Two children are sold every minute. I saw this statistic on a banner today while working at my internship at Love146. It wasn’t a new statistic to me but it was like I saw it with new eyes today. I just kept going back to that sign. Over the course of this summer I have seen an overwhelming share of horrendous statistics but that one seemed to really hit me hard today. It was the first time I looked at the sign and did the math…
UNICEF says that some estimates go as high as to say that 1.2 million children annually are trafficked. Then I thought about the Rent song “525,600 minutes” to help me figure out how many minutes there are in a year (yes, that’s the only way I can remember that number).
1,200,000 children / 525,600 minutes = 2.283 children trafficked per minute
I had never done the math before in my head; I saw the statistic and knew it was bad. But really, think about it. In the time I write this blog a few children will have been sold. They could be sold to be sex slaves, mail order brides, carpet weavers, organ harvesters, domestic servants or anything else.
Don’t close the blog and think, oh but that’s in another country. Let’s break it down statistically for the United States. According to Estes and Weiner (2002) there are approximately 100,000 children who are exploited sexually for commercial purposes annually in the United States and another up to 300,000 at risk of it. Using the conservative estimate, that means a child in the United States (who can come from any socio-economic background) will be commercially sexually exploited every 5.5 minutes. That is almost 2 in the amount of time it takes you to watch the new Lady Gaga video.
I don’t say all of this to overwhelm you, to bring you down or anything else. I say it because people have to know. When apathy grows, evil wins and I’m tired of watching that happen. Do what I did today, after years and years of seeing it, really look at the statistic, think about what that means and challenge yourself to see what you can do to help stop that.