December 6th, 2011
10:38 AM ET

They called him 'Miguel'

They called him “Miguel.”

In April, Haitian police found a naked child in a hole, near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He was badly beaten, hadn’t eaten in days and was unable to even speak. So they simply called him “Miguel.”

He is the face of human trafficking in a country whose porous borders provide many opportunities to those who buy, sell or abduct children. Authorities say these kids are often trafficked for sex, for their organs or as to be used as child laborers.

This is Miguel’s story.

- More about Haitian children being forced into slavery

Topics: Life In Slavery

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. MARK

    Another brick in the Another brick in the grave.,grave.,

    December 7, 2011 at 6:42 am | Reply
    • Afghaniston

      Mark: Are you trying say what i think your trying to say, if it is, that means you're ignorant, stupid and Evil.. Guys like you need to jump off a bridge, the wold would be a better place without you..

      December 7, 2011 at 7:54 am | Reply
      • Montana

        @Afghaniston RAGE RAGE fatboy

        January 9, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Dennis

      Looks like he just had a seizure but kept typing anyway..

      December 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Maldivian Girl

        Excuse me Montanna...butu cnt just go off calin ppl fatboys...who knws the size you are in...probably 90kg...so wat i am tryin to tel u is...this kind of bullyin is nt expected in such public sites..okay? shut up!
        And Dennis...if u are on Montanna's side...the same to you...Shut Up..BOTH OF YOU!

        January 16, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  2. JJ

    It's "another brick in the wall," d-bag and also totally irrelevant to this horrible story.

    December 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  3. aricent

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    December 8, 2011 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • cvxczvd

      II agree

      December 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  4. aricent

    Tgh Gfyehd hdudhd

    December 8, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
  5. Faveur

    II love it Haiti IS COMPLETELY TERRIBLE THE SITUATION OVER THERE .... In France many people is SAD and SO SORRY .

    December 8, 2011 at 8:58 am | Reply
  6. Nick

    To have anyone agree that child slavery is nothing to worry about is beyond any scope of humanity. It IS pure evil to take the purity of innocence away from someone who has just begun. This world is going to hell in a hand basket and the atrocities keep mounting. I know we all hear about these occurences going on and feel as if we are somehow removed from it because it has not happened to us in our own backyard. I am a parent and it scares and horrifies me to think of anyone taking my child from me. I could not live without her. For those who do human trafficking I think the ultimate punishment should be given without preamble. Sentence those who consider it a lucrative profit to death and anyone associated with it.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  7. engr mathew

    hello nick i share every point u made . without any preambles or formalities death sentences should be passed on all who find it lucrative to deal in humans thank you . my contact is +234 (0) 7031009036

    December 9, 2011 at 5:28 am | Reply
  8. AJ

    |All it requires is a decision to add more posts to control the borders. Somebody should be responsible of taking care of that issue. How many lil Miguel(s) r already in Dominican Republic in slavery right now????Don't be saying you are unable to controle that issue, it's your job; not mine:( I'm a US soldier active duty n I fought in Afghanistan and in Iraq, if you call upon me Mr President, I swear to you I'll be more than happy to help you with that issue. Those things going on back home, and I'm here fighting across the world. I joined the army in order to make a difference and I would do it in the next life if I had to, so I'm available and I'm sure that many more other haitians would love to be called upon for those kind of issues. Give us the license to do whatever with those who think human trafficking is a job, and I bet you we would provide you with the best solution possible. Imagine if you were sold to someone else as a kid, you cant even begin to accept the idea of being a slave of any kind. I have my lil boy that I would transfer my heart to him if it was required of me, no need to tell you how it would feel if he was to be taken away from me. Stop thinking about yourselves and palying stupid polical games, start taking care of the people. Call upon us who've been in the army and other law informent agencies and all, I swear to u, if you are specific about it and give us the freedom to act, we'll have a solution for that type of problem!!! It's time for that country to get its most cherish name back "The Perle of the Islands"

    December 12, 2011 at 9:29 am | Reply
  9. AJ

    I carry this number with me around the worl (203)347-8049 Just leave a name, n a message I'll get back @ u whenevr I have a chance.

    December 12, 2011 at 9:31 am | Reply
  10. Frederick Douglas

    What is Baby Doc doing for his people lately?

    December 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  11. Vee

    I am really sad about this story.. I wish i have magic so I can save all children for traffickers

    December 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  12. Fessy

    This is a really sadden situation. And it really hurts to hear from the president to openly says he is unable to control the situation without outlining good majors he is taking about the dilemma. A president is a problem solver and if you are unable to do the job, then, someone somewhere is ready to take your position and bring change. I'm a kid and my parents love me so much that they can't do without me. Haiti needs a strong president at this difficult moment. God have mercy on those poor kids.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  13. Gladysbeauty

    Oh God,dis is the height of wickedness,Any human being that deals on dis Child trafficking should be well punished before hanging him Or her.Infact dis whole world is turning into something else.May God help Us.

    December 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  14. Ann

    Why is the world treating Haitians as though they r not human beings. We need to trade places with these people for just one day n see how we would feel. Mr. President, i know that u r new in this business but the people put u there to help them, please do not follow Papa or Baby Doc's foot steps. These children need you, stand up for them, please

    December 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  15. Avser Bastian

    NEW – NOT LIABILITIES OR DISCRIMINATION, BUT INSTEAD ASSASSINATIONS !!!

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    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/ ABDUCTIONS / RENDITIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / BLACKBALLING / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING against civilian population TODAY / ASSASINATIONS and much more per WHO, WHY, AND HOW !!!

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship ever !!!) !!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  16. Bubba

    When you are born into slavery its only logical that you will be a child slave before you become an adult slave. What is the point of talking about child slavery? Its just slavery.

    December 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  17. JD

    Haitian smuglers take them (probably thousands of them avery day) to de Dominican Republic to force them bage for money at the traffick lights and sidewalks. These smuglers bribe the border guards all the way through, keeping a complex bribe economy at the border and the surrounding areas. The United Nations should punish the ilegal human traffick through these troubled border.

    December 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
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  19. MKULTRA CHIPMAN

    NEW – NOT LIABILITIES OR DISCRIMINATION, BUT INSTEAD ASSASSINATIONS !!!

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!! http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com

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    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship ever !!!) !!

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    December 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
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  21. Debbie

    I witnessed this as a child. There was one kid in my neighbourhood that never went to school, he always carries heavey loads for his "mom", was always cleaning her house and running errands for her. He was not allowed to speak to the other children. He barely spoke spanish. It was in Dominican republic. I was too young to know why but it always baffled me that he did not do the normal things we did like play outside, go to school, or have friends. After watching a few hatian child slave videos in Youtube i remembered him. I now realize he was a slave. we moved from DR to the US more than 30 yrs ago. What really disturbs me is that his "master" was a hatian woman. This has been happening for many years. Dominicans love to buy child slaves. The kids get raped and get VD's. They are forced to go into the streets to beg for money or to sell useless items at the beaches where rich tourist are tanning. It's quite sad. The hatian people are very quiet and do not admit this problem. they are as guilty as the ones that buy the kids. The price for a child is $50. God is not happy.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
  22. AJ

    Well Debbie, u've witnessed one of the worse wrongdoings in this small n crazy world of its own called Haiti. It's a really complex phenomenon that only a native haitian can explain to u and others who've never been first hand observers.After the colonial times, the Haitian people, most of them actually; became the new masters. In other words, they beat the French masters (colons) in 1804 to replace them (the ones with powers subdued the "weak ones"). Today we have this modern type of slavery where childrens are the everyday victims. It's really messed up when people with "means" who live in the capital (Port-au-Prince) know other people from the countrysides and go to them requesting their childs to come live with them in Port-au-Prince. The citadins (those who reside in the capital) promise to send theose kids to school and take care of them as they were their own. The provincials are always excited about those kind of deals beacause they don't know how to read, so they are always happy at least one of their kids finally has the chance to learn how to read. They are not aware of the fact that those promises are never real. Those kids who finally get to the capital fall under the phenomenon called "RESTAVEK". From the French Rester Avec, it means live with. Those kids become members of families who treat them less than human beings most of the time. If a family decides to send a kid to school, that 1% possibility out of a 1000, it's always in the afternoon around 1800-2200 hours. That is provided they are completely done with the daily chores. They are the first to wake up in the house, the last to go to bed. They can only eat after everyone have dessert. Sometimes they are not fed if for any godforsaken reason something wrong happened, or if the lady of the house is grumpy enough. I swear on my life from a war zone people, I've witnessed most of the things I say here. The rest, other friends of mine told me back when I was in terminal at Lycée Alexandre Petion in Port-au-Prince Haiti. If we call it child slavery in Dominican Republic, well it's not different from the RESTAVEK in Haiti. It's "funny" when you see that school teacher, that lawyer, that industrialist; matter of fact the whole social stratification in Haiti talk about the situation. They only want it to be over at the neighbor's house, not their owns...It's extremely sad that those children who are sleep deprived, underfed and so on...get beaten everyday as well. Sometimes...just for the "fun" of it:( I could write a 100 pages about that issue, but who would really listen or even do something about it. One way or another 98% of a hundred has something to loose if someone were to abolish child slavery (RESTAVEK) in Haiti. How can we blame the DR for using those kids when their "own country men" abuse them more everyday. Like I said, that situation will never change unless we have some infrastructures n special group of people with the full power ( No restrictions=0) put in place to take care of that atrocity against haitian children. I'm willing and able to do my part in that case.

    January 23, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
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