[Review] Highway To Hell: The Road Where Childhoods Are Stolen by Matt Roper and Foreword by Dean Brody
Author: Matt Roper, foreword by Dean Brody
Publisher: Monarch Books/Kregel October 8, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, child trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, child abuse, Brazil
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Monarch Books/Kregel Book Tours in exchange for a review.
Link for book @ Amazon: Highway To Hell
Dean Brody website
Dean Brody Foundation on Facebook
An article written in the Mirror by Matt Roper on child trafficking
Matt Roper Twitter
Meninadanca Facebook Page
International Bureau For Children's Rights
Not For Sale
CNN Freedom Project
The A 21 Campaign
Wikipedia states there were 5.1 million visitors to Brazil in 2010. In a listing of the countries which visit Brazil the most, the United States of America is in second place. America helped generate 5.9 billion in revenue to Brazil. Chances are many American tourists to Brazil, are not aware of the huge problem of child sex trafficking. On the other hand, I've read there is a large portion of visitors to Brazil who go there not for the beaches and interesting places to tour, their goal is to take part in child endangerment and abuse.
When I think of Brazil, my first mental image is of the large statue of Christ the Redeemer, which overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Matt Roper a journalist from England and a Country music singer from Canada named Dean Brody, made a decision to investigate child trafficking on a notorious highway in Brazil named BR-116. The highway is 2,725 miles long, it links the towns of Fortaleza and Jaguarao. The highway runs north to south. It is a road frequented by truck drivers, who are often the customers for the young girls swept up in child trafficking and prostitution.
The towns sprinkled along Highway BR-116 have an uncontrolled population of young girls who have been persuaded, or stolen away, into prostitution.
Several reasons as to how girls become involved in sex trafficking.
1. Sometimes older teenage girls coerce girls as young as 10 or 11, promising them money, or clothes, or shoes, in exchange for sex.
2. Girls are stolen from their home by a madam, and taken away to a brothel, or to another country for prostitution.
3. Some girls are "made" to become involved in the sex trade by their mothers, or grandmothers who are prostitutes.
Matt Roper and Dean Brody, knew there was a huge sex trafficking problem in Brazil; however, until they began driving at night and interviewing the young girls and adults involved in the abuse-they knew they must become advocates for the voiceless.
I've read fiction books by Kathi Macias who integrated stories with the theme of child sex trafficking. Highway To Hell is the first non-fiction book I've read on this subject. It's a tough read, not a subject which promotes good dreams at night.
In order to bring justice for a crime, the violation must be talked about. Vile criminals hope for silence, but to remain silent is unacceptable.
You've heard the term: "There is something rotten in Denmark."
There is something rotten in Brazil.
I want to know what the country of Brazil is going to do about the sex child trafficking problem?
Where is the revenue from tourism being spent?
Brazil was a founding member of United Nations. What can the United Nations do to push Brazil to aggressively end child sex trafficking?
The author team of Matt Roper and Dean Brody became the published voice, for the abused girls who are unable to speak to an uninformed and inattentive world.
There were moments during their travels when Roper and Brody were afraid, but with courage they continued in their journey to unravel the horror of child sex trafficking.
The pros of the book are two-fold:
1. Education to the world on the problem of child sex trafficking in Brazil.
2. How can we (all of us) become involved in helping end child sex trafficking.
There are no cons.