We are a prevention army
Each year in this country, more than 100,000 children are reported as victims of sexual exploitation, or trafficking, as it is also known. The actual number is higher; tens of thousands of children are exploited without anyone noticing or reporting it. And as many as 4 out of 5 victims have spent time in foster care.
It’s easy to understand what makes children in foster care so vulnerable—constant shuffling from place to place with little warning and no say, and a system where people get money to care for them. One victim called foster care “the perfect training for commercial sexual exploitation.”
Care and concern from a trusted figure can prevent a child’s exploitation. Court Advocates for Children is working to prepare CASA volunteers to prevent trafficking and to fight for children who have already been victimized.
A crime with three elements
The Act: WHAT is done
e.g. Recruitment, transfer, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons.
NOTE: Where a victim is a child, only ACT and PURPOSE are required.
The Means: HOW it is done
e.g. threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability, giving or receiving of payments or benefits used to control a person.
The Purpose: WHY it is done
e.g. to exploit a person through prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude or removal of organs from a person.
We know when something is wrong.
Children in trouble—like all children—need someone who cares enough to be there for them, no matter what they do or what happens to them. They need someone to help them see their inherent value as a unique human being.
Court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers do just that. And even though there are dozens of paid professionals who work with children in the system, each has their own mandate: treat injuries, collect evidence, prosecute cases, make rulings, find placements, manage facilities, provide services.
CASA volunteers work outside the silos to focus on the child’s whole life.
When a CASA volunteer is involved, they can tell a child that their body is their own and no one else’s. They can show them what a healthy relationship looks like. They can make sure they know the warning signs. They follow up. They check-in. They know when something is off.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including Washington. The NHTH (National Human Trafficking Hotline) works closely with service providers, law enforcement, and other professionals in Washington to serve victims and survivors of trafficking, respond to human trafficking cases, and share information and resources.
Help us reach every community and every child in the crosshairs of traffickers.
Hope for Justice exists to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services and supports to get help and stay safe.