Human Trafficking is when a perpetrator takes a victim under his or her control for the purpose of exploitation. It is not only a crime that is committed by criminal organizations in foreign countries, but it is also a crime in which anyone can be a victim, and anyone can be a perpetrator. And, with just one smartphone or computer, you can be a victim anywhere.
At ZOE Japan, We have been receiving consultation cases where a child is being told by a perpetrator online to send dozens of self-generated child sexual abuse materials everyday.
This child cannot reject the demand of the perpetrator because he knows the information of the child’s family, school, and friends, and he constantly threatens the child to expose these materials to those who know her.
We are often asked by our supporters,“What can we do to fight human trafficking?" Of course, donations as well as sharing our educational content can be very effective to raise awareness, helpingto prevent this horrific crime against children. Specifically, we would like to emphasize the importance of involvement in the hearts and minds of children.
Human trafficking does not happen overnight, and perpetrators sometimes spend months grooming children, isolating them, and completely manipulating their minds.
“The kids your age won't understand you anyway.”
“Teenagers your age have already experienced sex a long time ago."
“I am your only friend who cares for you and teaches you good things.”
The child gradually listens to these lies, and begins to believe that they are unlovable and all alone. This is exactly what the perpetrator wants in order to manipulate the child and exploit them. Furthermore, social media and the Internet are full of people who take advantage of the innocent nature of children and enjoy seeing how many child sex abuse materials they can obtain as if this is some kind of game. These perpetrators target children with such elaborate plans and patience,taking as much time necessary to fully control the child. While this may seem frightening, it also means that we as adults have the time and opportunity to intervene and help our children.
Be as involved as possible in your child's life. Communicate with them daily, even in small conversations, to show that you care, that you are there for them, and that they can turn to you when they need you.
While it is a priority to set rules for children to use electronic devices in order to prevent them from being victimized, it is also important for children to truly believe that they are not alone and that they are valuable. They will be less likely to fall for the slippery words and lies of grooming perpetrators.This is one of the most effective ways to prevent child trafficking.