Econkids

Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

Trafficked / by Kim Purcell

Title: Trafficked
Author: Kim Purcell
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 978-0-670-01280-0
Year: 2012

Concepts: human resources, gender, social justice, wages, slavery, immigration, jobs, caring labor

Review: Seventeen-year old Hannah may live in Los Angeles, but she has never seen the ocean. In fact, she has rarely left the house in which she currently lives and works as a housekeeper and nanny. Hannah was lured from the Republic of Moldova after the death of her parents with false promises of a well-paying job and the opportunity to start a new life in California. Her reality, however, looks nothing like these promises. She works sixteen-hour days for a Russian family that does not pay her and uses threats of violence to keep her from running away. Having no legal documents, money, fluency in English, or mobility, Hannah has become a modern-day slave in a suburban house.

This unique book helps to raise awareness of a growing problem in the United States that affects thousands of people every year, especially women and children. While those who are aware of trafficking often associate it with prostitution, the book makes a convincing case that young people who are trafficked can just as easily become trapped in relatively invisible jobs inside people's homes. Although the plot moves a bit slowly, the book offers a convincing account of the fear and confusion that keep this trafficked victim bound to her cunning employers.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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