11/16/2013 01:31 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

We Need to Protect Kids from Porn

No small person should be let loose on this earth without a guardian angel. Most of us have them, human ones, in the shape of moms, dads, grandparents, or other people who believe wholeheartedly that we need to be kept safe when we are children.

My heart is breaking from the news out of Canada, that 386 children had to be rescued from the clutches of a $4 million global child pornography ring. Almost 350 people were arrested, including grownups that you would think should be working as guardian angels, not exploiters: teachers, police officers, coaches, religious leaders, foster parents, doctors, nurses, and people who volunteer with children.

The internet is forever, and if you put a child's pornographic image online, you can deeply hurt them forever. That picture or video will never go away, and can put a shadow over the young person's future. We see that far too often with the homeless young people we work with at Covenant House, the largest charity in the Americas serving homeless and trafficked young people.

When kids don't have strong adult advocates looking out for them, consistently and completely, horrible things can happen to them. As a society, we need to put more resources behind investigating and rooting out those who profit from preying on kids, particularly those we entrust with our children. We need to build strong relationships with our own kids, and reach out to mentor young people who lack life-long advocates. We need to build a movement to protect kids most at risk of exploitation.

They're depending on us. Right now.