The first time I heard the topic of human trafficking I thought this simply cannot be happening, and if it did, how come no one including myself knew about it. It happened when my family and I were stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany back in 2010. as a parent of three boys and a girl I wanted to know more about it to educate my self, and become more aware of what human trafficking was. I did not want to just look away as many of my friends did. Human trafficking is not smuggling, or volunteer prostitution that only happens overseas as most Americans think. It is the recruitment, transportation, transfer and receipt of people by the use of force, threat and abuse of power. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery. Traffickers recruit minors into commercial sexual exploitation, an unknown number of U.S citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country for sexual servitude and force labor. As parents we are the first teachers for our children. Education is the key, it is critical we know how these traffickers work and teach our young men and women how these evil traffickers work. Our kids are extremely vulnerable as the United States it is not exempt from human trafficking. It is a must that this topic be addressed and thought at our children’s high schools and colleges nationwide. Teachers must immerse into what human trafficking is all about.
Human trafficking is known by many names, such as forced labor, or modern day slavery. It is a violation of human of human rights, year after year, thousands of women men and children fall into the trap of these traffickers within their own country or abroad. Almost every country is affected by this horrible act; human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states. Human trafficking can affect children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female. In 2010 human trafficking became the number one crime worldwide (Dept. of State). Every ten minutes a person is affected in the Unites States but around the world this only takes one minute.
In our country alone, it is estimated that there are 2000,000 slaves, with thirteen being the average age for entry into human trafficking. Young kids freedom is taken away experience mental, physical and sexual abuse, in addition to term damage to their self-worth and self esteem. Children at risk are not just in high school, the traffickers will prey on children as young as nine years old. They target through social media websites, chat lines, after school programs and malls where our children love to hang out. Currently, our country ranks 134th in human trafficking with an estimated 60.000 people trapped in this bondage. It is so important for parents and educators to be versed in this modern day slavery, to open our eyes and are fully prepare to deliver this information with shock value and very descriptive details about what really goes on when a person becomes trapped in this horrible act.
With awareness at a low, human trafficking is happening on a larger scale in the United States. The largest hub within the U.S. for human trafficking is Florida and California. Enforcement officials are doing their best to put an end to this very profitable business, unfortunately other current issues take priority in our high schools. Our public awareness and involvement is a must to end it for good. Our children were born in the land of the free and we as parents and educators must raise awareness to make sure they are indeed free. It is very unfortunate that most citizens are unaware of the extent of this issue, and this is why public education and getting involved is the key to combating trafficking.
Employment agencies overseas are utilized to deceive young girls and boys into what they promised them to be the perfect jobs. They are very meticulous and work very hard throughout the whole process, which includes, getting them a passport, visas, wardrobe and transportation fees into the United States. All these techniques quickly goes out of the window when it comes to an American child, it becomes way easier for them to trap them. Runaways, troubled and depressed teens, at the mall or on social media are an easily targeted. There is no overseas transportation, or paperwork involved, it becomes very cost effective and is right at their fingertips. When our kids are unaware of what human trafficking is all about is almost it is like a bonus for the traffickers.
This is a multifaceted threat; it takes away young men and women freedom, as well as their dignity, self-worth and pride. Often these victims are drugged on a daily basis, with the purpose of keeping them calm, as makes it easier for the traffickers to take full advantage of them. Keeping them drugged turns into addicts, once addicted is easy to control them, and they keep coming back for more. Their desires to escape is decreased, and even when not addicted to drugs, victims are completely cut off from their families, and their support structure. They lose faith in everything and are hopelessness of the situation and suffer alone. This is a huge epidemic where these acts endanger our children privileges and rights of living in a free nation. Our children safety and security are being compromised. We must act now to educate our youth and teach them how to identify techniques used by these predators and traffickers. Teach them to be vigilant and on the look out. Our message is that this can happened to anyone anywhere in our nation.
Raising awareness for human trafficking is not easy, especially when it involves our children. Some of the challenges can be us the parents, some will criticize the victims and really become confused with the topic, and how can they tell if is prostitution. Giving the exact statistics on human trafficking to the public it is very difficult, as law enforcement struggle with identifying the cases, not because the lack of knowledge but because sometimes the victims become embarrassed and are unwilling to seek help for the fear of being criticized and judged by the public.
The human trafficking topic can also be too strong for parents, never less their children, and they may choose not to become aware of it. High schools and colleges might be faced with their policies getting in the way for teaching such a strong topic. The message is very shocking and descriptive and this can be very alarming for parents, teachers and school officials as they might not be quite ready for this. However, delivering the topic of human trafficking should be strong, shocking, as there is no other way to do it. There is no room for sugar coating, it must be delivered raw.
Most people look at sexual exploitation as a choice, with human trafficking as something that happens overseas and in third world countries. Modern day slavery is something that they will never face or deal with, and pay more attention to more everyday issues, such as grades, friends, or safety driving. Our nation needs to prompt a huge change concerning this epidemic, it is vital that that his an issue happening now in the untied states. The statistics are alarming, we must prepare our children in this matter, to be vigilant, to become familiar with the way traffickers work. They must fully understand all the complex and different issues around human trafficking. It must be known that these heartless traffickers are not going anywhere and their tactics and techniques to deceive our young boys and girls just keep getting better. It is one of the most profitable businesses in the world and they intend to keep it that way. The strongest thing we have is not our fist. It’s our words, its what we do, so fight. (Alex, childhood victim of human trafficking FBI)
Magnier, Mark. “Modern-day Slavery Persists the World over. Los Angeles
Times 17 Oct. 2013, Collections sec. Web. 9 Sept. 2014.
Does Human Trafficking Happen In Usa?’. Researchomatic. 3 , 2013. 3 , 2013 <