Special Guest post by Diana Scimone (Director of The Born2Fly Project to Stop Child Trafficking)
When I say that child trafficking is organized crime, I’m not kidding. Human trafficking is very, very lucrative with very few risks. Organized crime has made it the 2nd-highest grossing illegal industry on the planet.
So what happens when you threaten the traffickers’ livelihood?
Let’s say you want to cut off the supply line of kids…
Let’s say you start to teach the Born2Fly anti-trafficking program to kids and parents, and you teach them how to stand up to traffickers…
And let’s say you do this in an area where kids are regularly kidnapped and trafficked…
This is what happened in a village in the Philippines where our brave partners have been openly teaching the B2F Project anti-trafficking curriculum to children and their parents.
First, our Philippines director was attacked by a trafficker who broke one of her ribs. (He was arrested.)
Then this happened, as reported by the project director:
One of the children who we have worked with for over a year was kidnapped this week and later returned with all his organs gone and head cut off.
His mother is obviously traumatized and is uncertain where to go from here and to be honest I just don’t have answers for her. My heart is breaking and I feel angry all in one breath.
We have had so many children taken from our village in the last couple of months that our team is in shock and the government is searching for answers and help.
Our course is set to expand whether we are ready or not. Prevention is what we are aiming for.
I am outraged and shocked by the murder of this child and I condemn it in the harshest possible terms. This was a warning shot from the traffickers. No traffickers bother to return a body; they did it as a warning to the team to stop interfering with their livelihood.
Did it work? Has the team pulled back?
Here’s what the director emailed me a week after this child was murdered:
After a rash of attacks physical and emotional, being run off the road and vandalism, we are still standing and focused probably more than even before. My ribs and bruises have healed and I am feeling more determined than even before to protect these children and youth especially.
The mayor of our city and the media have got involved in the kidnapping cases and the results have been good. The mayor has threatened all kinds of horrors to traffickers and the thing is here the mayor means it and everyone knows it. Everything has been quiet on that front.
Two weeks ago I was involved in a [trafficking] intervention, which saved several young girls and was an exceptionally rewarding experience.
Our second test of Born2Fly is going great. The kids are loving it and the teachers and parents numbers are increasing too. Thank you, blessings and strength to you as you spearhead this movement. We are with you all the way.
What an absolute honor to partner with brave warriors such as this director and her team who are standing up to the despicable actions of these traffickers.
Reaching kids before the traffickers do
Most anti-trafficking organizations rescue children and provide aftercare, which is absolutely vital. But almost no one is working to cut off the supply line of kids.
That’s what The Born2Fly Project does: We reach kids before the traffickers do with a comprehensive awareness and prevention program.
Our goal is not to go into hiding but in fact expand our program to many other countries. Each year 1 million kids get lured into trafficking. We can do something about that horrible number.
The B2F Program is effective—even traffickers acknowledge that. And we’re still in the test phase. Imagine the impact we’ll have once we print and distribute the B2F curriculum and wordless book to kids all over the world.
This child’s senseless death has outraged me and made me more determined than ever to get this program into the hands of children all over the world.
Meanwhile, please keep our teams in your prayers as they continue to fight on the front lines. They are my heroes.
Diana Scimone is director of The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking. She blogs at www.dianascimone.com.