The Starfish Parable in Anti-Child Trafficking

A young man is walking along the ocean when he sees thousands of starfish washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and gently tossing them into the ocean. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asks. “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in they will die,” the old man answered. “But old man, don’t you realize there are miles of beach with starfish all along it? You can’t possibly save them all; you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.” The old man listened calmly as he bent down to pick up another starfish, threw it into the ocean, and replied, “it made a difference to that one.”

You have likely heard the starfish parable before. There are many adaptations from the original passage written by Loren Eiseley, but they all contain the same message: you may not be able to save them all, but each one you save is one less in peril.

Such is the effort to stamp out Child Trafficking. Phantom Rescue aims to rescue many trafficked children this year. Unfortunately, this year will also see an estimated 17,000 sold into child sex trafficking out of the US alone. Statistically, 340 children are sold for each child we rescue. Some might say we cannot possibly make a difference against those odds. They may be right, but one thing is for certain: each child we rescue gets to be a kid again and grow up to be member of our society. Providing that opportunity is priceless.

We ask you to join us in this fight and help us do more than just rescue children; help us stop child trafficking at the source. It takes each of us and just by reading this and becoming aware, you have already begun. Keep it going and help us educate the world by spreading the word about this atrocity. You can join your voice with others around the world as we ramp up for the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30. Together, we can help keep our children safe and shine the light on the traffickers and users who hide in the shadows.

The task may look impossible, but just like the old man in the starfish parable, we will keep at it, one child at a time.

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