It is a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird: a Pandemic of Child Trafficking


Photo Source: Georgia State News Hub

Justin Doucette, Writer

In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the main character Tom Robinson has done nothing wrong in his life except to have been born a black man. To kill a mockingbird is a sin, for they do nothing but sing for all to hear; they symbolize innocence. This book takes place in the 1930s, but that does not mean the killings of mockingbirds are limited to 1935 Maycomb County.

The mockingbird being described by Lee relates to Tom Robinson and all of the racial, lawful injustices that have taken place in America. However, the mockingbirds that continue to lack media attention and are often seen as “too heavy of a subject” for some to handle consist of our future: children. 

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? The world was your oyster: you were free to dream, live, and bask in the innocence of your undeveloped mind. All you really knew was that life was full of opportunities and happiness. Now, imagine all of that being stripped away from you in a matter of seconds.

Innocent, kind, full of hopes and dreams. This perception of children is common knowledge amongst the general population, so why are 25% of 40 million sex trafficking victims children? Why are children sold into sexual slavery at rates of thirty times per day? Most important of all, why is nobody protecting the innocent mockingbirds that makeup 25% of the total world population?

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus defends Tom Robinson despite being one of the only men who believes in change. If he can make a jury of white farmers deliberate for hours on the accusation of rape against a black man, then we can work to bring at least one of those ten million mockingbirds home.

I do not need to explain why the trafficking of children is heinous, evil, and overall wrong. However, I feel the need to call attention to methods of prevention and how normal people can assist in the fight. There are evil people who are born every day and those people cannot be changed. It would be a dream to see into the future and imprison every potential child trafficker, but sadly, that is not the way the world works. Until there is a way to efficiently capture each and every last sick and deranged person that roams this earth, all we can do is spread awareness and donate to organizations that fight human trafficking and work to improve the technology that has the capability to bring every last mockingbird home.  

Some trusted organizations that work tirelessly to overcome this pandemic and provide for survivors include:

  • Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW)
  • Stop The Traffik
  • FAIR Girls
  • Freedom Network USA
  • Love146
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Wellspring Living’s Women’s Academy

An estimated 80% of childhood abductions happen while less than a mile away from a child’s home. That being said, it is important to pay attention and there is time to act. There are things that can be done to prevent human trafficking from a potential victim’s perspective as well as from a witness’s perspective. 

Some things that one could do to prevent him/herself from being abducted are:

  • Limiting strange interactions on the internet
  • Carrying legal weapons like pepper spray, a taser, rape whistle, car keys, etc.
  • Avoiding going alone into unknown areas at night or even during the day
  • Never revealing your address or personal information to a stranger

Some things one could do if s/he has witnessed an abduction include:

  • Take note of the abductor(s)
    • What are they wearing?
    • What is their assumed height?
    • What is their assumed age?
    • What is their assumed race?
  • Take note of a vehicle, if any
    • What color is it?
    • What type of car? Ex: Honda, Ford, etc
    • What model? Ex: 2021 Ford Bronco
    • What is the license plate number?
    • In which direction is the vehicle heading?
  • Report it IMMEDIATELY! Time is precious in situations like these- it could be a matter of being saved or being enslaved

Some things to educate children on include:

  • Never talk to strangers
  • Never get into a stranger’s vehicle
  • Never leave a public area with someone who is not a trusted adult
  • Never leave the designated safe area unless accompanied by a trusted adult
    • Back yard
    • Front yard
    • Neighborhood street

While there are atrocities like the previously stated taking place in the world around us, that does not mean there are not people fighting it with every given moment. In 2020, the Trump Administration donated $35 million to assist in the protection of victims of human trafficking. On top of that, American Youtuber, Kendall Rae, has currently raised over 100 thousand dollars for THORN. 

It is extremely important for us as a community to take part in the fight against childhood abduction and sexual slavery and become aware of the world around us because the children of today are the future of tomorrow. We are taught to protect those who cannot protect themselves- if we don’t protect these kids, then we will have no future and there will be nothing left to fight for. 

Atticus Finch fought for Tom Robinson and stood up against the disease of racism in To Kill A Mockingbird. Together, we can defeat this modern-day plague and restore the innocence of our mockingbirds.


Links to Organizations and Factual Sources: