Children have a greater need than ever before for protection against predatory criminals who use the helplessness and despair of their victims in order to make a profit off of them. Studies have found that times of war and disaster are fertile breeding grounds for human trafficking. Human trafficking refers to the practice of buying and selling individuals for the goal of exploiting them.
About Human Trafficking
Human traffickers use civil unrest and fear to find victims of forced labor or sexual slavery. Sex traffickers usually move the victims to different locations swiftly in order to remove any familiarity. This is intended to prevent them from speaking out or asking for assistance.
According to a study carried out by The World Office on Drugs and Crime, which drew relevant data from 142 countries for its research, the vast majority of victims of human trafficking worldwide were girls and women. Exact figures are difficult to obtain because traffickers continue operating in the shadows, so it is difficult to get exact numbers. Nearly three-quarters of all of the women and girls who have been recognized as victims of human trafficking have been recruited for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Every day, thousands of people flee their homes in the hopes of finding better protection. In order to reach the coasts of Italy, migrants often place their fate in the goodness of people smugglers. Many of them end up being held indefinitely in detention centers in Libya, in which they are beaten and subjected to other forms of torture. Human traffickers prey on women and girls who are vulnerable by making false promises of well-paying employment in Europe. These victims are then coerced or forced into prostitution.
Preventing Sex Trafficking in Your Community
Be Aware of the Potential Indicators
The Blue Campaign of Homeland Security issued a list of frequent signs of human trafficking, and there is even a downloadable, wallet-sized indicator card that you may use to keep these indicators at the forefront of your mind. You should be aware that the apparent lack of these indications does not necessarily suggest that human trafficking isn’t taking place, but they may help you determine when it is appropriate to detect and report trafficking and heighten your awareness.
Practice with your community. It is important to understand how to provide support for those who have been involved in sex trafficking. Additionally, the Blue Campaign offers a concise online training course that is designed to assist law enforcement officers and government workers in honing their abilities and becoming better able to identify victims of sex trafficking.
Discuss the Matter with Colleagues, Friends, and Family
Sex trafficking has been an issue both internationally and in the United States for a significant amount of time; nevertheless, due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, it is usually swept under the rug. Discuss it with your team, discuss it with your family members and friends, and begin the process of raising awareness within your professional and social circles.
Take Up a Role of Advocacy in Your Local Community
There is little question that those in local law enforcement are making every effort to combat human trafficking, but this battle cannot be won without enough resources and assistance. Make use of your voice in the justice system to advocate for local police departments, agencies, and non-profit organizations, and include members of local government and legislative bodies in the dialogue.