Human trafficking: What's real and what you can do to help
2nd installment of articles for Anti-human Trafficking Month (January)
Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute.
How does human trafficking happen? 3% are kidnapped; 35% sold by family or friends; 62% are tricked.
What is real? A member of the enLIGTHen committee has developed a series of slides on the Myths/Reality of Trafficking. The information is taken from the Polaris website. See how many you can get right.
1. All human trafficking involves commercial sex.
2. Sex trafficking is always or usually a violent crime.
3. Traffickers target victims they don't know.
4. People being trafficked are physically unable to leave their situations/locked in/held against their will.
1- Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to get another person to provide labor or commercial sex. Worldwide, experts believe there are more situations of labor trafficking than sex trafficking. However, there is much wider awareness to sex trafficking in the United States than to labor trafficking.
2- By far the most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it always - or often - involves kidnapping or otherwise physically forcing someone into a situation. (And some victims are beaten, abused, tied up and family members threatened etc.) In reality, most human traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing sex or exploitative labor.
3 - In reality many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.
4- That is sometimes the case. More often, however, people in trafficking situations stay for reasons that are more complicated. Some lack the basic necessities to physically get out - such as transportation or a safe place to live. Some are afraid for their own safety. Some have been so effectively manipulated that they do not identify as being under the control of another person.
So what can one person do?
If you see something say something - call the rescue toll free number 888-3737-888
Write to your representatives in Washington D.C. and at the Ohio State House and hold them responsible for passing strict human trafficking bills that protect the victims and give serious jail time to the buyers/johns/sellers/pimps.
Go online to polarisproject.org and do some reading.