Terry Pratchett

But how this all fits together, you may ask. Well, we started our work in Uganda in 2008, that time we worked on a couple of Orphanages and also on the now extinct refugee camps (the orphans of war were too many after 22 years’ civil war with Joseph Cony- the creator of the Child soldiers). Millions of people lived in very precarious conditions depending exclusively on external assistance.

Our organization was part of an international effort of many nonprofits to resettle the population that was living in those camps and to try to reintegrate them again on the fabric of society.
It was then when we entered into contact with the reality of vulnerable children in Africa.

Vulnerable children by definition would be any minors, orphans or a child soldier that just came from the horrible experiences of killing spree, rape, and pure violence conditioning.

But we ended up finding there were more that could meet the eyes. We soon learned that among the susceptible there were the ones called “Witch children”; they were considered the most at risk among all the vulnerable. 
Witch Children are all Children that are involved without any control or agreement of their part in spiritual/religious rituals, and they can conceal a vast assortment of absurdities and cruel treatment. These customs that are hosted by the mingling between Ignorance, greed and blind faith in old superstitions; they are responsible for the most atrocious crimes in our Modern Era: The Practice of Human Sacrifice.

The Children born with Albinism in Africa usually called “Witch children” are believed not to be humans. Because they are considered ghosts, they have no provision in the court of Law to protect them. To kill an albino or even mutilate them for body parts are not considered a crime in most of the African Countries, wherever the old practices from Witch doctors still prevails. What is most horrifying of it all, being the fact that those murderers are registered as “Natural Healers” in these countries.

It is a common belief that Albinos body parts have magical powers, but despite their “fantastic qualities”, they are feared as Ghost or demons; that are not capable of feeling pain. Their Mothers are thrown away from their homes because they are said to have given birth to demons.

Albinism is a genetic condition, which the recessive gene gives a person 25% of chance to have a child with Albinism. The Gene could be coming from a Father or both, but again, the vulnerable child is immediately thrown to the margins of society, ignored, abused, persecuted and many times sold to slavery and slaughter without any protection whatsoever.

Our Program today have rescued more than 50 children with diverse ages from both Uganda and Congo. We also sponsor several young mothers and a handful of adolescents that without education cannot even have the same rights of any other Ugandan citizen.

Don’t get me wrong, to live in any underdeveloped country is already hard enough, but being stigmatized at birth, to have any opportunity for education denied, no medical care, no social acceptance, one has no chance to survive, let alone to defend oneself when the traffickers come for you.

I know that is an exposé on the worse that Humanity has to offer, but we have to face it, without making an effort to end issues and practices that are barbaric and primitive, we cannot speak of Human evolution and development as a whole.

When we speak of these circumstances, people tend to “blink” and look the other way, as of ignoring a problem of this magnitude would make it go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

I am not making a religious case here, no I am ignoring the needs of the other vulnerable children; I am trying to understand why these helpless individuals are not eligible to be protected by the Declaration of Human Rights, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations? Why do we not care? I am not even going the mention the previous articles of the Declaration of Human Rights; I am going to name just two of them.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

So why we witness the accomplice silence from many Governments in Africa, instead of tackling those practices head on, they give instead the deaf ears to the cries of their people?

Solutions

Dan Baguma

“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”― C.G. Jung

How can small nonprofits compete with the silence of government, the mind of superstition, and mercenaries that consider your actions as dangerous to their business model? The answer is your word. One voice. Your voice has power. Educate yourself about these things, think about the fact that the difference between you and one of these individuals is only the place of birth. How funny it is that people now are also classified not only by race, religion or social class but by geographic discrimination.
There is no foreseen end for this problem, but the awareness and involvement of the International community is a crucial factor in fighting every facet of Human Slavery.

Please don’t look away this time.