In our school systems, we are taught of the slavery that took place back when America was solidly divided into the North and the South. Different economies with clashing social groups became reasons for conflict and the eventual Civil War. While slavery was emancipated in the year of 1865, the curve at which it was known that humans began to enslave one another once more became an upside-down parabola. Society closed its eyes to humans oppressing another. It was now illegal. No reason to worry.
By Paramjot Kaur
Cover photo from UN Women
A teenage girl age 15 decides to leave her home to find herself. Stopped by a woman on the street after she was hungry, cold, and scared, she was lured into the realm of human trafficking. Children are trafficked every day, bodies sold to the appetites of predators. In the digital age, the trafficking has found a niche in the world of the internet. The 15- year old girl was found on a website called Backpage.com, being advertised for sex. Survivors that step up and tell their story often share that either a family member was involved in their trafficking or their family overall was completely unaware of the abuse happening to them when they weren’t home. International society has recognized the importance of providing resources to build a strong foundation for the family unit as a preventive measure for child sex trafficking.
The panel “Root Causes of Trafficking in Persons: Key Role of the Family for Protection and Prevention” took place in the first week of CSW61 and was hosted by Belarus, The Group of Friends for the Family, and Civil Society for the Family. Its focus was raising awareness on the fact that child sex trafficking is not just limited to developing countries. It happens in every city of the United States of America among other developed countries (see: I am Jane Doe documentary film). By focusing on empowering the family unit, our children will be under a stronger layer of protection and value-added security.
Empowering the family is a larger umbrella which shelters the aims for education and economic development. Families that sell off their children fall prey to the extra amount of money that will come their way to better their financial situation. Children then become commodities. When education is prioritized on a universal level, economies benefit as well as families overall. Looking at children specifically, investing in their futures is beneficial to the child and the family since educated people often have better access to the labor market.
However, it’s important to note the profit-seeking is not always the answer. Looking at human trafficking, the gaps in society that breed this type of black market are due to profit-seeking. Economic empowerment is the force that will unlock opportunities for individuals and allow them to build healthy futures. Though, it’s also value-added leadership and development that will bolster the movement to end trafficking all together. There is a need for a solid foundation for strengthened families to stand tall in face of modern slavery.