Children deserve to be safe in their homes and communities. Every day, children embark on dangerous journeys to flee violence and abuse to find safety in the US. Some travel with their families and are separated at the border. Others travel alone. They are all extremely vulnerable to exploitation, including #labortrafficking, as detailed in this recent article from The New York Times.
Across the country, Freedom Network USA’s members are working with these children to ensure they receive the most appropriate care. They assist with housing and food but also help them navigate healthcare, legal, and school systems. These post-release services provide stability and support during what can otherwise be a traumatic time in their lives. These in-person services must be expanded as part of our response to #humantrafficking in this country. A single phone call to a child’s sponsor is simply insufficient to ensure the safety of children.
We must continue to push our government and corporations to protect children. We applaud the Department of Labor and Health and Human Service’s announcement to create a child labor task force, but the real credit belongs to the organizations that have been sounding the alarm for years. These organizations are a critical voice in ensuring that systems are not making these vulnerable children less safe. Addressing child labor exploitation requires a collective effort that protects the individual rights and needs of these communities. This has to include prevention initiatives that expand access to the social safety net for these children and their families. We will continue our part in fighting for a world where no one is exploited for their labor and everyone has the resources they need to thrive.