Just as My Children…

19 Jul

Blog post by Gemma C., Team Ethiopia 2012

Over the years I have read papers and books, watched movies and documentaries, sat in lectures, and heard many news reports telling of the many terrible things that people all over the world have to endure, day after day. There is poverty, lack of access to clean water, child labor, child soldiering, HIV/AIDS, so many factors contributing to the orphan crisis. Each of these is so difficult to think about, and so hard to understand why so many have to deal with it, but the one which inevitably hits me the most is child prostitution and child sex-trafficking. I took a little wander around the Web this evening, and 15 minutes into the stories and statistics of children abducted, put on menus and sold for sex, and I am just sick again at the realization of what goes on, and the prevalence of it.

This blog post is supposed to share statistics, quotes, stories and information to open your eyes to the reality of child sex-trafficking and exploitation. I have been staring at this screen for an hour now, my mind is reeling, and I don’t even know where to start. The statistics are easy to find, websites www.love146.org, www.sctnow.org and www.stopdemand.org are just a few out there. The sad reality is that twice while I was researching, a link for a webpage or a video was wrong, and the default pages that showed up were advertisements for prostitution and pornography. How twisted is that?

Child sex-trafficking exploits orphans. Children who are unprotected by parents, who are starving for love and affection, starving for food and without shelter, are at a huge risk for exploitation.  Child sex-trafficking creates orphans. Babies are born to young girls as a result of rape and prostitution and the cycle begins again, of children forced into this life in order to survive. It is heartbreaking to think about it, because I have two children, and each one of the estimated 1.8 million children involved in prostitution and pornography worldwide (World Bank), are just as special as my children are. They are just as valuable as my children, made in the image of God just as my children are, they need love and protection and nurturing, just as my children do, and they have been robbed of it.

I believe that rescuing orphans is the building block, the cornerstone of putting an end to child exploitation and sex-trafficking. Every child needs a family.

Gemma resides in Canada and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team Ethiopia. 

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