July 30th is World Day against Trafficking in Persons. In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 30th as a day to "raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.” The estimated number of victims of human trafficking around the world is currently at 21 million, with 5.5 million of them being children. Today GGP wants to spotlight one of our partners that is working towards decreasing the risk of trafficking amongst young children: Friends International.
In many poor countries, where lack of opportunities is rampant, children are forced to forgo education and to work. This has created a considerable number of "street children" either working or begging in the margins to help their families, making these children more vulnerable to the reach of human trafficking. Friends International is NGO and an artisan organization based in Cambodia. It provides parents with economic opportunities so that they are able to earn a fair living wage, keeping their children in schools and off the streets.
Street children serve as a measure of the social and economic situation, and a generation of street children will feed into the next generation of street kids. The NGO operating under Friends International supports 1,800 children and families in through artisan employment, and supports 20,000 at-risk children through outreach programs that include hygiene, health care, vocational training, primary education, counseling, food, and more.
“I am very happy to have a job and to know that my daughter is attending school and has the chance for a bright future. She no longer has to beg on the streets."” — Thol Chantha
Friends International fights against the burgeoning number of street children and trafficking by placing them back into schools and equipping parents with jobs. They specialize in repurposing material such as candy rappers and tires for their products. Check out their products below and spread awareness of World Day against Trafficking in Persons!