HNewsWire-The danger is not just in far off places. It lurks within the U.S. foster system, too. In testimony before Congress, a young woman who spent her childhood in U.S. foster care explained why children without families are so vulnerable. “[T]raffickers/pimps/exploiters have no fear of punishment because they rely on the lack of attention that occurs when these young people go missing…There are no amber alerts, no posters, when youth from the foster care system go missing.”
Children growing up without families are the most vulnerable beings on our planet. They face greatly elevated risk of virtually every evil known to man, from disease to starvation. This is especially true in regard to human trafficking. Without the protection of a family, a child becomes an ideal target for exploitation.
This explains why studies consistently show that between 60 and 85 percent plus of child victims of trafficking in the US come from the foster system. Whether in the US or around the world, children growing up without families are the most vulnerable beings on the planet.
Youth within the system are more vulnerable to becoming sexually exploited because youth accept and normalize the experience of being used as an object of financial gain by people who are supposed to care for us, we experience various people who control our lives, and we lack the opportunity to gain meaningful relationships and attachments.
In addition, traffickers/pimps/exploiters have no fear of punishment because they rely on the lack of attention that occurs when these young people go missing….There are no amber alerts, no posters, when orphans or youth from the foster care system go missing.
Children in institutional care, including government-run facilities, can be easy targets for traffickers…Children are especially vulnerable when traffickers recognize and take advantage of this need for emotional bonding stemming from the absence of stable parental figures. In addition, the rigid schedules and social isolation of residential institutions offer traffickers a tactical advantage, as they can coerce children to leave and find ways to exploit them…
“Even when a child leaves or ages out of a residential institution, the vulnerability to human trafficking continues…Some traffickers, in recognizing the heightened vulnerability of these children, wait for and target those who leave or age out of institutions.”
That’s where the Church must step in. Certainly, high level advocacy against trafficking — even sharing articles on Facebook or reach-out to the127.org
StevieRay Hansen, retired oilman and Texas Hill Country rancher, leads a team of dedicated staff, volunteers and financial supporters to provide a home for young men upon aging out of the foster care system.
The simple truth is that if we care about human trafficking, we need to care for orphans and foster youth.
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