Anti-trafficking organizations in Freetown are also feeling the effects of the HANCI case.So go ahead and steal children for adoption, lie to their parents about what's to happen with them, fabricate records -- but no worries, it's not trafficking! Sigh.
Janet Nickel works as a technical advisor for an anti-trafficking program with World Hope International. She says communities they work with are confusing adoption and trafficking. They think it means the same thing.
Nickel explains some do not realize that trafficking involves exploitation. "So you explain that and then people say oh yes, that is happening, it's going on in our community and they can start naming cases where somebody has been exploited but they never thought of it as trafficking, as they thought trafficking is adoption," she stated.
She also questions if the trafficking charges are even accurate. "If there's no exploitation, if it's not for criminal purpose, it doesn't fit the definition of child trafficking," she added.
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Nickel adds one young woman adopted through HANCI has come back and met her biological father. She says there is no evidence of any exploitation of the adoptee.
Another Illegal-Adoption-Isn't-Child-Trafficking Story
I've posted before that the U.S. does not consider illegal adoption to be child trafficking, because the bad acts done are not done to procure services from the adoptee (sigh). In this article about child trafficking charges against those who adopted out Sierra Leone children without their parents' consent, someone from an anti-trafficking organization opines that what happened wasn't trafficking: