Two years ago I found myself standing at an epicenter of drug trafficking — the infamous Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia — home to the hugely lucrative illicit opium trade. But I was waiting to assist the victims of a different kind of trafficking, a group of North Korean refugees. Many of the women and children I was waiting for had been trafficked into marriage or for adoption. As the refugees’ protection officer, it was my responsibility to win their trust and safely escort them to a shelter where they would await processing to go to another country. This experience had a profound effect on me and inspired me to join the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking campaign.
Tag Archives for "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.
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.
As you may know from our advocacy alert, the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The U.S. did, however, ratify two optional protocols, which help ensure that children never serve as soldiers, and which prohibit child prostitution, child pornography and the sale of children. In January, the United States presented a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on its implementation of both protocols. The Committee noted that the U.S. has made significant progress since ratifying the treaties a decade ago, but it also highlighted some areas where the U.S. Government might make improvements.
The film Not My Life forces us to face the reality of human trafficking by documenting the lives of victims from across the globe.
This Wednesday, February 6, from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET, join a Google+ Hangout with Not My Life’s Director Bob Bilheimer, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection Susan Bissell and UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking project. We’ll discuss what human trafficking looks like around the world and how the work of UNICEF and the film Not My Life are making a difference.
On Tuesday, January 29, with the help and support of New York University student groups and the NYU UNICEF Club, I hosted a screening of the documentary film Not My Life at NYU’s historic Tishman Auditorium. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about human trafficking, offer opportunities for attendees to take meaningful action to fight the issue, and to promote the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking project. The screening was followed by a lively panel discussion, featuring prominent leaders of the anti-trafficking movement.
Across the United States, children, women and men are victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is lucrative and has been likened to modern-day slavery, subjecting its victims to forced labor, prostitution, migrant farming, and more. Last week, President Obama proclaimed January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. And today, January 11, is the day to raise awareness.