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Deborah Sigmund is the 2013 DC Metropolitan Area Mother of the Year

Human Trafficking — A Call to Action

APRIL 10, 2023

Since 2005 Innocents at Risk has been dedicated to the fight to end child trafficking.  We have learned that Awareness is Prevention and by turning Millions of eyes of the issue, we can put an end to this horrific evil. We need your help to complete this mission!!!

When we mention “Child Trafficking” most people think that is what happens to children on the other side of the world in India or China.  While it does happen there, it happens in every country around the world and it happens in the United States.  World wide it is a 32 Billion Industry Dollar annually. Over 2 Million children are forced into the world of the sex trade each year.  In the US, each year over 200,000 are taken by force or fraud and put into this underground world of evil.  According to the National Center of Missing And Exploited Children and The Department of Justice, child trafficking generates $9.5 Billion Dollars in the US each year.  Traffickers responsible can make as much as $200.000 per child each year.  It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world!!  You see, to get into the drug trade one must have cash; to get into child trafficking, you only need a child who can be sold over and over again.  These are the facts and the hash reality of why everyone needs to get on board in order to protect children.

In a recent meeting in Washington DC with Homeland Security and The FBI, I was asked to work with them to help educate the public of the following: Law Enforcement (Federal and Local) needs our help.  There is little funding for law enforcement and they cannot possibly handle this horrific problem alone.  The public must we made aware that children have become a commodity. It’s not ok to let your second grade son walk to the park by himself– you may never see him again.  It’s not ok to let your 12 year old daughter and a friend be alone at Disney World or the mall.  This is how children go missing every day.

At a Conference in June, I met a mother from Iowa who’s 12 year old son was kidnapped from his paper route. He was later seen on a Russian pornography sight.  This is just one example of what can happen when children are alone.  According to the FBI, a parent or guardian’s rule in public places should be, ‘if you can’t see them, they are too far away’.  It is not the intention of law enforcement to create a state of fear, but rather only to be wise. Rather than say this problem is overwhelming and be discouraged, here are some ways you can help:

Check out our website: We have information that will inform you of the issue as well as how to recognize situations of possible trafficking.

Get Involved and educate yourself, your children and friends about this issue. Watch the movie “Taken” and have your children (11 and above) watch it with you.  The movie is based on a true story.  What happens in that scene at the airport in Paris, happens in our airports, or malls and school yards.  There are many “Romeos” out there recruiting young girls and boys for false job opportunities or to just go to a party.  It is a business!!!

Talk to your schools, parent organizations, churches, synagogues and leaders in your community.

Talk to your local officials, legislatures, and civic leaders.

Talk to your Members of Congress as ask them to support Anti Trafficking Legislation!  We need harsher penalties for anyone who has anything to do with selling a child!  We need more funding for local law enforcement for training. Law enforcement needs to be able to recognize a victim.  Once under a traffickers control, children are taught to fear law enforcement and do not co-operate.  The victims need proper care and attention to be brought out of their trauma.  There is also a need for additional safe havens to put the children.  There is pending legislation to help with all these issues.

Let’s not sit by and do nothing!  Child Trafficking has prevailed because it thrives on secrecy.  The more you know, the more you can do to help prevent it.  Please join us in the Fight to Stop Child Trafficking!  We must work together to keep our children……all children safe!!!  As Mother’s we can join together to stop this evil!   As Mother’s if we can’t stop it, who can?

For more information on how you can specifically get involved contact American Mothers or Innocents at Risk. I look forward to working with each of you!

Deborah Sigmund is the 2013 DC Metropolitan Area Mother of the Year and Founder and Director of Innocents at Risk, a non-profit, founded in April 2005, to help stop the trafficking of women and children. The United States Department of State has endorsed the organization’s efforts on behalf of the three million women and children who are trafficked annually worldwide.  Prior to becoming the full-time Executive Director of Innocents at Risk, Mrs. Sigmund was President of the CMW Group, an international consulting firm specializing in Latin America. She continues to serve on the board of the U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce. Sigmund is married and the mother of five children.

Innocents at Risk is a child-advocacy non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization established to fight human trafficking by raising awareness and providing educating at many levels: internationally, in the corporate sector; students in public schools and universities; and among the general public. Innocents at Risk is dedicated to protecting children from all forms of abuse, and working to end child exploitation and child trafficking everywhere. To learn more, visit