If your dad were called Saud bin Nasser Al Shahry he would sell you on Facebook for $US20 million. That’s what happened to a young kid from Saudi Arabia, who found himself for sale for exactly that amount in this social network.
Apparently, Saud is a failed businessmen who wanted authorities to help him when a local court ruled his debt-collecting firm illegal. He asked the administration officials for financial help, but it was denied because he was older than 35.
Saudi Arabia considers child trafficking an offence, so some believe this is just a publicity stunt by the father. On the other hand, the country has been repeatedly blacklisted for human trafficking covering all ages and both sexes. The US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report has listed Saudi Arabia as a hub for human trafficking for all its editions. In the 2011 report, they are blacklisted despite the country’s prohibition:
Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labour and to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and many other countries voluntarily travel to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants or other low-skilled laborers, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, including nonpayment of wages, long working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as the withholding of passports or confinement to the workplace. Recent reports of abuse include the driving of nails into a domestic worker’s body.
Saudi Arabia offered temporary relief from deportation to two victims who identified themselves to authorities. However, victims who have run away from their employers, overstayed their visas, or otherwise violated the legal terms of their visas were frequently jailed without being identified as victims. Some Saudi employers prevented foreign workers from leaving the country by refusing permission for them to get exit visas; this resulted in workers working beyond their contract terms against their will, languishing in detention centres indefinitely, or paying money to their employers or immigration officials to let them leave.