Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Trafficking in human beings

Take away more than the Lexus

As I read “2 sentenced for running brothel,” I became very disturbed to learn the prison sentence these two men received [News, Nov. 2].

Yin Hoo Yap received 27 months in prison, and Kou Chwung Liu was sentenced only one year. These men were involved in operating a local place of human trafficking, which is a nightmare for all of the victims.

We assume too often that there is no such thing as slavery in America. According to the Trafficking in Persons Report in 2004, 10 million people were victims of human trafficking. This does not include the 600,000 to 800,000 people, including children, who were trafficked across international borders and sold into slavery.

Many of these people who are trafficked have been promised a bright future in another country, arrive at their destination, and are immediately raped and sold as if they were objects for others’ pleasure and disposal.

Open your eyes, take a look around. Thousands of women, men and children are entering through our ports and being sold into the most vicious slavery that I can imagine. Children under the age of 18 are being sold and used as if they were something that wasn’t precious to anyone.

What if that were your child, sister, brother, niece or nephew being forced into a cold crate and shipped across the world to be raped and put to excruciating work.

The acts that these people sold into slavery are being forced to be a part of are inhumane and tragic.

There are ways to put a stop to this business of human trafficking and a prevent millions from being victims of slavery. Sentencing two guys from one to a little over two years is not going to prevent them from trafficking more innocent people once they get out of prison. I would have given them life in prison.

The judge who imposed the sentence, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, states in the story, “the tragedy of these cases is that, culturally, in Southeast Asia it is more acceptable for young people to be drawn in to this activity.”

I don’t care where you’re from or what your culture allows you to be a part of. These two men were in America, home of the free, not home of slavery.

These two shouldn’t have gotten off as easy as they did. One of them had to forfeit his 2004 Lexus. Oh

dear, how will he ever survive without it? I believe the sentencing should have been dealt with more harshly than just a slap on the wrist and a “go home now.”

–Ashley Bales, Kirkland

Comments | More in King County, Pop culture

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►