The Big Legal Issue in Rare Exports

If you are in the mood for an unconventional Christmas classic, watch Rare Exports. The film is about an archeological excavation for where Santa Claus was imprisoned centuries before in Finland. What is released from the ice is more like Krampus than Santa Claus. There is a significant twist, so do not read anymore until you have watched the film.

The heroes of the village capture 198 of Santa’s helpers, who are all naked old men in the snow. The heroes decide to sell each of the helpers as a “Santa Claus” for $85,000 per person, since they lost their reindeer profits.

There is a big problem with this Christmas miracle: selling people is slavery. On top of that, the former Santa’s helpers kidnaped children in sacks. These are the exact sort of people we would want to keep AWAY from children.

Finland, the United States, and virtually every other country, have all signed treaties prohibiting slavery. The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery states:

  1. The act of conveying or attempting to convey slaves from one country to another by whatever means of transport, or of being accessory thereto, shall be a criminal offence under the laws of the States Parties to this Convention and persons convicted thereof shall be liable to very severe penalties.
  2. (a) The States Parties shall take all effective measures to prevent ships and aircraft authorized to fly their flags from conveying slaves and to punish persons guilty of such acts or of using national flags for that purpose.

1956 U.S.T. LEXIS 81, *6.

There is no question that Santa’s helpers were committing horrible crimes upon children. It was noble to try to rehabilitate them after centuries of being frozen in ice. However, the good guys are not supposed to sell other human beings. The fact military aircraft was being used to ship the “rare exports” of Santas in shipping containers would mean Finland was violating international law, let alone the prohibition of shipping people in the mail. That is a sure fire way to end up on the naughty list of every law enforcement agency on the planet.

Other than that…fun movie.