GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Just ahead of this weekend's championship game, the single largest human trafficking event in the United States, Bethany Christian Services is calling for greater awareness and action on this heinous issue. Bethany is a leading global family preservation and child welfare agency committed to protecting vulnerable children.
According to the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report developed by the U.S. State Department, as many as 27 million men, women and children are trafficking victims at any given time. While there are no firm statistics on how much the forced sex and labor trade expands during the championship game, it has been estimated that more than 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the 2010 title game and 133 underage arrests for prostitution were made in Dallas during the 2011 championship.
"Human trafficking is an issue that many of us think of as taking place on the other side of the globe, far away from our children and our families," said Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO of Bethany. "The unfortunate truth is that not only is it happening in countries around the world, but it's also happening right in our backyard. Bethany is committed to reducing, if not eliminating, instances of child trafficking in the U.S. and throughout the world."
In an effort to prevent child trafficking, Bethany currently works with governments in developing nations, including China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, South Africa and Uganda, to implement sustainable social welfare services that will unite orphaned children, who might otherwise become the targets of trafficking rings, with loving families.
Here in the U.S., Bethany has called for greater oversight from federal and state governments to protect children from re-homing – the practice of unregulated placement of children by their adoptive family into another family without appropriate oversight. These efforts, in tandem with the agency's creation of its N.O.W. (No One Without) campaign, which seeks to increase placement of the more than 100,000 foster children in our country who are currently awaiting adoption by a forever family, have been introduced in hopes of eliminating the trafficking of vulnerable children within our boarders.
For more information on Bethany Christian Services, or to support its anti-trafficking efforts, visit www.bethany.org.
SOURCE Bethany Christian Services