Thursday, January 17, 2013

Human Sex Trafficking - Fighting an Epidemic!

Sex traffickers target children because of their vulnerability and gullibility, as well as the market demand for young victims.  Those at risk are not just high school students—studies show traffickers have been known to have victims as young as 12.

Because they target their minor victims through telephone call lines, clubs, on the street or at large public places such as sporting events or malls, or through friends or recruitment by other girls at schools and after-school programs, young girls are obviously easy prey.

However, governments and task forces are fighting this horrific and devastating epidemic, both nationally and statewide.  But not only do government agencies and law enforcement need to be involved to protect kids, parents do as well.  Parents must talk to their kids and explain human trafficking and sex trafficking to them, even to young kids. Parents must explain the various ways a trafficker or middle person might lure them into a car or get them alone, because that simple action is all it takes to become a victim, trapped and enslaved.  Sadly for parents that means being educated by reading some of the stories about survivors, and how they were originally abducted or trafficked, which is hard.  But it is also necessary.

Here are a few select United States agencies/links that describe their legislative and prevention efforts in the fight to combat trafficking and sites where parents can learn more about trafficking and become better educated and empowered to talk to their children:

For an extensive list of national and international agencies and website resources, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s “Responding to Human Trafficking of Children” page.

Additionally, Florida is also working diligently to end child sex trafficking:

And Florida just hosted their first human trafficking summit.

But there are many more agencies and resources in Florida supporting victims and survivors and working to prevent trafficking as well and we will highlight a few of them in our next blog post.  So come back next week for a really uplifting post to see the great work some special organizations are doing around our state.

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