There is a lot in the news these days about the crises we face in America. Two which stand out are the southern border and climate change. Both are polarizing, and each has a political component.
One crisis which is real but doesn’t get the attention is human trafficking. But a recent incident getting a ton of coverage from news outlets and sports media is shedding some light on this issue. It’s apparent this is a problem of the greatest of consequences whether we pay attention to it or not. Its greatest tragedy is it brutalizes vulnerable children the most.
Child Trafficking in the U.S.
When we think of child trafficking and the sex industry, we believe it’s more of a European or Asian dilemma. Yet we as a nation are ignoring the problem. It doesn’t get the coverage of major news organizations or politicians because it doesn’t fit a political narrative. In the day of identity politics, human trafficking is not alluring. It does not discriminate its victims. It doesn’t care about skin color, gender or sexual orientation. It seeks out the most vulnerable in your community – our children.
Statistics tell us the likelihood of a child in the foster care system finding themselves trafficked is high. Where the problem is most prevalent is with foster youth.
Foster Youth and Sex Trafficking Statistics
In Fiscal Year 2014 – 238,230 children left foster care in the United States
- FBI estimates sex trafficking involves 100,000 American children
- 60% of victims recovered in FBI raids across the country were children from foster care or group homes
- The average age of girls entering the sex trade is 12
- The average age of children rescued from prostitution by law enforcement is 14
We are hearing a lot these days about the Green New Deal and building a wall (or not). The various news channels seem to have endless panels debating each side of the issue. News conferences and tweets bombard the public with these “crises” which could change life as we know it. Although this may be good TV drama and drive ratings, I’m not sure anything is being resolved.
One thing we can do in our community is to bring awareness to the public and get involved. We may not be able to change the global problem of child trafficking, but we can change the life of one child.
Get involved with organizations which understand the problem and strive to correct it locally. Start an outreach in your church or civic organization which addresses the issue. Contact your local Child Protective Services Agency to see what they need and how you can help. The solution is for you to get involved. This is not a political issue, this is a life and death issue for many children in your area.
Understanding the Consequences
The two main political issues in the United States are dividing us as a people. There are two sides to each of these issues, and their consequences are debatable. But one thing which should never be debated is the welfare of all children.
“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people.” – Nelson Mandela
The inconvenient truth of our foster youth should get our attention. A nation’s true heart can be found in how it treats its children. If we abandon these kids, we fail our country and its future.