Protesters march against child trafficking
Stand Up Against Child Trafficking was a protest organized Aug. 21 by Kortne Greene and Kid. The protest was sponsored by Empact, an organization started by Leia Schenk. A small group of 20 protesters started to file into Cesar Chavez Plaza at 5 p.m. Before the march started, tables were set up to provide masks and food to protesters and the homeless gathered in the plaza.
California is top in the nation in human trafficking with 1507 reported cases in 2019, according to World Population Review. Currently, there are 25 million victims worldwide in the $150 billion business of human trafficking, according to Forbes.
“There’s nobody bringing awareness right now,” said Greene. “Yes, Black lives do matter, we’re along with that movement, but this is something that takes precedence to us. Human trafficking is happening in our city.”
Protest organizers coordinated with Sacramento Police officers to assist in blocking oncoming traffic during the march. No acts of violence occurred during the protest.
“I didn’t have an[y] idea that [child trafficking] was so high for Sacramento County and Placer County and even going into Roseville,” said Schenk. “Right now it is so important that we get the community to understand how bad it is and how susceptible all our children are to it.”
According to Schenk, she wants to equip parents to make informed decisions on what they allow their children to do and what parents should investigate to keep their children safe. Schenk urges parents to be more vigilant with what their children are doing on their phones and where they go, especially considering the amount of time children will now spend away from the structure school provides.
“There’s no such thing as a child prostitute,” said Schenk. “But if you go over there on Auburn and Watt, you see kids 10, 11, 12, 13 years old walking up and down that street. That’s not prostitution. They’re being sold. We have to do something about it. Because if we don’t, they end up dying to this lifestyle.”
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