We must urge the government to put in place policies and legislation that require the parent/guardian to have proper identification and documentation in order for a child to board a plane.
A lack of identification requirements fosters criminal activity and makes children easy victims of sex trafficking, allowing traffickers to buy, sell and transport children with relative ease.
Currently, Transporting Security Administration does not have any policies regarding children travelling, however some airlines have put policies into place for toddlers. For example, Airtran requires infants under the age of 2 to be accompanied by a traveler at least 12 years old and have a birth certificate for age verification, but there are also issues with passports. If a child has been trafficked, there is no way to track the use of a passport once it has been issued. In addition, the Department of State cannot revoke a passport.
According to the U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report (2004) 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year; 50% of whom are children, mostly females. The majority of these victims are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced to work in the commercial sex trade. Sex trafficking is thought to only happen abroad in economically disadvantaged countries, but this is a myth. Human trafficking is happening in the United States every day and the lack of child safety laws creates perfect conditions for traffickers to transport children domestically and internationally. According to the Polaris Project, it is estimated that there are 100,000 children in the commercial sex trade every year in the United States.
We need to focus on preventative measures in order to reduce the amount of children who are abducted, kidnapped and trafficked within the United States rather than focusing on the severity of charges laid on traffickers once they have been apprehended.
Help us to put pressure on the government to make it a requirement by law that children traveling by plane must have proper identification and documentation prior to boarding. Help us to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in the United States now.
Thousands of children in America are being forced into the commercial sex trade and trafficked domestically within the United States due to a lack of child safety laws regarding travel. Human trafficking has become a lucrative industry (32 Billion a year), as human beings can be bought and sold over and over again, making it a highly profitable business. Currently there are no laws that require children traveling by plane to have proper identification and documentation. This makes it relatively easy for traffickers to abduct children and transport them between brothels within the country, where they suffer sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
While we applaud the efforts of the Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, and Amtrak, for partnering to train employees on the signs of Human Trafficking. The Government must put Policies and legislation into place to prevent America’s children from becoming victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
There needs to be a requirement by law that all children traveling by plane within the United States have identification and documentation.
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