January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and we’ll be hearing a lot about this terrible crime in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Miami-Dade County has launched an anti-trafficking campaign, and as part of the Guardian ad Litem program, we’re paying close attention.
Anyone can be a victim of forced labor or prostitution – any age, gender, ethnicity, demographic – but children in foster care are especially at risk. The average age a trafficked victim is first used for commercial sex is 12 to14 years.
“The FBI estimates sex trafficking in the U.S. involves 100,000 children,” the National Foster Youth Institute notes. “Sixty percent of child sex trafficking victims recovered through FBI raids across the U.S. in 2013 were from foster care or group homes.”
But as Guardian ad Litem staff and volunteers, we can help. We are appointed by a dependency judge to represent children and teens in court who have been abused, abandoned, neglected – and trafficked. Become a volunteer, mentor and guide a child who might otherwise fall victim to the people who commit these crimes.
To learn more, visit GALPBC.org or call 561-355-6224
You can also help by learning the signs of forced labor or prostitution. Know the signs, report the crime!