I’m doing another presentation tomorrow and thought again about how many people still don’t know what human trafficking is all about. Let me give you the information:
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. Legally, it is the exploitation by force, fraud, or coercion of vulnerable people for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations.
Did you know that every 30 seconds a human being and is being sold, bought, or forced into slavery?
Did you know that after drug trafficking, human trafficking is the 2nd most lucrative business for organized crime? It will soon be number one. Think about this: When a criminal sells drugs, the drugs are gone. A human can be sold again and again.
Human trafficking yields an estimated 32 billion dollars per year.
There are 3 main areas for Human Trafficking: forced labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation.
Forced labor includes agricultural work, hotel housekeeping, restaurant work, nails salon, factory work, massage parlors, and construction.
Domestic servitude includes maids, household servants, governesses, assisted living help, and personal sexual exploitation (mail order brides).
Commercial sexual exploitation includes forced prostitution, exotic dancing, massage parlors.
Other areas include Carnival work, Internet porn sites, begging, etc.
Have you ever thought that the maid that cleans your hotel room might be a domestic servant, a slave? What about the woman that has your nails? He she free to leave and come and go as she wants or is she being used for forced labor?
Victims are smuggled in from other countries, but increasingly come from within the United States. Investigations show that between 100,000 to 300,00 U.S. children are trafficked within the US every year.
82% of human trafficking cases are brought to the attention of police by someone who had knowledge of human trafficking or had a gut feeling something was not right.
The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States his age 14.
Many people ask why don’t these victims escape? Traffickers use multiple means to control their victims.
· Beatings, burnings, rapes, and starvation
· Threats against the victim’s family or friends
· Isolation, psychological abuse
· Drug/alcohol dependency
· Document withholding
· Debt bondage
· Threat of deportation
How are victims recruited or how do they get themselves into this situation?
· Runaways are very susceptible to being “picked up” by a “nice guy” who turns out to be a pimp or trafficker.
· Some are kidnapped from all’s, bus stops, movie theaters.
· Some are forced into prostitution by their families — a brother, uncle, or father.
· Others are lured in by girls that are already in the trade– they are promised modeling jobs, television roles, even movie parts. Once they go to meet the “producer,” they are kidnapped, raped, beaten, often drugged, and held in a locked room, then forced to have sex with up to 30 partners a day/night.
What can you do to help? Share this information with people you know—from teens to grandparents.
Also, learn to recognize the clues and listen to your gut. Here are some main things to look for:
· Someone constantly accompanied by an older man
· Someone that lacks control of their own life
· Someone that has no ID or another person carries it for them
· Someone who is transported to and from works, or lives and works in the same place
· Someone that is in debt to their employer and cannot leave their work
· Someone that is overly submissive, that shows signs of violence, that is exhausted and hungry
Be aware of what goes on in your neighborhood. Houses, even in affluent neighborhoods, are being used today by traffickers to keep victims enslaved and to force them to prostitute themselves.
These girls (and sometimes boys) are not criminals. They are victims.
You can leave an anonymous tip any time day or night. Notice that the National Hotline number is stated differently for easy memorization. It is 888-3737-888.
Check out Shared Hope and Rescue and Restore on the Internet for more information.
This information comes from the Clearwater Task Force’s Community Campaign against Human Trafficking.