PARENT PROTECTIVE GUIDE FOR KIDS

By April 4, 2021Education
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. It is modern-day slavery and affects millions of men, women, and children around the world.
INDICATORS: 
Some signs and red flags that your child is possibly being trafficked or groomed for trafficking include:
  • Displays sudden changes in their academics, behavior, or appearance.
  • Acquires new and oftentimes older friends.
  • Owns new items that they would not be able to afford or you did not buy for them (i.e., cell phones, new clothes, beauty products, toys)
  • Chats frequently online, over social media platforms, or within video games.
LOCATIONS
Places, where kids have been recruited into trafficking, include :
  • Social media platforms
  • Video games
  • Online chat rooms
  • Parties
  • School
  • Parks and other places where kids may spend time.
HOW DO YOU TALK WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Open communication and creating an environment that builds trust is key to safeguarding your child. Assure your
child that you care for them and only want the best for them. Make it clear to them that they will never be in trouble for disclosing something serious.
WHAT ARE SOME TOPICS YOU CAN BRING UP WITH YOUR CHILD?
PERSONAL VALUE :
  • Bodily Care: Teach your child how to value and take care of their body, treating it with respect (e.g. proper hygiene, nutrition, rest).
  • Bodily Respect: Explain how their body is never meant to be used to get something or to pay for something (e.g. showing body parts for candy or a toy).
PERSONAL BOUNDARIES AND SPACE 
  • Safe Boundaries: Discuss how they have a right to their personal boundaries and how they can put up these personal boundaries with others to feel comfortable. Do not force your child to touch, hug, be picked up by, or sit on the lap of an individual that they do not want to have physical contact with a particular person. Even if it’s a trusted family member or friend, it’s important that your child understands that their safe boundaries will be respected. It also empowers them to listen to their instincts and set the boundaries that will keep them safe.
  • Safe Space: Explain that they should tell a trusted adult if another child or adult makes them feel uncomfortable or invades their personal space or environment (e.g. entering into their bathroom, bedroom). Remind them that even family members and close friends should respect their personal boundaries.
PREVENTIVE SAFETY MEASURES
  • Child Rights: Empower your child with the ability to say no when they feel uncomfortable. “You have the right to say no to anyone if you feel unsafe.”

Safe and Unsafe Secrets: Discuss how unhealthy, harmful relationships and child trafficking rely mainly on secrecy. Explain the importance of how to recognize the difference between safe and unsafe secrets.

  • Safe Secrets: information that is meant to be private or kept unknown by others but will eventually be revealed (e.g., surprise).
  • Unsafe Secrets: information that could hurt someone or break the law, makes someone feel scared, uneasy, and is not meant to be private or unknown by others (told not to tell).

Safe and Unsafe Touch: Share the difference between safe and unsafe touch. Avoid using the terms “good vs. bad” touch because there are times where “bad” touch may feel “good” and the verbiage can be confusing.

  • Safe Touch: demonstrates normal affection like shaking hands for greeting, a pat on the back, or a friendly hug. Remind them they still only have to touch people they feel comfortable with.
  • Unsafe Touch: unwanted or uncomfortable affection like touching private parts (areas covered by a bathing suit or underwear). It can also be someone asking you to touch them in places covered by their bathing suit or underwear, or in other places that make you feel uncomfortable.
Safe and Unsafe Online Conversations: Discuss how people can try to deceive them online and/or through social media. (Note: These examples can apply to other types of conversations as well.)
PROTECTIVE MEASURES TO SAFEGUARD YOUR CHILD FROM HUMAN TRAFFICKING? 
  • Monitor your child’s activities online and offline.
  • Know who your child knows, what they watch, and who they communicate with.
  • Set healthy boundaries and involve your child in the process.
  • Implement online safeguarding measures (e.g. charging your child’s electronics outside of the bedroom overnight, installing parental control software on devices, monitoring your child’s social media accounts, and knowing their passwords).
  • Foster a healthy and safe relationship with your child so they will communicate and come to you about uncomfortable or unsafe situations.
  • Add the trafficking hotline numbers into your phone’s contact list (and into your child’s phone).

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