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Blogs and Opinion What we know about Child Exploitation: Urgent Appeal to bring freedom to trafficked children

What we know about Child Exploitation: Urgent Appeal to bring freedom to trafficked children

Traffickers are making $51 BILLION a year in illicit profits from the children they are exploiting and controlling, new figures suggest.

Hope for Justice has launched an urgent appeal to bring freedom to trafficked children. This appeal is in direct response to the alarming new statistic, revealed in an analysis of International Labour Organization (ILO) data that has just been published.

Traffickers are making $236 billion each year in illegal profits from forced labour (up 37% since 2014). Perpetrators are making an average of $10,000 per victim, the ILO said, though the figures are much higher for those in forced commercial sexual exploitation (an average of $27,250 per victim, globally).

The ILO report highlighted that 1.7 million children are currently trapped in commercial sexual exploitation, accounting for 27% of the total cases. Almost the same number again are being forced to work dangerous adult jobs with little to no pay, and no way to leave.

Our analysis of the data puts the total profits made from child victims at $50.8 billion.

Children are having their freedom – and their childhood – stolen from them. They are being trafficked, abused, and even sold on for profit. Some are abducted, held in captivity, deceived, or drugged.

We must act now. You can be the difference. Donate today to help bring freedom to children.

The facts about child exploitation 

In the United States, 1 in 3 runaway or homeless children are lured into sexual exploitation within the first 48 hours of being on the street. A devastating 36% of runaway teens traded sex for a place to stay, food or another necessity.

In the United Kingdom, 7,432 children were referred into the National Referral Mechanism last year (the Government’s framework for providing support to potential victims of modern slavery). Children accounted for 44% of the total number of potential victims to be referred. This was the highest number on record.

It is often the children who already have the least who are targeted – those who are socially excluded, without a safe home or with disabilities.

Whether they are being exploited through child sexual abuse or online grooming, whether they are being forced to work on farms, in factories, in private home or brick kilns, these children are in severe danger and need help.

How is Hope for Justice bringing freedom to children? 

In the USA, our investigators are working on the frontline to protect children and young teenagers who have run away from home. These runaways are at huge risk of being trafficked.

In the UK, our Child Trafficking Transition Specialist (CTTS) is working with young survivors  – at a point in their life when other statutory support would usually fall away. We ensure that young people are given the stability they need to continue rebuilding their lives after trafficking.

Our teams in Ethiopia and Uganda are working to keep children safe by working with other professionals and law enforcement to help children out of dangerous and vulnerable circumstances, such as living on the streets. We run Lighthouses – safe havens for children who have been exploited or who are at risk of exploitation. We provide children with safe shelter, counselling, educational opportunities, and fun activities. We also work to reunite children with their families or caregivers, where this is possible, or support them to transition to independent living. Sometimes it can take several months to trace a child’s relatives, but it is a huge privilege when the search is successful, and we get to share in the joy of bringing a child home. Last year, we reintegrated 1,474 children and teenagers with their families or assisted them into independent living.

We run Self-Help Groups which empower families and prevent child human trafficking. These groups economically empower women and their families to meet their short-term needs. In the longer term, they help them to become financially secure. We also train members in effective parenting, child protection, anti-trafficking, and other skills. Last year, 12,174 people participated in our Self-Help Groups. Overall, the result is that communities can protect and care for children. Families are stronger. And children are raised in an environment that is both loving and supportive.

Hope for Justice runs Child Protection Clubs (typically in schools) and Hubs (typically in urban slums), which see students and children meeting weekly to learn about children’s rights and the dangers of trafficking and unsafe migration. We then involve the students or children in our work to educate others through school and community events. In Ethiopia alone, we estimate that Hope for Justice child wellbeing clubs and associated community prevention initiatives are reaching 100,000 people with information about modern slavery every year. These clubs have successfully prevented children from being trafficked for forced labour.

We work with key stakeholders such as government officials, police, schools, community, and religious groups as part of our Child Protection Committees to better protect children and ensure reports of abuse are followed up and acted on.

But we can’t do this alone, not without your help.

Our urgent appeal 

We are mobilising people to act – be that through financial giving, fundraising, raising awareness, campaigning, praying, or simply talking about the issue.

That is why we have launched our appeal.

£5 is all it takes to provide a week of wholesome food for a child at one of our shelters.

£50 is all it takes to fund five care packages of essentials for children after exploitation

£750 is all it takes on average to put a child through our entire aftercare programme and get them home safely. Could you or a group fundraise this amount together? 

A generous supporter is doubling the donations that we receive as part of our appeal to Bring Freedom to Trafficked Children. So, if you donate today, this Match Funding will double your impact and make your money go further.

Child trafficking can seem an overwhelming evil. But the truth is, we can all make a difference, one life at a time. By donating today, you will help us move one step closer to our goal of bringing freedom to trafficked children.

Child trafficking can seem an overwhelming evil. But the truth is, we can all make a difference, one life at a time. 

How can you be a part of the appeal? 

You can donate to our appeal to Bring Freedom to ChildrenDouble your impact by donating today and get one step closer to our goal of bringing freedom to trafficked children.

We are building momentum on social media, using the acronym F.R.E.E.D.O.M to talk about various aspects of our work. You can share our social posts and help to raise awareness. 

You can talk about the issue with your friends and family. 

We are asking people to fundraise to help us bring freedom to more children. We have created a list of more than 40 ways you can fundraise for us

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