Can a spoon in underwear help a child being forcibly trafficked for marriage or other nefarious purposes? One organization thinks so.
The idea is simple — a spoon in underwear concealed beneath clothes will do one specific thing. As a child with no way to cry out is passed through airport security, the alarm will sound and a possible private room search may ensue — allowing the possibility to alert authorities without fear of exposure.
Like any secret signal, the trick is one that could suffer from being exposed — perhaps even prompting further risk to kids being trafficked for forced marriage or other similar abuses.
But it may be one of the most effective ways to combat child trafficking, and Natasha Rattu, Karma Nirvana’s operations manager explains:
“… if they don’t know exactly when it may happen or if it’s going to happen, we advise them to put a spoon in their underwear… When they go though security, it will highlight this object in a private area and, if 16 or over, they will be taken to a safe space where they have that one last opportunity to disclose they’re being forced to marry.”
Rattu adds that phone lines are always open to kids at risk, but not every child is able to speak out for fear of being caught — she says:
“We’ve had people ring and that it’s helped them and got them out of a dangerous situation. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to do with your family around you — but they won’t be aware you have done it. It’s a safe way.”
Rattu says the spoon in underwear trick is one way around reprisals for children and young people in fear of being harmed for speaking up, noting that it takes a “brave person to stand up against their family.”