Sex Trafficking in Your Own Backyard?
As we have written about earlier, one of the charities we have chosen this year, The Somaly Mam Foundation, rescues girls and young women who are being sex trafficked in Southeast Asia. However, what many people don’t realize is that this is a problem that exists not just “over there,” in some remote part of the world, but right here, in our own back yard.
In fact, a recent investigation by Interpol found that child sex trafficking has jumped drastically in the United States. It is estimated that every year, at least 100,000 U.S. children are made prostitutes against their will, usually starting at the ages between 11 and 14.
These statistics were made real this past week when federal authorities uncovered a nationwide sex trafficking ring in Iowa. That’s right…Iowa. This is a persistent and growing problem in the United States, and the first step in helping to solve this problem is acknowledging it exists. You can’t fight what you don’t see.
It is time we shine a light on sex trafficking both in the United States and around the world, helping to bring an end to the exploitation and slavery of our society’s most vulnerable members – children.