There's been quite a bit of buzz these last couple days about child trafficking. Yep, that's what we're talking about here. Child Trafficking. If that makes you uncomfortable, in my opinion, you are part of the problem. Becoming educated on trafficking isn't comfortable, but I can guarantee you that the children who are living in hellish conditions aren't feeling particularly comfortable either.
I remember hearing about child trafficking around the time that the documentary "The Abolitionists" came out. Tim Ballard's organization, Operation Underground Railroad, is making profound strides to combat trafficking. I was still in high school, so I was invested in learning more pretty briefly before I got overwhelmed and something new and more comfortable to occupy my time came along.
So, this week as Instagram stories suddenly became filled with awareness-raising content, I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had stopped caring, and guilty that I am so easily distracted by whatever is new, shiny, and/or comfortable.
What blows my mind the most right now is that there are actually people who believe that child trafficking is a conspiracy. What angers me is that there are people who realize it's happening, but don't feel like there's a need to work toward rescuing children.
I claim to be "pro-life." But I realized this week that "pro-life" doesn't just mean life for the unborn, but also for the 5.5 million children worldwide who are currently being trafficked. "Pro-life" is doing what you can for children (born and unborn) to have happy, healthy lives.
This week I've been trying to educate myself as much as I can. Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a great place to start. Tim Ballard, who worked for the CIA and DHS, has laid out some incredible groundwork for people to get educated. He already has an incredible background for the work he does, but his team also includes other former CIA and other various law enforcement officers.
If you are wondering what you could do to join the fight, I have some recommendations. First of all, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. Then you can start learning. I've been binge-listening to the Slave Stealer podcast hosted by Tim Ballard that began in 2016. That's been completely eye-opening.
O.U.R offers a free training that only takes an hour to complete. It takes you through a series of videos, true stories, and quizzes to introduce you to the world of trafficking. I completed it in one session, but you can take as long as you need. As I went through the sections, I kept thinking about how informative it was, and how it would be a great place to start if you are just starting to learn about child sex trafficking. (You can find the training here: https://ourrescue.org/training)
I am still learning. I am still growing. I don't feel like it's enough, but it's all that I can do right now. I can only hope whoever takes the time to read this feels some kind of tugging at their heartstrings to learn more about these children.
I found this O.U.R. quote on their site and want to add it here. You can also find some of the sources I have been turning to for your own perusal.