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Exhibit Puts Focus on Child Migrant Crisis

The Children Don'’t Migrate, They Flee photo exhibit is on display in the Russell Senate Office Building this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking is using images of the child migrant situation to try to appeal to lawmakers.  

The caucus teamed up with the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking and the Too Young to Wed nonprofit to sponsor a photography exhibit running from Tuesday through Friday, entitled "Children Don't Migrate, They Flee." “Human trafficking is one of the most critical human rights challenges of our time and we must work to raise awareness and protect the vulnerable among us, which too often means children,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told HOH about the exhibit.  

“When I visited the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014, I saw the heart-wrenching results of criminals in Central America exploiting and brutalizing children, leading them to flee conditions of torture and abuse. This exhibit gives a face to these horrific stories, and reflects the root causes — violence, corruption and poverty — that force these children to flee their home countries,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told HOH.  

“As the co-chairman of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, I hope the congressional family will take some time to visit this exhibit and learn more about the dangers these children face as they flee,” he added.  

Photographers Kirsten Luce, Katie Orlinsky, Meridith Kohut, Estaban Felix and Moises Castillo depict unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the United States. Publicity for the exhibit states the mass exodus northward has been “largely ignored by policymakers” and continues to be a crisis.  

According to a statement from the organizers, the exhibit “illuminates the refugee crisis within our own borders and the urgent need for more sustainable solutions that address the root causes of forced migration.”  

“As co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, I will continue to work with my colleagues and groups across Ohio to not just help victims of trafficking escape, but also achieve their God-given abilities,” Portman said.  

The opening will be celebrated In Russell’s Kennedy Caucus Room on Wednesday night with a cocktail reception and viewing. Luce and Orlinsky will be at the reception to speak; both photographers are known for their work at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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