My oldest was biking up and down our street today knocking on doors to sell Girl Scout cookies. I was both proud of her and terrified for her. She was only knocking on doors of people we knew and she was only riding on our stree which is short and full of lovely neighbors, but still she was alone and as someone who has watched nearly every move she has made for ten years, this prospect makes me nervous.
Yet, I know this is a normal part of growing up, this venturing out on their own. And while I worry, I’m not truly concerned about anything worse than her falling off a bike and being hurt. We live in a safe place. She’s a smart girl. You’d think that would be enough. But is it?
5.5 million children are reported to be victims of human trafficking globally with 20-30 million people overall and 2,500 cases reported in the US. States such as California, Florida and New York lead the way in these cases but there are reports across all 50 states. The children are taken and subjected to child labor, prostitution and slavery. Children who may have just been out riding their bikes or walking to school. Kids from all over the world, even your own backyard, taken and forced into servitude in the worst possible ways.
What can we do? Short of trapping our kids inside forever, (which in spite of my own desires, I refuse to do) there are ways to help.
We can look toward UNICEF for those ways. There are assets for educators, a toolkit of 20+ ways everyone can combat this horrible problem and a pathway to UNICEF Action Center to get involved anyway you can.
According to their website, UNICEF, ”works to protect all children from violence, exploitation, and abuse—aiming to reduce factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking and creating protective environments that guard children against exploitation in the same way that good health and nutrition fortify them against disease.
The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to bring us all closer to a day when there are ZERO exploited children.”
The newest Ambassador for Unicef is Angie Harmon. Here she’ll tell you why we should all be involved in ending this crisis.
You can learn more about getting involved by visiting http://www.unicefusa.
I wrote this post as a member of The Global Team of 200, a specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.