It’s Time We End Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a complex and often hidden issue. But to those who face exploitation every day, it is a very real nightmare.
In our efforts to rescue victims and assist in putting traffickers behind bars, there is a clear gap of information and so that has become one of our biggest priorities; build awareness and engage the communities as a whole.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a very intense issue with a lot of detailed information and statistics. But you do not need to be a expert in the field or a federal agent to understand human trafficking.
Breaking the myths
Prostitution is the same thing: WRONG
The biggest misconception is that prostitution, which is considered a crime, is the same thing as trafficking. Another misconception is that soliciting sex between one adult to another is only prostitution. By law, there needs to be three factors present to be human trafficking; Act, Means, and Purpose.
Act (Recruiting, Kidnapping) - Often we think of a trafficker or pimp as physically stealing someone and having them in restraints. However, more often, the traffickers manipulate the victims over time, grooming them to runaway from home or promise them money and a good life.
Means (Coercion, Threat, Violence) - If the victim is a minor, there does not need to be means present because a minor cannot consent to sex; therefore, the presence of sex (or labor) where compensation is present is ALWAYS human trafficking for a minor. For adults, when violence, threat of violence, or any coercion to perform the sex acts is present, that means the victims (prostitute or not) is not doing it by choice and therefore is a human trafficking victim.
Purpose (Compensation for another) - In exchange for sex (or labor), when the victim or handler (or pimp) receives compensation, that provides purpose and is the third and final factor to being able to categorize the crime as human trafficking.
To help better understand the difference and the reality behind prostitution, watch the video of these stories below.
It is only a poor/foreign problem: WRONG
You need to first acknowledge that human trafficking exists and the fact it does not only live in third world countries or deeply impoverished areas of America.
The average buyer of trafficked victims in the United States are middle aged, middle class to upper middle class males. They don't live in the slums of major cities but in our suburbs and small communities.
“It doesn’t affect me so it’s not my problem”: WRONG
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 1 in 7 children between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away. And 1 in 6 runaways become victims of human trafficking.
These numbers mean that even if it isn’t your child that is being trafficked, there is a very high likelihood that a fellow student is. That being said, one of the more common forms of recruiting is peer to peer recruiting where traffickers will make their victims continue to go to school as normal so they can possibly lure others.
Importance of Building Awareness
Although human trafficking has been around for centuries, our very first federal law dedicated to fighting this tragedy in the United States didn’t come until October 2000 when the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) (Public Law 106-386) was enacted.
Since then there has been an increasing awareness spreading to every level federal and state to combat this. Still, due to a very low amount of awareness and education on the matter, states like Illinois didn’t even start establishing human trafficking task forces until 2010-2011.
With the laws beginning to establish a procedural foundation on how to help victims and prosecute traffickers, there has also been an increase in awareness in communities. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is only one of the organizations that has been established for victims or those who have identified human trafficking to call and report a case. Every year, they have seen an increase of calls and cases reported in large part due to the awareness that has spread.
National Human Trafficking Hotline Statistics
Turning Action Into Freedom
Provision Lab collaborates with local and state law enforcement, legislators, organizations, and the inspired citizens of a community to aid in investigation efforts, prevention methods, training, and building awareness of human trafficking. But uniting and collaborating is the key to ending this tragedy.
We need your help!
As a parent, teacher, student, nurse, community group member/leader, athlete, church member, or inspired individual, you are essential to spreading this information. Arm yourself with some information on this topic and help get your communities engaged in the solutions.
Parents - Download this PDF to learn 5 facts and 5 ways to have this conversation with your family.
Teachers, Principles, School Administrators - There is a very high likelihood that there has been a student at your school that has become a victim of trafficking. Training your fellow faculty and staff on risk factors, how to identify, and establishing a protocol is very effective in staying ahead of this in justice. Provision Lab collaborates with many to be able to bring you that process efficiently and effectively. Contact us to learn how your school can specifically engage with these solutions.
Book A Speaker/Trainer - Looking to bring awareness and training solutions to your organization, contact us to bring a speaker or training solution. There is a fee but depending on your specific organization, location, and method, that can be lowered or waived completely.
Support These Efforts Directly
Thanks to our efforts, we have already been able to save two girls this January. But that’s just barely scratching the surface of our goal to completely rid our schools and communities of human trafficking, help rescue victims, and put away traffickers. So we need your help!