Hashtags “Save the Children” and “Save Our Children” drew national attention across social media platforms recently, reaping awareness against human trafficking and action within the nation. As of today, 1.1 million people are talking about #SavetheChildren and 585 thousand are talking about #SaveOurChildren on Facebook. As of August 10, #SavetheChildren was trending on Twitter with 198 thousand tweets.
According to the International Business Times, amid social action a flash rally for the cause was held August 9 in Savannah, GA at which participants rallied against human trafficking while also raising awareness. The International Business Times wrote that those who participated in the social media trend did so in hopes of drawing attention from the authorities so action may be taken, as the participants called this current human trafficking a “pandemic.”
Idaho Falls also took action to raise awareness against the cause recently with a chalk art project, according to East Idaho News. East Idaho New reported that as part of this project volunteers came together to write various messages to gain awareness against child trafficking. Some messages written included “Child Lives Matter” and “I am not for $ale #everychildmatters.” The volunteers of the project said its purpose was to educate others and work to do something to stop trafficking.
Human trafficking is not only a national topic but also a local topic, found in the four states as well. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, human trafficking is defined as “a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state.” In 2019 alone, the National Human Trafficking Hotline confirmed 233 cases reported in Missouri with 69 as minors, 86 in Arkansas with 38 as minors, 92 in Kansas with 30 as minors, and 109 in Oklahoma with 23 as minors.
According to SavetheChildren.net, a quarter of trafficking victims are children and due to COVID-19 victims are further isolated, making them harder to reach. Save the Children writes that there are an estimated amount of 40 million trafficking victims with 10 million being under the age of 18. They further report that in the United States, 60 percent of child trafficking victims have a history in the child welfare system. Additionally, children in the foster system are more likely to be victimized by child trafficking.
Save the Children reported that COVID-19 has also affected the typical ways of trafficking, forcing human traffickers to adapt and change their exploitation ways. One way listed that these traffickers now utilize is greater online communication.
As written on their website, Save the Children advocates for national and international children that their rights and voices are heard and respected. If you suspect or witness child trafficking, contact the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD or 1-800-422-4453.