By not mandating minimal educational requirements for home-schooled children, we are allowing the most vulnerable citizens of our country to fall prey to human trafficking.
Ironically, last year the Obama administration increased the number of countries that may face U.S. sanctions for not doing enough to combat human trafficking, “calling on those and other nations to get serious and take tough steps to eradicate the lucrative illicit practice.”
Yet there are countless children being neglected, abused, and trafficked in the name of religion, and the United States does little to stop it. Even when allegations of child trafficking has been supported by credible testimony, the AG’s office in Utah still drags its feet when it comes to searching for these missing children because, for one thing, they have no documentation on the young lives that have gone missing.
And whose fault is that? In Utah and Arizona there are no laws requiring educational accountability for the home-schooled children. Once a child is pulled out of school for religious homeschooling reasons, the families have zero educational accountability with the state ever again. If a child goes missing or gets “married off” to a pedophile, no one knows but the conspirators. It’s the perfect environment to protect predators. There’s no teacher to inquire about the absence of a child, no system to ensure mandatory reporting of child abuse, no time when the parents have to account for the welfare of their children, no having to check in with any agency for any reason. The home-schooled children in Utah and Arizona are not required to be tested or pass minimum educational standards or learn to read. Families don’t have to show that the children are being educated at all.
Or that they are even still alive for that matter.
When children are born in a religious society such as Short Creek, it’s probable that they have never been to public school. If children have been reported missing by relatives on the outside, it’s probable that the state cannot even confirm that these children exist.
Children of religious fundamentalists are the perfect slaves to be used for child labor or trafficked as child brides since there’s an almost-guaranteed “we-will-look-the-other-way” policy from law enforcement. Cpl. Dan Moskaluk of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed this, stating that Canada has known about the child-trafficking allegations from late ’90s upwards to as late as 2006, yet no investigation was launched until December of 2011.
Former FLDS member Kathleen Mackert told CBS News, “Child brides have been trafficked to Canada for my entire life and before then. As long as I’ve known, it’s been going on.”
Watch this video clip that confirms the lack of action on the part of law enforcement.
The attorney general of British Columbia alleged in a court affidavit that the parents of two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old smuggled them out of Canada in 2004 and 2005.
In a story broadcast by KSL-TV in November 2004, Linda Price spoke on behalf of a group of anti-polygamy activists centered in nearby Creston, BC. She alleged that young brides were being smuggled in both directions between Utah and Canada.
Yet it took until Dec. 12, 2011 – seven years later, for officials to even begin to investigate what happened to these little girls.
Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police force will be in Texas from Dec. 12 to 16 to gather information about underage Canadian girls believed to have been victimized by Warren Jeffs, the convicted pedophile and leader of a fundamentalist Mormon group. SOURCE: Religious News Blog
Ironically, seven years of ignoring-human-trafficking later, the U.S. hypocritically announced sanctions against 23 countries for “not doing enough to combat human trafficking.” This is like the pot calling the kettle black.
“The report analyzed conditions in 184 nations and ranked them in terms of their effectiveness in fighting what many have termed modern-day slavery. The State Department estimates that as many as 27 million men, women and children are living in such bondage around the world.” Large numbers of men, women and children are enslaved in cults right here in the U.S. with the traffickers protected by the cloud of religious freedom.
The United States should be ashamed of its track record of ignoring human trafficking in it’s own back yard. After the evidence of trafficking in Short Creek emerged in the raid of the polygamist compound in Texas, agents were all ramped up and finally ready to intervene when word came down from from “the highest authorities in the United States government” calling off this life-saving raid designed to save children at the last minute.
Consequently, the crimes have not only continued, but grown in severity and number.
Today, even more children are missing, hidden who-knows-where, and authorities know about it.
They’re called ‘houses of hiding.’ The worry is that there are still children being trafficked in potential sexual crimes or being held for the prophet for that purpose…That is a concern and that is something I intend to look into.” –Utah AG Mark Shurtleff. KSL
In its annual Trafficking in Persons report, the State Department identified 23 nations as failing to meet minimum international standards to curb the scourge, which claims mainly women and children as victims. That’s up from 13 in 2010. Another 41 countries were placed on a “watch list” that could lead to sanctions unless their records improve.
Watch this clip about the “Trafficking Protocol” that could be used in the states to help thousands more.
Click the following link to view House Bill 7049: http://myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=48921