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Rally against child sex trafficking planned for Aug. 29

A Prescott-area Facebook group called Save Our Children-Arizona will be holding a rally at the Yavapai County Courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, to protest against the sex trafficking of children. (Courier stock image)

A Prescott-area Facebook group called Save Our Children-Arizona will be holding a rally at the Yavapai County Courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, to protest against the sex trafficking of children. (Courier stock image)

A Prescott-area Facebook group called Save Our Children-Arizona will be holding a rally at the Yavapai County Courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, to protest against the sex trafficking of children.

The rally is touted as a way to spread awareness about the dangers of sex trafficking both “at home and worldwide,” according to the group’s co-founder Chelsey Harsin.

The group seeks to speak for 267 children missing in Arizona as well as two million children who are now trapped in the sex-trafficking industry, Harsin said.

Last month, the Prescott-based Armed to Know organization teamed up with Operation Underground Railroad for a similar protest against human sex trafficking at the courthouse plaza.

Like Saturday’s planned rally, the focus of the July protest — held on “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons” — is on young victims.

For that event, organizers emphasized that child sex trafficking is not just something that happens outside the borders of the U.S. The organization explained that million of young children have access to the internet, and therefore, are potential prey to predators.

The movement is part of a growing national effort by community groups and organizations to raise awareness about the scourge of sex trafficking spreading through the use of social media.

On its website, Elizabeth Rutherford, co-founder of the Where’s Our Children March Organization, said these rallies and protests across the country are intended to spur action by leaders to create stricter laws and enforcement measures to prevent these crimes and harsher penalties for those convicted of them.

“We as people are just tired of it and we’re not going to stand for it and so everybody is getting out there and we’re getting loud and we are not going to stop until we see something change,” Rutherford said.

The Save Our Children-Arizona Facebook group is working on becoming a 501(c)(3) organization, Harsin said.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to indicate that the organizers of this event is a local Facebook group called Save Our Children-Arizona. They are not affiliated with the Arizona chapter of Save the Children.

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