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Knowledge=Prevention

by Rossaue Hosein, Community Training

KNOWLEDGE=PREVENTION

Modern Slavery – Human Trafficking

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, and of that 20.9 million there are 5.5 million children globally; there are 100,000+ children estimated in the United States each year. *According to non-governmental U.S. sources the average age victim’s age is 11 to 14. The average life span of a victim is 3 to 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD’s, malnutrition, overdose, or suicide).

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the exploitation of others. Traffickers use violence, threats, and other tactics to trap victims of human trafficking. It is estimated that 76 percent of transactions for sex with underage girls start on the Internet.

*The top 3 sex trafficking venues are

  1. Commercial Front Brothel
  2. Internet Ad
  3. Hotel

*Sexual exploitation is not limited to a specific racial or socioeconomic group. Most street children that are targeted by traffickers are Caucasian youths who had run away from middle-class families. All demographics are vulnerable to trafficking but there are some that are more susceptible to victimization. Runaways, victims of sexual abuse, unhappy home situations, or an addict in the family home, are frequently targeted.

Victims have a difficult time escaping because of threats made on their lives and also because the traffickers take their identification and money. Traffickers also move the victims often so the victims have no knowledge of their surroundings.

Many people have no knowledge of who is a trafficker. Traffickers may work in groups or alone as individuals, pimps, gangs, family members, neighbors, labor brokers, or business owners. Most often the trafficker starts as a boyfriend and gains trust from the girl during a grooming phase, and then their lives turn upside down as the trafficker turns abusive and threatens their life if they do not cooperate. Traffickers are simply individuals looking to profit from the exploitation of others.

If no one were paying for sex, sex trafficking would not exist. Child pornography and child sex has become a worldwide industry that has advanced significantly with the use of the Internet. The Internet has given availability to pedophiles and can be done with almost no detection. Trafficking has nearly surpassed the illegal sale of drugs. Victims of trafficking can be used over and over again, and this appeals to the criminals who are in this industry to turn a profit.

Be aware and know the signs (Provided by Polaris Project)

Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question

  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
  • Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior

  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • Avoids eye contact

Poor Physical Health

  • Lacks health care
  • Appears malnourished
  • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture

Lack of Control

  • Has few or no personal possessions
  • Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
  • Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
  • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)

Other

  • Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
  • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
  • Loss of sense of time

Call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 if you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking.

Send a text to BeFree (233733) for help.

*www.arkofhopeforchildren.org

*www.polarisproject.org

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