As a global organization involved in trauma support, and psycho-social care following natural disasters, we are acutely aware of the growing need for trafficking awareness and prevention, both within the disaster community, as well as on the ground after a disaster.
Natural disasters create a vacuum for human trafficking, as children are separated from parental care and government safeguards are in chaos. The increase of poverty also causes individuals and families to become easy targets for traffickers, who prey on their vulnerability with false promises of employment, education, and other help (Unicef) (USAID).
Orphaned children are at an increased risk to being sexually exploited and trafficked. With no skills, and no where to go, children often end up on the streets, prey to perpetrators. Orphanage caregivers also unknowingly give children over to traffickers who deceive them into believing the children will be provided job opportunities. Sometimes the orphanages workers themselves are the traffickers.
Providing training and education to caregivers helps them to recognize the risks to children who age out of orphanages, as well as empowering them to be pro-active in preparing the children for life outside of institutions. It also increase their understanding of the need for transitional homes, as well as to identify behaviors that may put a particular child at risk.
Ministry partners are vital to our programs, and greatly appreciated as we endeavor to care for orphaned and vulnerable children after natural disasters, and by aiding caregivers and communities in the prevention of human trafficking.