How to help fight human trafficking
To the editor:
I am writing today to start the conversation on a silent crisis plaguing our communities: child trafficking.
According to the Child Advocacy Center, at least 100,000 children are being exploited nationally each year; in Massachusetts, trafficking has become so extreme that the attorney general’s office has created a specialized division to address human trafficking.
Dartmouth is not immune from this horrifying reality.
In the past few years, some women have shared experiences on social media describing alleged abduction attempts at our local Target and TJ Maxx.
Human trafficking also occurs easily and more rampantly from behind computer screens, with traffickers posing as a child’s peer and luring them into abduction.
Now more than ever, it’s becoming more difficult to monitor what children access online.
Proper education and resources need to be used to ensure the safety of our community.
Children and caregivers must be educated on how to flag a perpetrator and the signs of exploitation, and what actions to take if one suspects exploitation.
The reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act is necessary to fund community programming aimed at addressing the needs of human trafficking victims as well as prevention programs to stop further exploitation.
A petition from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund of the U.S.A. has urged Congress to reauthorize this policy to address the crisis of human trafficking.
I encourage all those interested in helping to add their name to the petition at www.unicefusa.org/stop-trafficking.
Masters in Social Work Student
Editor’s note: Earlier this month the Dartmouth Police Department debunked claims that an attempted kidnapping took place at the Dartmouth Mall.