WASHINGTON, D.C. – With thousands of children pouring over the U.S. borders in recent weeks, Concerned Women for America (CWA) recommends looking closely at the State Department’s
2014 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), which describes the United States as a “source, transit, and destination” country for human trafficking and identifies victims as coming from some of the countries that are currently flooding across the U.S.- Mexico border into the United States. Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine was denied access to a federal facility in his home state that houses unaccompanied children who have come into the U.S. The Congressman, a former Navy pilot, has previously been involved in operations countering human trafficking and is concerned about whether these children will be vulnerable to those who prey on unaccompanied children. Concerned Women for America (CWA) is also concerned that the U.S. might inadvertently be aiding and abetting such criminal activity.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., who heads CWA’s think tank, the Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI), said:
The current situation provides great cover for human trafficking, and we have a responsibility to make sure those children are protected from those who would exploit their vulnerability.
These children are vulnerable for many of the underground, illegal markets in children – from sex trafficking, illegal adoptions, child pornography, organ trafficking, prostitution, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation of every variety. It is possible that the overwhelming numbers of unaccompanied children have created an environment that is ripe for exploitation by human traffickers. Sadly, many of the children came from three of the countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – that the State Department considers primary source countries for human trafficking victims.
Dr. Crouse received a 1992 “Abolitionist Award” from the U.S. Department of State for her anti-trafficking work. Concerned Women for America has been at the forefront of international, federal and state anti-trafficking policy efforts for more than 15 years.