How do you stop an appalling epidemic? How do you protect children from victimization by child traffickers? According to Karin Heissler, UNICEF child protection specialist, providing support to vulnerable children and their families is key. Said Heissler, “Many of these children would not be in the situation they end up in if their families were to have more support.”
Heissler made her remarks earlier this month at a Minneapolis screening of the anti-trafficking documentary Not My Life. Hosted by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Midwest Regional Office, the event drew some 70 Minnesotans who were determined to learn more about an issue that is not always on everyone’s radar — despite having 5.5 million victims worldwide. Trafficked children are bought and sold, forced into prostitution, or made to work at grueling, dangerous jobs with little or no pay.
Heissler described UNICEF’s efforts to end trafficking and discussed how Minnesotans can join the fight. She noted that prevention is one of UNICEF’s strengths: cash transfer programs, support services for parents, and collaboration with governments to strengthen child protection systems.
Source: UNICEF USA