It is a tough subject: Human Trafficking, and it comes in all forms, from sex-trafficking to human slavery in forced labor markets.
Each year the Polly Klaas Foundation receives hundreds of calls from families of runaways, and sadly many cases involve the child becoming victims of sex-trafficking. In fact one in five runaways will become the victims of sex-trafficking. Many of these children are lured online by adult predators, or are preyed upon by adults within 24 hours of running away from home. Their family’s call us looking for help to find their missing children – and this is why we are here – to help find these children and bring them home safely.
Human Trafficking Awareness month is a great reason to talk to your kids about social media safety — they are never too young to understand the importance of protecting themselves, especially as our children spend more and more time on social media at younger and younger stages of their lives.
If you would like some resources for your children regarding social media safety, watch the videos on our homepage with your children (most appropriate for middle and high school students) www.PollyKlaas.org . You can also download our free child safety kit online. Or give us a call to have a booklet sent to you free of charge.
In addition to talking with your kids about human trafficking; it is also a great time to educate yourself on spotting human trafficking, because it happens right in front of us all the time. Law Enforcement and agencies like the Polly Klaas Foundation rely on the public to report suspicious behavior. You may have recently heard about the Uber driver who was driving a young girl accompanied by two adult females in the backseat of his car. The two women proceeded to give the young girl “instructions” on what to do when they arrived at their destination, and it included what to say, and how to collect money. The Uber driver could have looked the other way, but he made the right decision to contact local law enforcement, and that child was rescued thanks to a citizen who spotted something that did not seem right. When you see something that does not look right, it is most likely because something is wrong. Spot it – Report it – Stop it. It is the everyday citizen, like you, that will help put an end to this terrible crime.
Talk to your kids and keep them safe, and please keep victims of human trafficking close to your hearts – They are counting on all of us to rescue them!