Each year, Chinese children are trafficked to the United States. Their parents send them through criminal smugglers known as 'snakeheads'. Upon their arrival, they immediately begin working in marginal, low-wage jobs, without the possibility of going to school, in order to pay off smuggling fees that range as high as $100,000. They have had no say in their decision to come to America. In Walking Merchandise: child trafficking and the snakehead trade, five children speak out about their experiences, from their homes in Fujian China, to restaurants from Rhode Island to Alabama. As they recount their experiences, they are joined by social workers, attorneys and journalists with intimate knowledge of the children's stories, and the global forces that have brought them to America.