Protect You and Your Loved Ones From Human Trafficking! Discover the Facts (updated)
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Human trafficking and slavery continue to be insidious societal cancers affecting millions of people around the world.
This month is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. At FREA, we're highlighting this issue so you can be aware of the risks and take action to protect you and your loved ones.
Is there anything we can do to keep you and loved ones safe?
The answer is absolutely “Yes”.
First, some context.
What is Human Trafficking?
The Polaris Project, a nonprofit charity working since 2002 to end trafficking, tells us:
*"Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world."
In 2007, the United States Senate designated January 11th as, “National Human Trafficking Awareness Day”. On December 31, 2015, President Obama proclaimed the entire month of January as, "National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month".
This problem isn’t limited to Western countries. Human trafficking and slavery is a huge global scourge. Experts estimate there are 20 to 30 million people in slavery around the world.
The Sad Statistics
The U.S. State Department estimates there are 600,000 to 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year. Eighty percent of those people are female and half are children.
The FBI says as many as 18,000 people are trafficked every year in the U.S. alone. Based on reports from non-profits and agencies who work in the field of human trafficking, the number of victims is likely much higher.
Sadly, children are 12 to 14 years old on average when they enter the sex trade. Many are runaways who experienced abuse before leaving home.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime generating $32 billion every year, with $15.5 billion of that number made in industrialized countries. Only drugs and weapons trafficking earn more money.
Human Misery From Human Trafficking
Let’s look beyond the numbers. Every person, every child lured or forced into sex or labor slavery is a living, breathing human being. They will experience unspeakable acts of brutality.
The health and psychological toll victims experience can last a lifetime. Even when victims are freed from physical bondage, emotional pain may never be extinguished. Fortunately, many human traffic survivors can be helped to achieve emotional wellbeing using methods shared in the “Resources” section of our https://FREA.support website.
How to Protect You and Your Loved Ones
Here are ways to reduce risk for you, children, and teens:
First, talk about the reality of human trafficking with your children and teens.
Pay attention to your children’s social media communications. Know who they are talking with, texting, or connecting with on social media.
If you are an adult or older teen who interacts with people you don't know personally on social media, this same warning applies to you. The "person of your dreams" you meet on social media could turn out to be a criminal planning to gain your trust and then force you into human trafficking.
Traffickers are heavy users of social media. They target vulnerable children and teens, gaining their trust online and then arranging in-person meetings. During such meetings, children are either lured into sexual acts or are outright kidnapped.
It’s not only children and teens who are targets. Vulnerable adults, usually women, are also at risk.
Get Help Now!
If you’re a victim or are in touch with a victim, call the National Trafficking Hot-line at 888-373-7888. You can also text 233733 using “Help” or “Info”.
Get help now! There is a way out of bondage
If you or a loved one is at risk, again, get help now before you or your loved one is enticed or kidnapped into the dark, degrading, and life threatening world of human trafficking.
Stephen Carter is a former Chief of Police, Corporate Security Director and safely leader for one of the world's largest financial services companies. He founded and led Stress Solutions, LLC, for 14 years, helping thousands of people experience emotional wellbeing. He is now the host for a variety of stress relief podcasts available at https://www.StressReliefRadio.com and the "Safe Living Today" podcast available at www.SafeLivingToday.com
Safe Living Today Podcast Episode for This Blog Post:
References and Resources:
*The Polaris Project Non-profit Charity: https://polarisproject.org/
National Human Trafficking Hotline: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: http://www.missingkids.com/home
NetSmartz411: An online resource for answering questions about Internet safety, computers, and the web. http://www.netsmartz411.org/.
Presidential Proclamation - National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/31/presidential-proclamation-national-slavery-and-human-trafficking