Romeo Dallaire's passion and expertise is so incredibly evident in this book. His humanitarian heart mixed with his military background provides a uniRomeo Dallaire's passion and expertise is so incredibly evident in this book. His humanitarian heart mixed with his military background provides a unique look at the issue of child soldiers. It took me quite a while to soak up this book. I didn't find the writing to be filled with unnecessary jargon, but the rawness and sincerity of his writing was a lot to take in; I could only read about a chapter at a time and over a long period of time.
It would benefit me to regularly re-read his last chapter on "What you can do" - he has important words for anyone engaged in social justice issues or passionate about making a positive difference. In this chapter, Dallaire really emphasizes 1) the rich technological powers we hold to connect with others and make positive change, and 2) the importance of youth/young adults in being the generation that will make the most difference. This chapter is especially timely now (our Canadian federal election is in a few months) as he has quite a bit to say about challenging our politicians to make a positive difference and be accountable to what constituents care about. "Don't tell me you're not being heard - it's that you're not speaking. You may roll out to the streets of Toronto to protest G20 meetings or travel to Copenhagen to voice your opinion on the climate change conference, but overall your age group is letting political leaders off easily because you aren't forcing them to craft a vision of how we are going to move the country forward. So far as I can tell, you aren't consistently demanding your rightful place in the political process. The political elite thrive on the non-participation of the vast majority of citizens and end up being driven more by the media than by the individuals that comprise a country... Without your voices and leadership, the political will to intervene in the world's toughest and most intractable hot spots will simply not materialize." (p. 256).
Drawing on some incredible activists (Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc), Dallaire says "Individuals who possessed no apparent power, wealth, influence, connections, or even the technological tools you have at your fingertips today, harnessed their passion and changed the world. Seismic change can happen over a lifetime, or in an instant" (p. 243). I could have taken a highlighter to most of the last chapter just to draw inspiration from his empowering words.
I saw so many parallels between the traumas and obstacles both child soldiers and survivors of domestic sex trafficking face in exiting and recovery. Lack of funding, lack of awareness and empathy from those in positions of ability to help, lack of services, etc.
I know his expertise is African child soldiers, but I would have appreciated learning more about the scope of this atrocity worldwide. However, this gap is not enough to make me want to give the book less stars!...more
Fantastic book providing insight into gang-related prostitution/human trafficking. Although it is an academically published research, the book wasn'tFantastic book providing insight into gang-related prostitution/human trafficking. Although it is an academically published research, the book wasn't riddled with academic jargon. It is a book that is beneficial to academics and social workers alike as it provides research findings and presents practical best practices for interacting with survivors of gang-related prostitution. ...more
I truly wanted to love (or even just like...) this book! I've heard so much about it, and perhaps my expectations were just set too high? The author'sI truly wanted to love (or even just like...) this book! I've heard so much about it, and perhaps my expectations were just set too high? The author's intentions and passion are clearly positively motivated. The afterword even states, "Where I have exercised literary license in service of the story, I have done so sensitively, with an eye toward authenticity. There is no need to sensationalize modern slavery." However, as I was reading the word "sensationalize" kept popping up in my mind. Books like this further perpetuate the idea that trafficking is primarily an international phenomenon that involves kidnapping, forcible confinement, and being locked in basements... Does this happen? Yes. But a huge component of human trafficking, especially in North America, involves emotional manipulation and this book doesn't give this element enough attention. Human trafficking aside, the writing just didn't hold my attention and the plot was just too predictable for my liking... I think Corban Addison is an incredible person, and I hate to rate this book only 2 stars......more