GREEN RIVER — Today recognizes Rise Up for Children Day, a global event raising awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.
Many local community members showed their support for this growing global tragedy by wearing Rise Up apparel and conducting a march in Green River this morning.
Green River residents Aubrey Boren and Brooke Hall organized the local march. Boren said that as moms, they tried to think of ways to bring about more awareness to the human trafficking issue, and they came up with the idea for the march.
The local displays of support are an extension of efforts by Tim Ballard, founder and CEO of an organization called Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). Ballard began the organization in December 2013, dedicating his life to organizing activities on a national and international level to stop child trafficking.
“He’s saved almost 4,000 children around the world from sex trafficking with his program,” Boren said. “He has aftercare programs for the kids and gets them to safe places after they’re rescued.”
The Green River march began at Indian Hills Park and moved down Uinta Drive to the Maverik store. Parents and children walked, rode scooters and bicycles down the street shouting “end trafficking now,” and encouraging motorist to honk their horns.
Other community members worn Rise Up T-shirts to work today in an effort to bring more attention to an issue that’s gaining increased worldwide attention.
Become and Abolitionist
Boren said local groups are trying to bring awareness to the fact that children are being exploited and trafficked all around the world. She said Ballard offers training through his organization where volunteers can become “abolitionists.”
“Its an hour-long course to become aware of the signs of sex trafficking, what to look for, how to prevent it, and how to advocate for it as much as we possibly can,” Boren added. “It’s a huge problem and it needs to be recognized.”
O.U.R. and its global partners have collectively helped rescue more than 10,000 survivors who were enslaved, exploited or at risk. If you’d like to become a volunteer for O.U.R, visit their website at https://ourrescue.org/.