Human trafficking can be prevented. It takes tenacity, hard work, and knowledge of the needs of the people in a particular area of the world. One of the greatest “push” factors (those factors that drive people into human trafficking) is poverty. Poverty creates desperation, and desperation drives trafficking.
Parents cannot afford to feed children, and will sell them off. Sometimes people are tricked, thinking that their child will be given a job or education. Women will sell their bodies because they feel they have no choice.
Women At Risk, International (WAR, Inc.) understands this. WAR, Inc. works in 40 countries around the world, helping women and children escape human trafficking. Their “Red Light Blogger” has some insights into preventing trafficking, and shares this story:
In the Philippines, there are mothers who, in utter desperation, have sold their children by sending them to the beaches known for prostitution. Jenny had no money, no husband, and four children. So she walked the hot sand instead, selling souvenirs to tourists. But the money was not enough. And she knew she could not rely on her elderly parents’ support for long.
So when our partners offered Jenny employment, she found a new hope for her family. Now she earns a steady income, owns her own home, attends a local church and works while watching her children, who currently go to school. As Jenny’s two grown children work alongside their mother, they carry on a legacy of safety and sustainability.
And we are a part of the prevention equation. When we purchase product made by the work of their hands, we offer dignity, protection and income to families previously clinging to a thread of hope.
By supporting families with micro-loans, scholarships and child-care programs, WAR, Inc. is making progress in preventing trafficking.