It’s a new decade.
I’m sometimes asked, “We’ve been fighting child trafficking for a long time. Do you think we’re making an impact?”
On this day two decades ago, human trafficking had yet to be defined as a crime by the United Nations and United States. Because of the momentum of this movement, that changed. On this day one decade ago, people like Jeffrey Epstein, R. Kelly, and many others were exploiting victims with impunity. Because of the momentum of this movement, that changed. And because of you, I believe a decade from now things will be very different.
Last year, we received more referrals for trafficked youth than ever before. And my gut says that 2020, we’ll probably top that. But this isn’t cause for despair. Rather, our society and systems are seeing the problem where we didn’t see it before. We’re responding to the needs of children and coming together to make this a safer world for them.
This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. We won’t end child trafficking in the next decade. But hear me: we are winning. Pace yourself and don’t get tired. Keep listening to survivors. Keep raising a collective shout about this atrocity. Because your heart, your attention, and your voice matters – and together our refusal to fail children is why this will end.
Happy new year!
Amy Casavina Hall
US Executive Director
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