Activists and representatives from the Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) have rallied on July 30, 2020, in Frankfort to mark the “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons” and make people aware of child trafficking in Kentucky.
The rally featured speakers and survivors of trafficking, who shared their stories and experiences about human trafficking both in person and via social media.
The supporters, who wore blue, gathered in the city to raise awareness among parents about how to protect their children, while the representatives asked the parents to stay vigilant to the signs if their child is in any danger.
According to Jenn Cranney of Operation Underground Railroad, parents must be watchful of their children’s behavior, what they do, and who they talk to.
“Year to year we are investigating 200-250 cases of child trafficking and that’s barely scratching the surface,” says Cara Starns, Safe Passage for Children.
She urged educators, health care providers, lawmakers, and law enforcement officers to investigate the matter and do their best to curb the crime.
Trafficking in persons is prevalent in almost every part of the world. Traffickers lure victims into trafficking by making false promises of jobs or romantic relationships, and sometimes by using violence or manipulation.
The statistics of trafficking in persons are even more horrifying. About 800,000 children are reported missing every year in the U.S. alone as per data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. At the same time, another data from a 2016 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reveals that women and girls comprise 71% of human trafficking victims.
In the most surprising report from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the cases of trafficking in persons have increased by 90.46% between January 2020-June 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, compared to the same period in 2019.
The Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a non-profit founded by Tim Ballard. The organization is committed to abolishing human trafficking, especially children. And to make its mission successful, it empowers and provides law enforcement and aftercare partners with the resources they need to fight against trafficking.