I am a member of Toastmasters (public speaking club). I recently gave a speech on Human Trafficking. The following information is what I shared.
I would like to talk to you about the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. This activity takes place in the United States and in every country except for Antarctica. This crime generates 9-10 billion dollars in the United States and 32 billion around the world.
This crime is human trafficking. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Human trafficking is not a choice. A person does not choose to be enslaved. Victims want to escape, but cannot. The victims are not able to escape because they are constantly supervised and because they are moved so often they never know where they are. Many are moved overseas and most have no ID or passport.
There are 2 types of human trafficking.
- Slave labor
- Sexual slavery – exploitation by a 3rd party for financial gain
I would like to share with you some facts about human trafficking and how you can identify victims and what we can do to help.
The statistics about this crime is a slippery fish. There is no way to accurately collect data however the data I will share comes primarily from the National Human Trafficking Hot line and from an organization called Women at Risk, International.
Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry
300,000 minors are trafficked each year in the United States. 80% of whom are Americans trafficked by Americans. 10% never cross International line.
Average age of entry into prostitution is 11-13 years for boys and 12-14 for girls. 76% underage girls are recruited on the Internet with apps like Kid, Whisper and Tender. Girls and boys are recruited from a variety of locations. Recruiters go to schools, malls, playgrounds and any places where children may be. They look for vulnerable children and they can recruit a child in as little as 8 minutes.
The recruiter in 54 percent of human trafficking cases was a stranger to the victim. In 46% the recruiter was known to the victim.
Every minute 2 children become victims of sexual exploitation. 2 out of 3 are female.
Every 30 seconds a person is trafficked globally.
As many as 2.8 million children run away each year in the U.S. Within 48 hours of running away, one-third of these children are lured or recruited by traffickers.
Force, fraud, and coercion are methods use by traffickers to press victims into lives of slavery and abuse.
Each child serves between 100-1,500 clients per year and they earn between 800-1000 per night. This money all goes to a trafficker.
The average life span is 7 years. Many may die within the first week. Victims die due to many reasons some due to of the constant physical abuse, lack of food and water, sleep and medical care, suicide, murder, some due to drugs and alcohol. Many pimps will make their victims heroin addicts. The traffickers tell their victims they must make a certain amount ($1,000+). If the victim does not make this amount they will not be fed and if they are drug addicts they will not get their drug.
Michigan is #2 in the nation for sexual trafficking. Nevada is #1. Home land Security says that every city in Michigan has had a reported case of sexual trafficking. Michigan is surrounded by International waters and major highways making it easy to transport victims.
Many victims are transported to other states or countries. Many victims are constantly moved. Many are used in major gathering places, such as North American International Auto Show and major sporting events such as the Super Bowl. Anywhere where large number of men are gathered.
Cities in Michigan with the most calls received by the National Human Trafficking Resource center and reported by the Polaris Project include
Traffickers will lure victims by initially acting like a friend that cares. They will by expensive clothes. Clothes that a young person would not be able to afford. These victims are constantly being supervised. There is no profile for a trafficker. Traffickers are of every race and every sex. 42% of traffickers (recruiters) are woman.
Some things to look for in identify those who may be trafficked are:
-Does the person appear to have bruises, breaks, signs of physical abuse, or untreated medical problems?
-Is the person deprived of food, water, sleep, or other life necessities?
-Are there signs of psychological abuse?
-Does the person exhibit submissive or fearful behavior in the presence of others?
-Does the person hold his or her own identity or travel documents?
-Is the person allowed to be in public alone?
-Is the person defensive and unable to speak for themselves. They may be with an older man or woman who does all the talking
-Does the person show lack of trust and paranoia
-Does the person have an unusual tattoo and when you ask them about the tattoo they do not want to talk about it. The tattoo may be a bar code or a tattoo that a pimp picks to show others that the victims belong to him or her.
-they tend to be malnourished with rotting teeth
-They are often forced to use drugs or alcohol
War International has trained people to be a CFR (Civilian First Responder). These are professionals or laymen trained to identify and refer help to victims. They interact with in day-to-day life. Their responsibility is to move quickly to wrap circles of protection around the victim.
Victims are more likely to share their story with a CFR then they would authority figures such as law enforcements.
The CFR must be subtle and indirect. Some of the questions they will ask are:
- Can you quit your job?
- Were you recruited for a different job than you are currently doing?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- Can you go to religious service?
- Have you ever felt physically threatened or deprived of food, water, sleep or medical care?
If you suspect human trafficking is taking place call the National Human Trafficking hot line at
1-888-373-7888 (77% if the calls to the National Human trafficking hot line were right).
You can provide support by contributing to organizations that are fighting to end human trafficking, like CARE, Inc.