As I sat in the conference room, I listened closely to my translator that was attached to my ear. Though some of what was being said that early morning was in Greek, I didn’t need the translator to tell me how impassioned the others in the room were. It was evident that a movement was beginning; a movement to help children in need on a global scale. A movement to change the face of child welfare.
I had been greatly honored to be a part of this international adoption and foster care conference. Child welfare and foster care experts from across the world gathered together by the shores of Marathon, Greece, outside of Athens, as they took part in an historical international adoption and foster care conference. Led by the Roots Research Center in Greece, these global experts focused upon one issue; the human rights of children around the globe during the two day conference, held in the last week of May, 2017.
The first day of this global conference was focused on adoption issues that plagued Europe, while the second day’s theme centered around foster care, and how so many nations across the world are really only just beginning to create their own national program. Despite the fact that the foster care system in the United States is one that is faced with many challenges right now, those in attendance at the conference were eager to learn more about America’ s foster care system, and I was grateful for represent the United States with my presentation, and I was grateful for the partnership with Royal Family Kids Camps, who saw the importance of this international conference.
Perhaps what struck me most about while at the conference was the knowledge that so many nations across our world still do not value children. So many countries, in this 21st century, still do not give value to the rights of children. Children across the world are suffering from the hands of parents, from family, from adults, and from governments!
In the United States, we pride ourselves on caring for Human Rights. We march in the streets, protesting the rights of gender and gender identification. We wear heats as we protest to the government about equality. We wave flags to for equal rights. Yes, human rights has become an important issue; one that fills people with passion, and even with acts of violence.
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Yet, as a nation, we still have it wrong. We still don’t truly value the rights of children.
Studies show that up to five million children in the United States experience and/or witness domestic violence each year. Children in our nation are suffering from an epidemic of child abuse from those who proclaim to love them the most.
Children in the very city you live in are victims of horrific crimes. Today. As you read this, there are children who are falling prey to child sex trafficking As you sip your morning coffee, there are children who are being abandoned by those who profess to love them. As you watch your favorite reality tv show, there are children who are being abused so horrifically that many of us turn away; the reality of it too gruesome for us to acknowledge. Furthermore, these abusers and perpetrators may be your colleagues at work, members of your church, your neighbors, and even those who come to your annual family reunion.
People you know. People YOU know are abusing a child in some way.
So, I ask you this. Where is the outcry in our own nation? Where are the people marching in the streets for child abuse? Where are the hats and the signs to bring awareness about child sex trafficking here in America? Where are the loud voices protesting the government to give rights to children? When will we fight to protect the children in our own nation. When will the rights of children become part of the Human Rights Movement?
Perhaps that outcry needs to belong to you. Perhaps there is a child, right now, who is waiting, and even praying, that you fight for their human rights. It is happening across the world. When will it happen, TRULY happen, in your state, in your city, in your neighborhood?
It starts with me, and it starts with you.
Let's fight together.
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