Human Trafficking is the commercial abuse of men, women and children. It includes many forms and types of exploitation, control and abuse. It happens in 184 countries around the world and America is one of them. The fact that slavery never ended is a reality. President Lincoln did not end it. William Wilberforce did not end it. It has taken on new forms from 200 years ago or 1,000 years ago, but the ugly truth is that there are more slaves alive now than ever before in history. It is an economic issue of supply and demand. It is a natural by-product of caste systems, racism, religious elitism and violence against women. And it is a spiritual attack against mankind of the worst magnitude.
How is this possible? Greed and control is the driving force behind the unbridled abuse of most people that are being trafficked and corruption allows it to continue. Those that are vulnerable – women and children make up 80% of the world’s victims. People that are desperate due to poverty, war & genocide or lack of education comprise most of the world’s victims. However, some are targeted for other reasons and forced into the global sex industry.
The rising escalation of victimization is unprecedented in our world’s history due to “Globalization”. Communication technologies have now linked 90% of the world’s population to modern society. Young people living in third world poverty now see how the rest of the world lives and are looking for education, jobs and opportunities. Recruiters entice them to cross boarders and sell them to traffickers that subject them to modern servitude in labor or sex. Additionally, for the past 30 years all of the industrialized nations have been outsourcing jobs to the developing nations in an ever increasing desire to cut cost, wages and elude the restrictions imposed by environmental agencies and labor unions. In many markets around the world products are being grown, picked, mined, harvested, manufactured and sold by child labor, debt bondage, and modern slavery.
The New Legal Definitions
Human Trafficking is defined as: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Sex Trafficking is defined as: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age.
According to the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act [18 U.S.C. Sections 1589-1594], all minors involved in commercial stripping, pornography or prostitution are victims of human trafficking and are not to be arrested or criminalized for their participation. Instead, they are to be offered victim services and protection from pimps, purchasers and traffickers.
Victims of HT are people forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking here in the US involves foreign nationals caught up in a variety of situations that encompasses individuals in domestic servitude and farming, to larger scale operations such as sweatshops, construction, landscaping, restaurants and hotels, as well as major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is the most profitable aspect of the illegal trade in people, and involves all forms of sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography, stripping, escort services, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
Identifying Possible Victims of Human Trafficking: A helpful guide to the warning signs and indicators to look for when working with clients as a service provider and identifying possible hot spots of trafficking activity in your community.
Invite a representative of OATH to come to your office, club, church, or organization and host an OATH Coalition Awareness 101 Presentation. These sessions are designed to help you become informed on the growing problem of HT, learn how to identify victims, and how you can get involved to help us fight this battle.
The Awareness 101 Presentations are free to the host and all attendees, but we do request that your group or organization consider providing assistance for travel expenses. An honorarium for the volunteer speaker is greatly appreciated. To receive more information on the Awareness 101 Presentation or to schedule a session for your group or organization, please contact us.
It’s Not About Strangers
The majority of human trafficking is not done by strangers that randomly abduct victims, that does happen – but it is rare. The reality is that someone comes into your life, works to gain your trust as a friend or lover and promises you a better life by leaving with them. “Relationship Danger” is where someone you trust lies to you and tricks you into a situation where you loose control. The FBI says that the #1 way that sexual predators are finding their victims now is through Online Social Networking sites. Through a “grooming” process they spends months becoming a close friend or boyfriend and at a low moment, like after a big fight with you mom, they suggest that you run away with them or meet them someplace to talk.
Invite us to bring our “Internet Safety Program” to your school and church so that teachers, kids and parents can learn how to be safe Online.
Community Law Enforcement & Professional Human Trafficking Training
The Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, the Oklahoma Regional Community Policing Institute have previously sponsored these 8-hour trainings through OATH. Currently your organization, agency or church may host a Human Trafficking Community Training in your city or county. This is an 8-hour training for law enforcement, social service providers, educators, medical and mental health providers and community leaders. It is CLEET certified, providing law enforcement officers with 8 CLEET hours and 2 Mental Health CEUs.
Download the How to Host a community training form for more information.