Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Charity Tuesday: ACT (Against Child Trafficking)

Hello Everyone,

As we all know, spotlighting charities and worthwhile causes is important to SR.

As a group, Elli, Coco, Sere and I are also dedicated to promoting these endeavors. Therefore, we are happy to share a weekly series of posts in order to take a more in-depth look at the various charitable organizations highlighted by SR. You can find a complete list of these charities on our blog by clicking on the "About the Charities" header.

We hope you will find the information in these posts informative and educational.  If you have a particular cause that is close to your heart or you have personal experiences with any of the charities we spotlight, please feel free to contact us about it.


ACT (Against Child Trafficking)

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=323710075670&ref=ts 

Twitter: @AChildTraffick

Mission Statement: 

ACT (Against Child Trafficking) is a volunteer based grassroots movement based in Australia influencing over 55,000 people worldwide.

We have no paid staff and we do not receive any funding nor intend to. Our role is to facilitate the resourcing of organisations at the forefront of combating child trafficking.

Child trafficking has a become an insidious rampant evil in the world today having now become the most lucrative organised crime activity on the planet. Help us stamp it out.

I'll be absolutely upfront and admit that the plight of human trafficking has only been on my radar for the past couple of years. I am woefully under-educated about this crime and have not participated with any charities that fight against it.  But this is a poor excuse.

During the past few weeks, the local news has been reporting on child trafficking within my home state and I've been truly appalled by the things I've discovered.

I'm practically embarrassed to admit that in my home state the crime of soliciting sex from a minor is a misdemeanor offense.  Anyone caught doing so serves little (if any) jail time and never has to register as a sex offender.  Last week, a bill was put before my state's legislature to change this.

I wish I could say that such lax policy is soon to be a thing of the past, but I was amazed to learn that this bill had to go through a round of compromises in order to be passed.  One of the local representatives (a woman) was quoted as saying "We were able to negotiate a compromise and I feel good about it. It's not exactly what I would like but I think its a doable compromise. The only other option would be no bill at all."


As a woman and a mother of two young children, I was absolutely disgusted.

The law has been amended, but even so it's my strong opinion that the new penalties simply aren't enough:

-- First time a Class A misdemeanor, 30 days jail, $10,000 fine and possibly a sex offender registration.
-- Second time, a Class C felony, 90 days jail, $20,000 fine and a sex offender registration.

The representative quoted above said she hopes to strengthen the law during the next legislative session.

Last evening, while I was researching this piece, I found a few local charities who are fighting to end human trafficking within my region, and I've begun the process of familiarizing myself with their work.  I'll soon make a commitment to one and lend my support in whatever way I can.

It's a place for me to begin and I hope to encourage my family and friends to participate as well.

If you find yourself in the same place I am, take a few moments and research the prevalence of human trafficking in your area. Then look up the penalties for this offense and decide if the laws in place are strong enough. If you believe more needs to be done in your area, then I wholeheartedly encourage you to find a way to help.

I'm highlighting the subject in this week's Charity Spotlight  because our good friend, Kat Bastion, is currently hosting a charity awareness campaign on her website. ACT is just one of many charities she is supporting during this campaign, but I'd prefer to let Kat's elegant and passionate words speak for themselves. Please venture over to her blog for more information.

Rest assured, this is another wonderful opportunity for us to support our favorite charities and do something worthwhile with our time, talents and dollars. Kat's fundraising campaign will be open until June 15th.  Please donate if you can and please help spread the word for a good cause.

Take Care,


TerrytheNurse said...

This is such an important post, Jenn. One of the reasons I so strongly support Covenant House is because a high percentage of homeless kids have been victimized, either thru coercion, gang rape, or the need for shelter. It really is a scourge on our society, and the more awareness, the better. You have to wonder how people can do things like this to our vulnerable and lost kids.

Jenn said...

Thanks, Terry.

My husband and I were discussing this and were trying to figure out the lack of common sense when it comes to the law in our area.

In a simple manner of speaking, if one sexually abuses a child they can be convicted of a felony, but if they offer to pay someone for the privilege that somehow makes it all right?

The fact that the amendments to the law had be debated at all makes me very sad. Something needs to change and it should change as soon as possible.

TerrytheNurse said...

I am going to send you (and any reader who wants it) a study done by CovHouse on child trafficking. The stats will curl your hair. What I have a hard time with is how people don't understand how these kids survive on the streets -- almost like people are blind to it (or in denial.)The trauma must be unbearable.

Jenn said...

Please do.

Thanks, Terry.

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