Extinguishing Human Trafficking


by Veronica Zimmermann
August 19th, 2020

With a rise in human trafficking cases in the world, Veronica Candle Co. is offering a helping hand. From now until August 31st, we will be donating a portion of all proceeds to Thorn. Thorn is a non-profit organization that specializes in the prevention of human trafficking of children and young adults. They average 10 children reached per day, over 16,000 traffickers identified and over 14,000 children rescued.

Thorn was established in 2012 by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Their mission is to locate victims and help them on the road to rehabilitation. In 2004, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reviewed 450,000 cases. In 2019, those numbers sky rocketed to a whopping 70 million. The U.S. reported 11,500 cases, with 8,248 of them being sex trafficking. Most instances take place at spas or parlors, with some taking place at hotels and motels. 

If you think that human trafficking can't happen to you or someone you know, you're wrong. 18% of child pornography content is produced by a parent or legal guardian, 18% is published by predators met online, and 25% is produced by close family friend or neighbor. A great number of sexual abuse cases in children are reported to be committed by someone close to the family. In some cases children may be born into sex trafficking, or be forced into it as a toddler. Sex trafficking of those that are younger than 10 years old when they entered the life is perpetrated almost exclusively by family members, often a father or stepfather.

25 million images of illicit content are reviewed every year. That’s 480,000 images weekly. Canadian Centre for Child Protection found that children under 12 years old were depicted in 78.30% of the images and videos assessed by their team, and 63.40% of those children were under 8 years of age. Among that same material, they found that 80.42% of the children were girls, while 19.58% were boys. 

While sex and labor trafficking can happen to anyone, there is a certain demographic that has been recognized to be most vulnerable in reported cases. A very large percentage were reported to be African American or Latino, homeless or impoverished, and LGBTQ. Several cases also emerged involving youth engaging with the child welfare system. 26% of sex trafficking victims were reported to be white, with 40% being black. The labor trafficking industry was found to be 63% hispanic and 17% asian. 

While the most frequently reported age of entry was 15, the average age of entry was 14. It is critical to understand the physical, emotional, and mental maturity of this particular age group in order to develop effective prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation strategies. Survivors reported entering these circumstances from as young as infancy through age 17 and 1 in 6 were forced into life of trafficking before the age of 12.

Thorn pursues the prevention of child exploitation on the internet, as well as sets a destination for rehabilitation in victims. 75% of victims are said to have been advertised online, with 150,000 new escort ads being posted everyday. Victims seldom seek help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and fear of law enforcement. If you see a victim of child trafficking, you can identify their situation if they show these signs: malnourished, avoiding eye contact, socializing, or law enforcement, and responses and stories seem rehearsed or scripted. They may also lack personal documents and possessions. 

1,000 American children are arrested for prostiution every year. Buyers drive the market that makes child sexual exploitation lucrative for controllers and traffickers. Few buyers face serious consequences. Instead, children are being charged with prostitution, but there is no such thing as a child prostitute. They are victims, not criminals. These false accusations are causing the children to later be denied access to housing and other things essential to living a safe and healthy life. It prevents stability to avoid further exploitation.

Sex and labor trafficking is becoming more and more prevalent in every day life, and Veronica Candle Co. is reaching out to do our part. To support the cause, shop here to donate a portion of the proceeds from your order to save our children. To learn more about Thorn and their beliefs, visit their website here, where you can read survivor insights, discover statistics and unknown facts about human trafficking. Thorn also gives plenty of other organizations that you can donate and contribute support, as well as how you can help locally. This is a very serious matter. Don’t stay silent, save our youth.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888; or text: 233-733

Sources:

www.thorn.org

www.crs.org/stories/stop-human-trafficking


 


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