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The protection of children is the responsibility of all of us. In recent weeks there has been a ground swell of attention brought to the kidnapping of over 300 Nigerian school girls by a group of religious extremists who have threatened to sell the girls and/or marry them off.

Social media has played a large role in raising awareness under the #bringbackourgirls trending topic. Civic groups, fraternities, sororities, corporations and even The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama have mobilized to bring the issue to the national consciousness via images, Tweets and Facebook statuses.

Unfortunately, the kidnappings in Nigeria are not a new phenomenon, and not unique to the African nation at all. Several years ago Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore started the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign to bring awareness to human trafficking-particularly of children-into the sex trade. Many of their celebrity peers, including Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris and Sean Penn lent their faces to the campaign holding signs that said “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” and shot several videos as well.

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In recent days the “Don’t Buy” campaign has been resurrected and combined with the “Bring Back Our Girls” movement leading many to think that they are synonymous. In spirit they have the same goal–to protect our children in the U.S and around the world from those who would rob them of their freedom–so to make the distinction is only a matter of record. What is more important is to realize that as men we have a responsibility to protect our children by any means and to do our part to bring justice for those who don’t have it.

So keep the pressure on whether you have a child of your own or not. Β CLICK HERE to see what the Mala Fund and UNICEF are doing globally to address these crimes and how you can help.

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