If you missed the prevention briefing sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on October 24, you can watch the recorded version on EDstream Visit disclaimer page . The event promoted awareness of child trafficking, discussed what is being done to prevent it, and addressed the important role of educators and parents.
Highlights included a sneak peek of “I Am Little Red” - a new educational animated short that is a prevention tool for children to be used by educators, administrators, parents, and organizations working with at-risk children. We also heard from a panel of parents, survivors, and subject matter experts on how parents and other trusted adults can prevent trafficking and serve at-risk or victimized youth in a trauma-informed way. A few key points from the panel discussion were:
- If a child has access to the internet, they may be vulnerable to trafficking. Traffickers can use social media and other websites to recruit victims or sell trafficked services online.
- Educators and other trusted adults should be aware of the diverse tactics traffickers can use to exploit children. Traffickers can be strangers but they can also be parents, family friends, acquaintances, teachers, significant others, or peers.
- Trauma can have a tremendous impact on a child’s development. Community members should believe children when they disclose, connect children with help, and fight for their healthy development moving forward.
- Prevention is not just to protect children from traffickers but also to prevent potential traffickers and abusers from exploiting others in the future.
- Traffickers can spot at-risk children very easily. It is time for trusted adults and relevant professionals to identify these youth and be a positive force in their lives.
ED’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students Visit disclaimer page (OSHS) has focused on raising awareness and preventing human trafficking in schools for more than a decade. OSHS has connected with the HHS Office on Trafficking in Persons and 50 Eggs Films, Inc. Visit disclaimer page to increase youth engagement and generate youth-informed and youth-friendly prevention and intervention messages.