I have always complained that data on human trafficking is a little screwy. I mean how do count hidden slaves? How do you measure secret border crossings? How do you even define who you are going to count? However, this really takes the cake…
A couple weeks ago I went to visit a shelter that takes trafficked children as well as other vulnerable and abandoned kids. They do not focus on trafficked children, nor do they want to. When I talked to them about their difficulties, the biggest problem was trafficked children running away from the center. I asked if they have special programs or counseling for the children? No. Why? They run away. I asked if they have a plan on how to keep children’s interests or understanding of why they run away? No. Why? They run away. I asked if they could work with a current trafficked child to see why he/she has stayed? No. Why? They run away? All of them? Yes. Granted they have had less than 15 trafficked children; however, they have a 100% runaway rate for this population.
Okay. So that in itself is shocking.
But more so was today’s conversation where I learned that these children’s cases are then closed and transferred over the a central body that keeps data on the kids and classified as ‘successfully reintegrated into the community’. This data is then used to show the outcomes of child victims of trafficking and for research.
Like I said: Research on human trafficking is screwy!