Videos of minors on social networks could be hiding child exploitation.
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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It is possible that if you have spent time on social networks like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, among others, you have come across some children dancing. Whether in Africa or Afghanistan, these videos have been found to hide a dark secret that is linked to child exploitation and even child sexual abuse.
The Bacha Bazi
The case of Afghanistan is hidden in a tradition of the Asian country. The Bacha Bazi is the name given to children who are exploited for sexual slavery and child prostitution. These children are prepubescent or adolescents and are sold to wealthy men for sexual activities and child exploitation.
These practices began after the first arrival of the Taliban to power in 1996. By having such strict laws against the freedom of women and the persecution of them, the female population in the country decreased, which caused powerful men to start to use children and dress them in feminine clothes.
Now that the Taliban have returned to power and social networks are permeating the entire planet, videos of children dancing traditional dances have gone viral. Many are unaware that behind this "artistic display" lies an abuse of power and child exploitation.
Greetings and dances of African children
Another trend that has become viral is that of groups of African minors who dance, sing, and send greetings through social networks. This trend has become so viral that even in countries like China, people pay for these little guys to send greetings. These videos were so popular that they were offered openly on the Taobao platform, the marketplace of the giant Alibaba.
BBC Africa found that not only was there child exploitation and porn within this business but there was also racism and xenophobia. According to a British media documentary, some greetings were explicitly derogatory and racist towards the little ones who recited them. Not knowing the language (usually Chinese), the little ones repeated racist terms to the amusement of people thousands of miles away.
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The report assures that the children were taken from schools, often without parental authorization, and were paid a dollar or only with food to be exploited in the greetings industry, greetings that ranged from 10 to 70 Dollars. For example, in a single day, the Chinese citizen in charge of recording several greetings could make around 380 videos in a single day.
This difference in profits and exploitation of vulnerable people in developing countries demonstrated the unethical business from which a few profit, ridiculing minors, exposing them, and even turning them into victims of racist attacks.
In the work carried out by the BBC, it is evident how the owner of the business explained that to work with children in Africa, you should not feel sorry for them and always treat them like the boss, "this is how you should treat black people, remember it" , the citizen of Chinese nationality is heard saying.
This is precisely why all consumers of online material have a duty to identify and evaluate the available material. It must be understood that many times, a simple dance or innocent greeting hides a complex network of child exploitation and slavery.