While the topics in the other chapters may seem daunting, this chapter on human protection delves into the solutions to some of the problems you are now familiar with. More specifically, this chapter emphasizes the current and potential systems in place for the protection of child soldiers, human trafficking survivors, refugees, and internally displaced persons.
These vulnerable populations have a common thread that weaves them together in that they are often ill-equipped to protect themselves. Children who become child soldiers are often kidnapped or manipulated into joining militant groups. Although there are organizations around the world, such as Invisible Children, dedicated to raising awareness about the issue of child soldiers, the recruitment of children into armies is still prevalent today. These children, if able to escape, are usually left with physical and mental traumas or disabilities.
Individuals from conflict areas who are forced into illicit markets, such as the commercial sex trade industry, are often victimized by legal systems. Labor trafficking victims can also be overlooked or mistaken for undocumented immigrants. Human trafficking survivors find it almost impossible to escape their situation without assistance.
Finally, refugees and internally displaced persons often find themselves in overcrowded living spaces with inadequate water supplies, limited food, and without an education. Although neighboring or other countries aim to provide a certain level of protection for displaced persons on account of conflict, some of these displaced persons continue to be left in desperate situations and living without basic necessities.
These vulnerable populations need assistance in order to make it through the seemingly insurmountable challenges they face. However, this type of assistance should come from everyone. By educating yourself on these topics, you can let other people, organizations, and governments know that these are important issues that need to be addressed. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to learn about these global issues, and I hope that what you read in this chapter will not only intrigue you, but also inspire you to make a difference.
Josh Trissel, Canyon Crest Academy
WorldLink 2013 Summer Intern