As the World Cup is happening at full force in South Africa right now with high levels of enthusiasm, similarly organizations are in an equally high state of alarm at the risk of child trafficking. The World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world and due to a lack of legal protection and unqualified set of laws; there is risk of child trafficking. Pimps are more than prepared to take advantage of this gap and be on the prowl to drive the local sex trade to greater heights. Considering South Africa’s history of establishing itself as a major hub for human trafficking with 40,000 kids lured into slavery, the alarm is greater.
I find it frustrating that child-trafficking is always an after-thought. These international events that will create hype and profit are established and the safety of a nation\’s children is an after-thought that can be easily pushed out of the mind. For a moment, imagine you held in one arm a five-year- old girl with big blue eyes that made your heart melt and in the other arm a bag with five billion dollars. You had a choice to either lay that girl down and set her up for death or lay that money down to set it up for loss, whom would you choose? The human trafficking industry is on pursuit of the killing of a generation of children and the worst part is that their death is not instant, but it is a slow process where the heart dies before the body.
As the World Cup creates an atmosphere of vacation, thousands of children are left unattended and unsupervised with the potential to walk into their own enslavement. The question lingering on my mind is when did parenting quit being a calling that demands dedication into a casual title? Who granted this transition? The moment we neglect our children, we have essentially given up on life, on our planet and on the future of humankind.
Clearly, this issue does not stand alone but is connected with many others such as poverty and AIDS that have set the complex but secure foundation for human trafficking. So to blindly assume that trafficking should just not happen is like assuming that the river should just stop flowing. We need to focus our attention on the issues of our time, or these issues of our time will consume our very authority, if not our very existence.
It is time for our world to open up our eyes and see trafficking and prostitution for the organized crime that is. It is time for Canada to stop supporting movements that create a group of people vulnerable. It is time to remember that there is only one small thing separating us from them; where we were born. If we wake up to that, we will wake up to – that’s our tears in their eyes, our broken bones in their bodies, our pain in their hearts, and if we do not move, one day we will wake up, and that will be us.