Human trafficking, child sex abuse, and pedophilia opponents express their opinions Aug. 21 in a walk around the Monument Square in downtown Laurens. This is a Clinton Chronicle Editorial about the issue:
Strike, Now ...
Human trafficking is in the news now, more than ever. So it is logical to assume that now is the time to strike against this heinous crime.
Authorities are feeling pressure to combat human trafficking, especially child abductions, like never more since the time of “stranger danger” warnings a while back. Some of the new-found momentum is directed against “Hollywood” and its alleged involvement in child sexual exploitation. One suspect, Jeffery Epstein, died by hanging, but there is another facing prosecution now.
The suspect, Ghislaine Maxwell (she is innocent until prosecuted in a court of law by trial, plea, or plea arrangement) is in custody. She is in New York federal custody after being arrested in New Hampshire. She, allegedly, is Epstein’s former girlfriend and procurer of children and young women for his “clients.” That case is currently under prosecution, and has worldwide implications.
Meanwhile, the trafficking of humans is a global epidemic.
National human trafficking facts and statistics show:
-- More than 10,000 people become victims of human trafficking in the US each year.
-- Women are approximately seven times more likely to experience human trafficking than men.
-- The average age of the victims is around 15-17 years for sexual exploitation and around 20 for labor exploitation.
The U.S. State Department says 24.9 Million people were affected by human trafficking in 2019.
Fox News reports the Department of Justice had 230 federal prosecutions for human trafficking in 2018, and 282 federal prosecutions in 2017.
Our purpose here is not to address the Maxwell case, nor to expose those whose names have been bandied about in connection with her and “Epstein Island.” Many of these people are public figures so, the way our nation’s slander laws are written, people can say almost anything about them in any forum and the “slander” is untouchable. We do not want to debate that. What we want to do is raise awareness.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially if your children are with you. As human trafficking becomes more exposed, the traffickers will become more brazen. They have their quotas to meet -- this is a business after all.
Human traffickers have all sorts of ways to throw you off your game - ribbons tied to car door handles, yellow roses under car windshield wipers - so just keep the inner radar attuned to all surroundings. If something just doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. This is not living in fear - this is being watchful.
And, if you feel comfortable doing so, take some direct action.
There is a WALK scheduled for Laurens County.
The “Save The Children!” Walk will be Friday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Laurens. It is a free event, and open to anyone. A flyer seeks support by saying “Our babies need us!” and “Everyone is invited!!” and “Safe play vs unsafe” and “Come walk with us!” An accompanying issue is this, some news reports have suggested there are localized efforts in some places (ie, California) to “normalize” the condition of pedophilia, which ties into child trafficking and pornography. We certainly want to make it plain that we oppose all these efforts in any form.
There also are issues of forced labor, human-organs harvesting, and sexual slavery at work here - and authorities are exploring and seeking to make prosecutions in all these areas. The buying and selling of human beings must stop, and all governments of the world know this and support eradication efforts. Still, try as they might, nations are going to find it difficult to root out a global, multi-billion dollar a year industry - made worse by our divided attention with the pandemic and racial justice. People can be passionately interested in only a few things at a time.
Just know this, We Stand in support of all efforts to end the exploitation of children. They are our world’s most valuable resource, and not protecting them diminishes our world - and our future. - By: Vic MacDonald