Friday, February 19, 2010

Protecting Our Children

This morning, as I was catching up on the news, I came across this terrible story out of Pakistan. A twelve-year-old girl was raped and killed by the man to whom she was trafficked. Shazia's mother allowed her to leave home with a man who promised her a good-paying job with a rich family in Lahore.

The man who raped and murdered Shazia offered her family $250 if they would keep quiet about her death.

$250. The price of a 12-year-old girl.

Those of you who follow my blog know that I've been working to help pass a bill aimed at reducing or eliminating child trafficking in certain countries. The Child Protection Compact Act (HR2727) would allocate $50 over three years to a handful of "focus countries." The countries would each have to enter into a compact with the United States, agreeing that the money would be used to develop and strengthen programs and systems that have proven effective at significantly reducing instances of child trafficking.

The bill was introduced in the House back in June, 2009, and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where it still sits.

Today, I'm asking you to contact your Representative and ask for movement on HR2737.

Sadly, Shazia's fate is not an isolated incident. Children all over the world are brutalized by traffickers and slave owners. Our nation can't sit idly by and allow it to happen. If we are idle, we are complicit.

Please contact your representative today. Shazia's all over the world need people like you and me to advocate for their safety and their lives.