A 16-year-old girl was being sold on Instagram through Silicon Valley, an online account that helps thrive the global slave trade.

A team from the BBC News Arabic tries to enter the world of this barbarous practice by posing as a husband and wife. Shockingly, it was a lot easier as human traffickers conquered the online world by posting their victims on famous social media platforms such as Instagram and other popular applications.

“In the Gulf, women employed as domestic workers are being sold online via apps approved and provided by Google and Apple,” says an investigator. “It’s been called an online slave market.”

The investigator then tried to meet with the people offering the sale of domestic helpers online. They were offering a 16-year-old girl named Fatou, from Guinea, West Africa worth US$3,800.

“This is the quintessential example of modern slavery,” says Urmila Bhoola, a UN Special Rapporteur. “Here we see a child being sold and traded like chattel, like a piece of property.”

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti authorities summoned the people behind the online slavery behind several social media accounts. According to the authorities, account holders are prompted to take down their ads and sign an agreement never to do it again.

Sad to say, there are no actual punishment or all sorts of legal ramifications given to these human traffickers. Instagram, on the other hand, said that they “had removed further content across Facebook and Instagram, and would prevent the creation of new accounts designed to be used for the online slave market.”

But Bhoola thinks that action done is not enough.

“Google, Apple, Facebook, or any other companies [that] are hosting apps like these, they have to be held accountable,” says Bhoola. “What they are doing is promoting an online slave market.”

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