No, we did not forget to run the spell-checker. Traffick here refers to the transfer of “goods” across borders. In this case the “goods” we are thinking about are specifically young women and children. This morning we took part in International Justice Mission‘s Pacific NW Advocacy weekend and walked away motivated, moved, and impressed by this organization. The objectives of this training day were to receive information on the Child Protection Compact Act Bill (which is making its way through the House), prepare to meet with Representative Wu and Congressman Blumenauer, and learn more about international trafficking and child slavery. IJM was very well organized and we felt like every minute we were there was worthwhile.
The bill itself asks Congress to provide an additional $50 million over three years to be used in focus countries to help them work against trafficking in children. This may seem like a big chunk of money to be going abroad in such economic times, but when you consider that less than 1% of the national budget goes to foreign aid, AND when you consider the incredible and nearly unbelievable crime of selling and purchasing children for slave labor and prostitution, it doesn’t seem like such a sacrifice. If you’re interested in learning more about this bill, HR 2737, or encouraging your Congressperson to take leadership in this bill, get connected with IJM.
Our experience in Cambodia (a country that has a terrible record of child prostitution, but is taking steps slowly to bring justice to the offenders) working with girls who were at risk of being sold by family members into the sex industry clearly impacted us. It’s easy for us to quickly become overwhelmed with the complexity and depth of this problem. We are grateful to have the opportunity to be small voices that will hopefully join with other voices to make a huge impact in the world.