Hollywood has glamorized human trafficking in a way that it becomes part of the underlying script in action movie such as Taken staring Liam Neelson. We also bear witness to the other forms of human trafficking in the Hostel films centered in Northern Europe. Television shows of the crime genre covers this in some episodes. We have become immune to the fact that this occurs. Vaccinated into believing that human trafficking only occurs in areas far from home. The FBI has broken down the forms of human trafficking to four categories:
“ ▪ Domestic Sex Trafficking of Adults: When persons are compelled to engage in commercial sex acts through means of force, fraud, and/or coercion.
▪ Sex Trafficking of International Adults and Children: When foreign nationals, both adult and juveniles, are compelled to engage in commercial sex acts with a nexus to the United States through force, fraud, and/or coercion. (Note: Matters of domestic juvenile sex trafficking are handled by the FBI’s Violent Crimes against Children Section.”
▪ Forced Labor: When persons, domestic or foreign nationals, are compelled to work in some service or industry through force or coercion.
▪ Domestic Servitude: When persons, domestic or foreign nationals, are compelled to engage in domestic work for families or households, through means of force or coercion.” (fbi.gov)
Human trafficking can occur in real time in the physical world and in the virtual world. In many cases, the victims are promised employment or opportunities to obtain education. Other times, families will sell their children in order to make ends meet. The worst case involves crime of opportunity which is where a person whether adults or children who have been kidnapped and sold off.
On April 4 2012 the UN published that about 2.4 M were victims of human trafficking. USA Trafficking Reports of 2002 stated that,”approximately 18-20K are trafficked.” In hopes to spread awareness a national awareness month has been created in the US. This year, May 14, 2016 is the day to educate the public and serve as a day of observance for the nation .Many will join and spread awareness through walks and fundraisers.
Cyberspace is here, there, anywhere, and nowhere. Human trafficking has extended to the internet;through escort services and usage of pornography sites. On the latter, some media is disseminated where there is no method of tracking and spreads life wildfire. The internet is a place where initial luring occurs. There are methods to avoid such by practicing safe internet browsing.
There are many tell-tale signs that predators wish to entice a person, lure them. Many will use chatroom or dating sights, others choose forums. To avoid this, it is advised to tread with much caution. Never disclose personal information with anyone unless you know them. This includes family information, address, place of employment, and other identifiers that could facilitate a predator to locate you and your whereabouts. If you decide to meet make sure that you have chosen a place that is well light and in public. Have some friends in the vicinity in case their assistance is needed.
If they become way too friendly or push the idea to be alone, tread with caution. Lack of disclosing their true name and “story” shifting are other flags. Avoidance of law enforcement in the street and slight controls are also warning signs. Lastly, if you feel something is “off” the best thing is to listen to your gut feeling. If they become very aggressive hold your ground and call for help. At that point do not allow yourself to be alone with this person. Excuse yourself and or call for aid. Remember it can begin in cyber space and end in a bad situation. Where victims end up depends on the group of predators. Never come off as weak or easily manipulative. Maintain a strong will and be cautious.
For parents, always be aware of who your children are speaking with. Establish neutral grounds for open communication. Do some research together and discuss methods to protect themselves. Children and Adults go missing every minute, only a handful are recovered. Embed safeguards in your families cyber behavior to avoid becoming a victim. Learn to observe and watch for tell-tale signs of this occurring. If you suspect someone is involved in trafficking contact resources.
The CCRA strives to assist communities with cyber related crimes. Human trafficking has become a large problem and it devastates communities alike. In hopes to open lines of communication and talks regarding the subject. We are here to assist in any way we can. Modules have been created in depth to cover most aspects of this heinous crime and how to better protect your family and home.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center : 1888 373 7888
SMS 233733 Text “INFO” or “HELP”