To say that these 10 Americans are in quite the pickle would be a severe understatement. For those of you needing to be brought up to speed: this group of Baptists took 33 Haitian children across the border into the Dominican Republic without proper documents, claiming it was to save the children's lives. Unfortunately, their actions are looked more like child trafficking than heroism.
I've been asked already: are these people criminals? Or were they simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? I honestly can't answer that. I'm not privy to details of the case.
What I can say is this: marching into any country, no matter how good-hearted, with the full intention of brothel-busting, child rescuing, slave-freeing, without the proper credentials, training, partnerships and permission is WRONG. Day #1 of the Abolitionists Academy: we free slaves, but we do NOT bust up brothels. This isn't the movies, we are not action stars, and we put other lives at risk when we take matters into our own hands thinking we're doing a good thing.
For a reputable agency that does deal in breaking up trafficking rings, go to www.ijm.org . International Justice Mission has law enforcement officials, social workers, lawyers and politicians, and properly trained officials to conduct such front line work in various cultures and countries.
I know… looking at the faces of dying Haitian children on the TV, in the newspapers and over the net grip even the hardest heart. Who wouldn't want to fly down there and adopt 20 of them? But reason must overcome impulse in such cases. Not all of the 33 children were even orphans! And to take children forcibly, well-meaning or not is kidnapping! And that is just exactly what the 10 Americans are being charged with.
Should these people be convicted of their charges? A judge will decide that. In the meantime, let this be a lesson for all those wanting to engage in human trafficking issues just to break down doors and steal children from slave handlers. Turn down the adrenaline and turn up the good sense that will actually set people free.