Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. It is also known as trafficking in persons (TIP).
Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.
This cause is extremely important because of the devastatingly atrocious acts committed against children and all the victims involved. Also, because of the pervasiveness of this “industry” in the U.S. as well as abroad, it is an extraordinarily significant issue.
George Clooney helped produce the incredible documentary Playground with with The Nest Foundation. The Nest Foundation is raising awareness of the reality of human trafficking in the United States, visit their site to learn more.
What is Human Trafficking?
As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. The factors that each of these situations have in common are elements of force, fraud, or coercion that are used to control people. That control is then tied to inducing someone into commercial sex acts, or labor or services. Numerous people in the field have summed up the concept of human trafficking as “compelled service.”
It is a crime under federal and international law; it is also a crime in ALMOST every state in the U.S. For more information about state, federal, and international anti-trafficking laws, click here.
Polaris Project is an incredible organization here in DC that is committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery through their comprehensive approach. They also operate the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline.
If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please call the NHTRC hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Hotline Call Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to take reports from anywhere in the country related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to occur. You can also submit a tip online here.
Massage parlors, nail salons and abandoned houses can be fronts for places where modern-day slaves are kept. If you hear of or see a place where you believe human trafficking may be occurring, please call the hotline. I have called before.
To learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking in your area, click here.
My heart just breaks when I think about the children being sold like reusable products for just dollars in order to meet the high demand for despicable sexual desires. Let’s be aware of our surroundings and the suffering of other human beings. There are people all around whose human rights are being violated each and every day.
It doesn’t have to be this way, we can help.