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  'I thought slavery was gone'
Updated 06 December 2001, 09.53
African children
Helen, 12, from Southampton speaks out about slavery.

"When I was sitting in RE this morning in my normal daze, I suddenly heard the word 'slavery' and I started to listen.


Child labour is used throughout the world

I thought that slavery had gone out in the 19th century. It was just an assumption that I had made (I'm sure other people thought the same, too).

How very wrong I was.

My teacher said that in West Africa children were sold to people in America and the UK, for child prostitution and to work as servants in their houses.

Sometimes even to gain child benefits, not to spend it on the child but on themselves!

Really low people

I was shocked by this news. It was surely not true; I did not believe it at first.

But the more I thought about it the more real it became. This was real and it soon didn't surprise me that some really low people would do such a thing.

I just wish there was something that we could do about it."

Stay tuned to Newsround - there will be a programme feature on child slavery next year.

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