Students walk to fight against child trafficking

On Thursday, after a week of events, the second annual Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk will be held at Lake Ella, in Tallahassee at 6 p.m.

Child Trafficking is “the recruitment, smuggling, transporting, harboring, buying or selling of a child through force, threats, fraud, deception, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation, prostitution, pornography, migrant work, sweat shops, domestic servitude, forced labor, bondage, peonage or involuntary servitude,” according to

Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow) is a non-profit organization that has a local student chapter with students from both Florida A&M University and Florida State University. reported that an estimated 2.5 million children, the majority of them female, are sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry.

Jasmine Johnson, a junior public relations student from West Palm Beach, serves as the campus ambassador for FAMU.

“There are over 300,000 children in sexual slavery today and Leon County is number 2 in the state for child trafficking,” Johnson said. “Students should walk to raise awareness and funds to put an end to this horrific crime.”

Dena Karlin, a senior hospitality student from Deerfield Beach, Fla., serves as a student ambassador to FSU, issued a call for students to participate in the walk.

“There is something profound about walking and speaking on behalf of those who can’t, and in our case the silenced and oppressed are our own children,” Karlin said. “It is more than a cause. It is a responsibility we have to raise awareness and aid to free the children who are trapped in bondage and enslaved to sexual predators.”

The week of events kicked off with a fundraiser at YogaBerry from 6-8 p.m. in Tallahassee on Monday, a poetry night in Paddyfote Complex’s basement on Tuesday night, a workshop in the downstairs cafeteria Wednesday, concluding with the walk at Lake Ella on Thursday.

For more information, please contact the FAMU ambassador Jasmine Johnson at (609) 816-6949.

For event coverage, including live photos, see Friday’s edition of The Famuan.