Guest Blog: Watch the Impact one Person Can Have Working Against Child Sexual Exploitation

Children are the future of tomorrow. They are the next generation of leaders bringing joy and innovative design to the world. However, not all children are fortunate enough to achieve their dreams or live their lives. To this date, sexual exploitation of countless children remains a problem. These are impoverished children who suffer from the social-economic conditions they were raised in and violence in the community. But, we’re here to change that.

The World of Children Award is the only global funding nonprofit that recognizes individuals who are committed to improving the lives of children worldwide. Who are these individuals? They are humanitarians – people with compassion, motivation, and perseverance to take charge of making a difference in society. We are dedicated to finding heroes who are doing extraordinary work for children, and we share their amazing stories and programs with the media and others who are part of the global community working for the rights of children everywhere.

Today, November 1st at 5:30pm – 6:30pm, EST on Fora.tv –  LIVE from UNICEF, the World of Children Award will broadcast “Changemakers for Children in partnership with the US Fund for UNICEF,” a live stream featuring social changemakers who are working to benefit children. Denisse
will be attending live and will be answering questions about her work.

Denisse transforms the lives of children by founding Caminante Proyecto Educativo (Caminante Educational Project), an organization dedicated to rescue and empower the vulnerable youths in the sex tourism hub of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. With her project, she has changed the lives of over 12,900 children by preventing sexual exploitation and reducing violence in the community, while also healing the youth affected by prostitution and other violence.

Please take your time and watch the broadcast here: http://fora.tv/live/word_of_ children/changemakers_for_children. Learn more about how these individuals are committed to creating social change and how you can make a difference. If you have any questions, our changemakers will be available to answer them via live chat.

Thank you!


Adopting a Victim of trafficking

“Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.”

Mother Teresa

The popularity of international adoption continues to rise.  In 2002, there were 20,099 children adopted overseas  (article “The Difficulty of Proving Child Trafficking in International Adoption).  Due to the prevalence of child trafficking, the United States has passed laws that restrict adoptive parents or agencies to give the birth family money.  A parent living in poverty should not be offered money for their child, that fits the very definition of trafficking and is unethical.  Also, before entering the U.S., each child must be issued a visa.  This allows the government to find any discrepancies in the paperwork that may allude to a trafficking situation.

UNICEF estimates that there are 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children trafficked into North America and Europe each year for adoption.  What can an adoptive parent do to ensure that their child was not trafficked?

  • work with a reliable adoption agency
  • do not assume that a visa means the child was not trafficked

As Mother Teresa said, if we want to do something amazing, we need to find those that need our love, attention, and sacrifice.  Parenthood is a beautiful way to snatch up the opportunity to help those that need you.


tablette de chocolat

Americans consume 11.5 lbs of chocolate per person a year!  I’ve attempted on numerous occasions to stop eating chocolate.  I seem to have no control when I open a chocolate bar wrapper…I have to eat more and more.  But, after reading, “Meeting the ‘chocolate slaves,” I hopefully will be able to curve that appetite with the moral cause of anti-slavery.

Moussa Doumbia shares his horrendous experiences as a former chocolate slave with BBC.  Burdened with heavy tasks and harsh punishments, Doumbia sought freedom from his life as a slave.  Children should not be working.

According to U.S. State Department, there are approximately 109,000 children working in chocolate plantations in the Ivory Coast.  With large chocolate manufacturers, it is complicated and nearly impossible to trace where the chocolate was traded from.  Fair Trade products alert consumers that the product was produced without slavery.  So, next time you have a craving for chocolate that a piece of fruit won’t curve, grab a chocolate bar with a label like this to  make sure you aren’t contributing to this problem.


Human dignity

Children and women are quite vulnerable to trafficking, especially when they come from low socioeconomic status and have minimal education.  Inequality between genders, economic status, and education make individuals more susceptible to trafficking.

With 600 million children from developing countries living on less than a dollar a day, it is no wonder boys and girls are trafficked so heavily in developing countries.  How can we change this situation of social inequalities that leads to great social injustice?

Simple stated, standards for living must be raised.  It is unacceptable for children to be deprived of an education, love, and empowerment.  Sir Michael Marmot stated that children deserve more than food and shelter, but, “resources to participate in society and to maintain human dignity, consuming those goods and services regarded as essential.”

Human dignity.  They deserve human dignity.  As slaves, they are perceived as mere objects for a designated purpose.  Each woman, girl, and boy on this earth deserves to be viewed as  an individual that contributes to society.


Abusing Abroad

In 2006, I embarked on my journey to teach English in China. During a layover in the Taipei Taiwan Airport, I came across a large advertisement against exploiting children in the sex industry. I cannot recall the statement on the poster, but I remember being disgusted. The English-written poster revealed a repulsive problem, known as child sex tourism.

(This advertisement is against child sex tourism is from Cambodia)

This evil industry is perpetuated by men traveling from wealthier countries, such as western Europe and North America, that take advantage of children’s impoverished circumstances. Some destinations are Asia, Mexico, and Central America. International Labour Organization estimated in 1998 that 2-14% of the gross domestic product of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand was from sex tourism. Due to increases in tourism and money, often times the destination countries are reluctant to implement laws against the child sex industry. Local law officials ignore the problem, and sometimes contribute to it.

Some of these tourists prepare their travels with a sex tour travel agencies. In 1995, there were around twenty-five businesses in the U.S that arranged sex tours. One website advertised nights of sex “with two young Thai girls for the price of a tank of gas.” This is appalling! Minors being treated without dignity or respect, which every human deserves.

Currently, if a sex tourist from the United States of America is convicted for traveling with the intention of having sexual interactions with children, they can be put in prison for up to thirty years. Fortunately, there are currently proposals to prosecute American citizens that engage in sexual activities with children abroad, even if they did not travel with the intentions to engage in these activities with minors.

If you suspect that someone you know has been involved or is planning a trip that may exploit children, please contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Operation Predator: operation.predator@DHS.gov or call ICE hotline: (866) 347-2423.


With the click of a mouse

We can have access to nearly any information that we need within a matter of seconds.  The internet “expands our mind, increases our opportunities, and feeds our soul.

In 1995, Attorney General, Janet Reno stated (article “Misuse of the Internet by pedophiles”), “we are not going to let exciting new technology be misused to exploit and injure children.” Many of you have previously commented, it is quite difficult to trace child exploitation.  Prior to digital cameras, pedophiles received child pornography through clandestine newsletters, personal pictures, or through exchange networks.  Now, “instead of hanging around the playground looking for the loneliest kid, potential child molesters simply have to log on”  Years ago, film being developed was screened for pornographic images, but with digital cameras and the ability to upload pictures directly to the internet, this problem has grown rampantly.

Also, there are other dangers with media and child exploitation.  Adolescence 18 and younger spend around 18 hours online per week. This statistic is scary when National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found that 1 in 25 youth are solicited online to take sexual pictures of themselves. Children must be protected against all “misuses” of new technology as Reno stated.  This is a complex and difficult battle, but very real.



1 in 6 children (ages 5-14) in the world are involved in child labor. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) defines child labor as, “work that exceeds a minimum number of hours, depending on the age of a child and on the type of work.  Such work is considered harmful to the child and should therefore be eliminated.”

I came across this advertisement made by UNICEF which reads, “Many children get into their father’s shoes very early, help them get into school shoes instead.”

International Labour Office estimates that there are 217.7 million children, ages 5-17 years, not receiving education.  This leads them into lives of poverty.  Trapped in child labor, they suffer from social stigmas, inequalities, and many dangerous health exposures.


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