Here is my review of the segment of PrimeTime Slavery in America: Shyima’s Story , where anti-slave activist Kevin Bales was interviewed. First of all, if you taped or TIVOed this, skip to the last 15 minutes to watch this segment. The first two stories is tabloid primetime TV trash – not worth watching and not “60 Minutes” quality. Finally… there is the “Cinderella” story of a nine year old girl Egyptian girl – Shyima- who becomes the maid servant of a rich (arab looking) family, the Ibrahims, in Orange County Ca. There is plenty of videotape of her serving them while they party. Primetime interview this totally beautiful girl who did not go to school, and lived in an unheated, unairconditioned garage bedroom. She washed her clothes in a pail of water because they were “too dirty” to wash in the washing machine. Kevin Bale’s “Free the Slaves” organization found out about this case of modern slavery, and freed her. Shyima is interviewed by Diana Sawyers in her high school prom dress, and she humbly rolls her eyeballs when Diana compares her to Cinderella. The Ibrahims are in jail, and I was wondering what Shyima thought of that. That question was not asked.
My problem with this piece is that Orange County Ca. is far from typical America, and modern slavery is much more common then you would think. Very poor people are selling their children to international human traffickers. Here is a news report about the more usual case in Chester County PA – http://cbs3.com/topstories/local_story_212234657.html