Today, July 30, is recognized as World Day against Child trafficking. This day acknowledges that we have a world problem.
Several years ago, traveling to Puerto Rico, we witness the signage posted everywhere in the airport how “Child Trafficking is Illegal.” My first thought was, “Puerto Rico has a real problem with child trafficking.” My kids were all under seven, and they had some questions, too, as they observed these photos everywhere. I told them we would talk later and I changed the subject.
Fast forward to today, after working with hundreds of children in the foster system, it’s an all too prevalent problem everywhere. In fact, child trafficking is tied for second most profitable criminal enterprise! Abusive Dads, Mom’s boyfriends, and missing children worldwide give awareness to the massive problem of trafficking children. My eyes are open, and now I listen and encourage kids and teens who were in this muddle. Some of these kids carry on, and some return home and do not survive.
With all the volunteering to provide excellent local farms, organic food, we have huge success in improving health. But, it would be irresponsible not to share a bit of what we know.
Many children are in vulnerable positions, but awareness and education can completely change a situation. Because of this, I discuss safety and encouragement to my children and to the children I see regularly. Some children feel troubled and guilty for what was done to them, and some turn of their emotions entirely.
The real food certainly helps heal the gut and the mind, which is my successful philanthropic work. But it doesn’t take away the deeds. Therefore, we take the approach to discuss these issues at home with our children to protect them and hopefully prepare them to protect others.
Awareness List to Prevent Child Trafficking
- No one should touch your privates
- Scream if an adult touches you inappropriately
- Honesty is paramount
- You will change someone’s life by holding them accountable
- Someone’s life can also be destroyed if you lie about these matters
- Parents support children; to keep them safe, provide food, shelter, and sound guidance
- Children do not support a parent /parents (until maybe they are much older adults)
- It is not a child’s fault if an adult misbehaves in words or actions
- Each child MUST know how incredibly precious, and beautiful they are;
- we must tell our children, so they don’t seek praise from a predator
- Always stay with your friends or your safe family members,
- Groups of trusted friends and family give a lot of protection
- If you feel uncomfortable, that is your warning sign to leave the area or call for help
- Each of us will be accountable for our actions, all things wrong will be made right
Many of the kids in the foster system were sexually abused by their biological parents or friends. It is a big reason the child is removed and brought into the system.
Although qualified therapists can give a whole bunch of useful information, I find the lack of discussion alarming. Today, there was a civil protest march for World Day against Child Trafficking, and I couldn’t participate. But I want to do my part and share a bit of my experience working with foster children, caseworkers, and more in hopes that every child can be prepared to ward off the possibility of this happening. Education is empowerment.
I have found in my volunteer work that sometimes the most simple actions make the most significant impact.