Human trafficking is a blight on the world, with a reported 5 million adults and children around the world trafficked for sex each year – and that doesn’t include those trafficked for labor. I find it encouraging that news outlets everywhere are covering this moral pandemic. (When I google “human trafficking United States," I get 108,000,000 hits. AP news is the top hit in my feed.)
I decided to look more deeply at this issue after seeing numerous memes stating that 800,000 children go missing or disappear every year, and many then insinuating these children were trafficked.
This struck me as a) horrifying if it were true, and b) a really high number, since that would mean 1 out of 5 kids born each year in the United States eventually go missing/"disappear" and apparently end up in the sex trade. So, I took a dive into the numbers, because as stomach-churning as this topic is, I don't want to be blind to even the harsh realities of the world.
The bad news is that the disappearance, sexual abuse, prostitution and trafficking of children are real and terrible things. The good news is that the situation, while devastating in terms of the depth of impact to every individual involved, does not have the breadth of impact so often portrayed.