Operation Cross Country Rescues 105 Children

On July 31, 2013, by Ivan Lu

Operation Cross Country, a FBI-led three-day operation, is excellent news for anti-trafficking organizations everywhere. The FBI rescued 105 children who were victims of trafficking and made 150 arrests against pimps and johns. The battle against human trafficking has been difficult: the problem is global, the perpetrators are many, and the fighters are few. Looking at the bare facts, the fight against human trafficking often seems like an impossible battle. The FBI’s recent victory is a much-needed encouragement for anti-trafficking fighters everywhere.

The victory also highlights the potential impact that government entities could make if it simply organized and prioritized its fight against slavery. In a mere three days, the FBI was able to address the trafficking problems of 76 cities with 230 law enforcement units. In a mere three days, the FBI was able to make 150 arrests and rescue 105 children from a life of abuse. In a mere three days, the FBI was able to make 28 searches with 129 seizures of cash, drugs, vehicles and firearms. Prioritizing and organizing evidently produces results.

While FBI’s victory is praiseworthy, let us not forget the battle ahead; the battle against sexual slavery is far from finished – thousands of children are still victims of sexual trafficking, abused and broken, both domestically and abroad. The FBI victory is but a small battle won in a war still raging. We need to be doing more; we need to win more battles.

We need law enforcement to place more emphasis on fighting child prostitution. Society has an idea that prostitution is consensual and victimless, and law enforcement commonly places prostitution at the bottom of its to-do list. But the truth is such an attitude fosters an environment for child trafficking to flourish. The end destination of all victims of child prostitution and sexual trafficking is, in fact, prostitution. As such, we need law enforcement to prioritize its fight against prostitution, punishing the pimps and johns instead of the victims.

We need a stronger safety network for those who have been rescued from prostitution. The boys and girls who are rescued from prostitution are often runaway or throwaway kids. They are traumatized from their experiences of abuse and molestation. Problematically, many states do not have adequate facilities and resources to address victims’ needs. Instead of receiving the healing they need – physical and psychological care, safe housing, community – the victims are left to fend for themselves once they are rescued.

It should be fairly obvious that the fight against slavery is far from finished. Let us be encouraged by the FBI’s victory, but let us not forget the many more victories needed to overcome the gross injustice that is child trafficking.




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