As adults and parents we often see ourselves as the authority, that we are raising our children; teaching our children, when they are also raising us; teaching us, if we let them. This past weekend we watched Rio, a fabulous animated comedy set in Rio de Janeiro about a rare domesticated macaw named Blu, for the tenth time when my daughter made a simple statement that the boy in the movie was homeless. I added that he was also an orphan. “Isn’t that what I said, she asked?” So, I explained that he was not only without a home, but without parents, an orphan. She was quiet, “Oh”.
While it seemed like a lesson for her, it has also been an eye opener for me. This simple conversation led me to my “in the matrix” sort of unknown ignorance or misconception of who “Our” orphans are. Where are they? It is sort of like the misconception that slavery doesn’t exist anymore and definitely not here in America. Wow!!! But it does!
We hide our trash and dirty laundry so well. Our “advanced” society has learned to package and communicate the worst, the best, making us believe that it isn’t what it seems. It is! Foster Care is our orphanage hidden behind various organizations and homes. We don’t really see children on the streets. They seem to be neatly tucked away into people’s homes or group homes and treatment facilities. Maybe I need to just visit some homeless shelters to get an eye full of the TRUTH.
Orphans are in America. Slavery is in America, Human Trafficking. It is still going on! There is a demand for sex slaves right here in America and half of them are children from all over the world, including Americans, sold into slavery due to poverty, sometimes by parents and relatives.
- 75% Of Human Trafficking Is For Sexual Exploitation
- 75% Of All Victims Of Human Trafficking Are Female
- Over 50% Of All Human Trafficking Victims Are Children
- Over 100,000 Of Our Own Young Women And Children Are Subject To Commercial Sexual Exploitation
- In The United States Every Year Approximately 20,000 Individuals Are Trafficked INTO The United States From Other Countries Every Year
- There Are An Estimated 27 Million People Trapped In Slavery At This Moment
- There Are An Estimated 13 Million Children Trapped In Slavery At This Moment
- Human traffickers are increasingly trafficking pregnant women for their newborns. Babies are sold on the black market, where the profit is divided between the traffickers, doctors, lawyers, border officials and others. The mother is usually paid less than what is promised her, citing the cost of travel and creating false documents. A mother might receive as little as a few hundred dollars for her baby.
- Over 71 % of trafficked children show suicidal tendencies.
- Most human trafficking in the United States occurs in New York, California, and Florida
- After sex, the most common form of human trafficking is forced labor. Researchers argue that as the economic crisis deepens, the number of people trafficked for forced labor will increase.
- According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over the past 30 years, over 30 million children have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.
- Several countries rank high as source countries for human trafficking, including Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand, and Nigeria.
- Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S. are ranked very high as destination countries of trafficked victims.
- Women are trafficked to the U.S. largely to work in the sex industry (including strip clubs, peep and touch shows, massage parlors that offer sexual services, and prostitution). They are also otrafficked to work in sweatshops, domestic servitude, and agricultural work.
- · Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. Criminal organizations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly.
- · Human trafficking is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years. Journalist Victor Malarek reports that it is primarily men who are driving human trafficking, specifically trafficking for sex.
- Some human traffickers recruit handicapped young girls, such as those suffering from Down Syndrome, into the sex industry
- Women and girls from racial minorities in the U.S. are disproportionately recruited by sex traffickers in the U.S.
- · Sex traffickers often recruit children because not only are children are more unsuspecting and vulnerable than adults, but there is also a high market demand for young victims. Traffickers target victims on the telephone, on the Internet, through friends, at the mall, and in after-school programs.
- Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and in some U.S. territories.
- The AIDS epidemic in Africa has left many children orphaned, making them especially vulnerable to human trafficking
- Human trafficking victims face physical risks, such as drug and alcohol addiction, contracting STDs, sterility, miscarriages, forced abortions, vaginal and anal trauma, among others. Psychological effects include developing clinical depression, personality and dissociative disorders, suicidal tendencies, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
- According to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both in the United States and around the world.
This information is staggering to me. If you are like me, your heart is very heavy right now. What have we become? Why are we so ignorant of the atrocities going on right under our noses? This is information that most of us don’t care to know because it is so dark and sinister. And the media knows that we can’t handle it, so they sort of “mention” it using terms like “Foster Care” and “Human Trafficking” instead of “Orphans” and “Slavery” to soften the harsh reality. But it is the TRUTH.It’s the meat, not the milk of the matter. We have orphans and women and children are being sold into slavery all over the world and America is a huge participant and client, maybe even a driving force with our riches and all. Why don’t we ever hear about a trafficker being sentenced to life in prison for participating in this slave trade that is killing the human spirit of millions?
How many of these persons being trafficked end up in America’s “Child Welfare”, “Foster Care” system? Or are being enslaved and abused in the system?
It is incredible how a simple question or conversation with a child can stir so much thought. Each and every day my children help me to see, feel, experience and learn what it means to love, be loved, be patient, be the student, be the follower, go with the flow, to listen and to be humble and teachable.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes. ~ Matthew 11:25
I wish the world could learn the simplicities of life and love that children come to teach.
I wish that all adults would learn to respect children as equals, because they are, in God’s eyes. They are Spirit, just as we are.
I wish that humans could love each other and respect life for what it is, eternal, an evolution and connection to our Source, our Creator.