(RightWing.org) – Human trafficking is a serious issue that sadly affects tens of thousands of children each year. Many agencies work hard to raise awareness, and lawmakers have worked hard to pass legislation aimed at protecting this vulnerable population. According to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, millions of children go missing every year, and many end up victims of trafficking. Now, there’s a docuseries in the works exposing a worldwide market involved in the nefarious crime, and one well-known, albeit controversial, actor’s name is rumored to be tied to the project.
Operation Underground Railroad
Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a charity organization that seeks to “rescue children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation,” according to its website. Tim Ballard, who previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security, founded the organization in 2013. He is now working on a four-part docuseries that aims to unearth the truth about the global child sex trafficking market.
Back in January, he insinuated that actor Mel Gibson had a hand in the project. During an appearance at the Utah Eagle Forum, Ballard talked about how the actor had asked the organization to help in removing several orphans from Ukraine. The O.U.R. founder said, in turn, he had asked Gibson to financially contribute to the organization’s filming of the rescue efforts, something the actor agreed to. That eventually turned into the four-part docuseries. However, Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob has since denied any such involvement in a written statement to The Associated Press.
Child Trafficking Statistics
According to World’s Children, 27% of people who are trafficked are children, and 66% of those are girls. The organization says they’re more likely to be bought for labor rather than sex, but of those trafficked for sexual exploitation, 99% are girls. Though the United States isn’t immune to child trafficking, the majority of occurrences reportedly take place in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the US, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimates that one in six minors of the 25,000 who ran away from home in 2021 ended up trafficked. The same year, the nonprofit organization says it received more than 17,000 reports of such activity that took place across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. No region — towns, cities, or tribal land — was spared.
Domestic and international organizations consistently use available resources and social media platforms to raise awareness in hopes that this serious issue will one day cease to exist.
Those who suspect there may be an incident of child trafficking are asked to submit tips at CyberTipline.org or to call 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
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