It would seem that one of the most uniting causes in the world would be to protect children. Specifically: children who are being trafficked, exploited, and abused sexually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
A recent increase in awareness about the prevalence of child trafficking has led to a concerning counter-movement by large, public platforms. There seems to be a concerted effort to squash the voices of organizations and individuals who are speaking out against child exploitation and sex trafficking.
If children are being trafficked in any significant quantities in our country, shouldn’t the public be made aware? Shouldn’t action be taken, policies changed, and justice served?
Or, what motive would there be to censor people who are raising awareness and demanding action?
Should Big Tech companies have the power to control what information or opinions citizens are allowed to speak about on public platforms?
Is this an intentional effort to suppress or censor this information from being shared with the public? Or are these large platforms simply guarding their users from misleading information?
Let’s discuss the facts.
What Is Child Sex Trafficking?
According to the United States Department of Justice:
“Child sex trafficking refers to the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a minor for the purpose of a commercial sex act.”
According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC):
“While any child can be targeted by a trafficker, research, data and survivor lived experience and expertise have revealed traffickers and buyers often target youth who lack strong support networks, have experienced violence in the past, are experiencing homelessness, or are marginalized by society. Traffickers are masters of manipulation and prey upon vulnerabilities using psychological pressure and intimidation to control and sexually exploit the child for their benefit.
The issue of child sex trafficking is complex. Understanding the various forms of child sex trafficking and indicators can create opportunities for prevention, identification and response. Most importantly NCMEC embraces and encourages all efforts on this issue to be survivor-informed, child-centered, and trauma-informed.
Below are some examples of child sex trafficking:
Child is trafficked by an unrelated individual, male or female, who often develops an intentional relationship with the child which is later used as leverage in the exploitation.
Child is trafficked by a relative or a person who is perceived by the child to be a family member such as individuals referred to as “auntie” or “uncle” but are not directly related to the child.
Child is trafficked by a member of a gang or trafficked by the gang. Gangs leverage their organizational structure, violence, and local, national and international networks to instill fear and loyalty in the child victim.
Child is being trafficked but does not have an identified trafficker. Instead, the buyer is directly exploiting the child’s vulnerabilities by offering money, food, and/or shelter in exchange for the sexual exploitation.
Child sex trafficking can have devastating immediate and long-term consequences, including health impacts, psychological and physical trauma and even death.”
How Many Children Are Trafficked Every Year in the USA?
No one knows the real numbers of trafficked children, because most of it is not reported.
Child trafficking can happen to any child, regardless of race, gender, education, citizenship, and socio-economic status. Most people think of child trafficking as children bound and beaten in hidden bunkers in 3rd world countries. While that is a reality for many children around the world, most people don’t realize that child trafficking is rampant in the USA and that the victims and perpetrators may be right in front of them.
The USA is one of the main destinations and sources of child trafficking.
It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of children go missing in the USA every year.
Child Trafficking is estimated to be a $38-50 BILLION dollar a year criminal enterprise in the USA alone.
Why is Child Trafficking Censored on Social Media?
Despite surmounting evidence of child trafficking in all 50 states and every major city, large social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok seem to suppress, censor, and/or remove posts on the topic.
In 2020, hashtags such as #SaveTheChildren and #SaveOurChildren were banned or censored on most big social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. This seemed to be in response to the influx of people who were made aware about the massive scale of child trafficking in America and the amount of posts, questions, and concerns that ensued.
While some theories about certain public figures being involved with child trafficking have yet to be proven, the evidence and prevalence of child trafficking in the USA are undeniable.
The viral impact of these awareness campaigns arms the public with the information they need to safeguard children and help prevent this gruesome crime from thriving in their communities. It even resulted in hundreds of organized rallies and marches all over the USA, from Washington, to Tennessee, to Michigan to California. Increased public awareness also funds the nonprofit organizations who are taking action to protect and rescue children.
Why would anyone want to sabotage efforts to raise awareness about child trafficking?
What’s even stranger is: hashtags about human trafficking, such as #HumanTrafficking / #EndHumanTrafficking / #StopHumanTrafficking hashtags are NOT censored.
#ChildAbuse and #ChildAbuseMaterial are not banned. #StopChildAbuse is.
It’s almost as if it’s an intentional effort to ignore, suppress, or deny this industrial scale harm to children!?
Why The Censorship? Who Does It Benefit, and Who Is It Hurting?
Big social platforms are known to remove or censor posts and hashtags, shadowban accounts, or even delete or permanently ban accounts who post about child trafficking. When the account creators appeal the platform’s decision, it often leads down an endless maze of unclear responses, such as “We removed this post because it violates our community guidelines.” More often than not, even if the post is factual and does not violate their posted community guidelines, the platform will still refuse to reinstate the content or accounts.
Below are some examples of the recent Account Warnings and censorship on TikTok, as well as the responses to our appeals to restore the content.
Why Do Some Think Child Trafficking is a Conspiracy Theory?
Some reasons may include:
- High level customers in elite positions of power actively work to enable this criminal industry and keep their behaviors a secret.
We’re all familiar with the Jeffery Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell case. Why hasn’t the client list been released? Why have none of their clients been brought to trial? Why is there no justice for the countless victims?
- As the fastest growing and 2nd most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, there is big money protecting the secrecy of it.
- Most large online platforms suppress information about child trafficking awareness. They also suppress and censor the messaging and reach of organizations like Veterans For Child Rescue who are dedicated to countering child trafficking and making the USA a safe place for children.
- Some political and religious groups mixed some truth with some un-factual stories or exaggerations that resulted in misinformation. This has unfortunately caused some to categorize child trafficking as a theory or political talking point.
- There is a massive lack of public awareness and education on this matter. Most people don’t know what to look for or how to help, and therefore, many victims and situations are overlooked.
- The reality of this evil is simply too harsh for people to face. If they accept its existence, they’re left with 2 choices: do something, or do nothing. Unfortunately, many people choose to pretend it doesn’t exist so they do not feel responsible to take action.
- Survivors are often threatened, coerced, slandered, or shamed into silence. Child abuse and trafficking is difficult to prove, and even more difficult to prosecute. Many antagonists will use gaslighting tactics, call the victims liars, and cause them unwanted attention and negative press. This can cause a domino effect of traumatizing experiences and even put the victim in danger.
- Most child abusers and traffickers are not convicted. Despite solid evidence, many abusers go unpunished, or only serve light sentences.
What Can We Do to End Child Trafficking?
1. Raise Awareness
Awareness reduces the predator’s ability to operate.
- Internet Safety Tools
- How to Safeguard Children
- Signs of Child Trafficking
- How to Identify and Report a Victim
- What You Need to Know About Child Predators
- CONTRALAND: a shocking documentary exposing child trafficking and predators in the USA
2. Get Involved in Your Community
- Attend local events, school board meetings, elections, and get to know who is running your town.
- Write your elected officials and demand harsher punishments for predators, laws to protect children, and support for victims and survivors.
- Volunteer at shelters, after school programs, and community events.
- Connect Veterans For Child Rescue with donors, District Attorneys, elected officials, media, and any businesses, groups, or entities willing to stand with us.
4. Shop & Support