Twin Cities Fight to End Child Trafficking
How do you stop an appalling epidemic? How do you protect children from victimization by child traffickers? According to Karin Heissler, UNICEF child protection specialist, providing support to vulnerable children and their families is key. Said Heissler, “Many of these children would not be in the situation they end up in if their families were to have more support.”
Heissler made her remarks earlier this month at a Minneapolis screening of the anti-trafficking documentary Not My Life. Hosted by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Midwest Regional Office, the event drew some 70 Minnesotans who were determined to learn more about an issue that is not always on everyone’s radar — despite having 5.5 million victims worldwide. Trafficked children are bought and sold, forced into prostitution, or made to work at grueling, dangerous jobs with little or no pay.
Heissler described UNICEF’s efforts to end trafficking and discussed how Minnesotans can join the fight. She noted that prevention is one of UNICEF’s strengths: cash transfer programs, support services for parents, and collaboration with governments to strengthen child protection systems.
The event was part of the UNICEF Profile Series in Minneapolis, which brings dynamic presentations by child survival and development experts to the Twin Cities. Special thanks goes to Midwest Region Board Member Tamrah Schaller O’Neil and the Steering Committee Members for their work on this event. The successful evening was also made possible by student volunteers from the University of Minnesota’s College Campus Initiative, and The End Trafficking project, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s anti-trafficking initiative.
For more information about the UNICEF Profile Series, please visit our Midwest Regional Office page.
To learn more about the End Trafficking project, visit our End Trafficking campaign page.