Children: NOT for Sale!

*July 23, 2009* Click here for Shared Hope International‘s Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. SHI is taking initiative to produce and provide educational materials, training, and funding in an effort to eliminate sex trafficking in the United States!

MSNBC’s expose “Children for Sale

Statistics

Up to 27 million people are estimated to be suffering in slavery. Today.

And not just in other countries. We’re talking about the United States of America, too.

According to the Polaris Project, “Sex trafficking victims, on average, are first exploited by their trafficker at the age of 13.”
While the sex trade is not the only “business” profiting from the exploitation of these children, and manual labor is included in these statistics, I was simply horrified by the thoughts of these young women, these GIRLS, being violated and used in such a way. All driven by the greed and lust of others.
“The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11.”
The Freedom Center reports that an estimated 600,000 – 800,000 are trafficked outside the U.S., with over 17,000 trafficked into the U.S. Three in four are women.
Child trafficking is highly profitable.

According to Love 146, the United Nations and other experts in the field, “estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at roughly $32 billion.” More info from Love 146 can be downloaded here.

And then there is Internet Trafficking. Just another venue where victims are preyed upon. Think about that the next time a loved one – say, your daughter, for example – logs onto the internet.

Statewide Resources – Ohio

The Rescue and Restore Coalition, based in Columbus, Ohio, is dedicated to providing education through public awareness, offering services to trafficked victims, advocacy, and supporting law enforcement with resources and training.

Grace Haven, of Dublin, Ohio, “is a faith-based non-profit organization started in 2008 for the expressed purpose of providing shelter, security, and rehabilitation to girls under the age of 18 who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in central Ohio.”
Rahab’s Hideaway, also in Columbus, provides “a safe haven for those who need a way out,” including residential on-site recovery assistance, housing, and medical care.
Natalie Grant’s Home Foundation “is dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking both domestically and abroad.” Partnering with other relief organizations focused on ending sexual slavery, the Home Foundation offers internship opportunities for college students to work with these organizations in this fight. Providing medical equipment and facilities to treat these recovered victims. Helping those who are unable to help themselves.
Stop Child Trafficking Now. Jason, of SCTN, commented on my original post about Human Trafficking and had this to say:

we are focused on ending this, with a revolutionary and historic campaign that focuses on the demand side of trafficking. We have elite special ops teams that are ex-military men coming back from fighting the war on terror. They are Navy SEAL type guys that have infiltrated hamas, hezbollah and al qaeda and now use the “highly skilled” talents to infiltrate child sex rings-they gather information and intelligence-then “gift wrap” the case for the FBI, CIA, Interpol etc…we are filling the gap law enforcement can’t fill because of gangs, drugs, illegal arms etc…we are currently coordinating a 50 city, 300 college campus walk in September..

What Can I Do About It?

If this disturbs you like it does me, and you want to do something about it, here are some suggestions to get started:

1. Pray.

2. Learn. Visit some of the resources I’ve listed below and educate yourself. Do your own research. Sign up for newsletters and mailings from these organizations. There is so much information out there – and these are just a few resources – but the more we all know, the better we can be prepared to fight against this scourge that seeks to destroy life.

3. Support. Join up with any of these organizations and provide your time or money. Participate in local events providing education and awareness.

4. Fight. There may be someone reading this who wants to seek an internship with the Home Foundation or the International Justice Mission. Support an individual victim who is in recovery. John the National Grassroots Network of the Polaris Project. Visit the links below, find local resources and join up in a more active way.

Here are some other suggestions if you feel the need to DO something about human trafficking.

Skeptical?

If you still aren’t convinced that this exists or that there is no need for rescue, most of these sites offer sections with victims stories. Visit here. Or here. And here. And here. There are more… They are endless…

Resources

Polaris Project

International Justice Mission

The Home Foundation (Natalie Grant)

Freedom Center

Free the Slaves

Love 146

Project Rescue

Shared Hope

Stop Child Trafficking Now

In the dark blackness of this world of human depravity, we must shine the Light so darkness is forced to flee. It begins with education, but does not have to end there. It does not take a lot of money – it may not even take a lot of time. But every little effort helps.