January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
By Susan Alexander, 45th Space Wing Violence Prevention Office
/ Published January 04, 2018
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
A form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to exploit/control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his or her will.
Lure people by promising a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities. In other cases, they may kidnap victims or use physical violence or substance abuse to control them. They can be:
- Male or female
- Family members
- Intimate partners
Globally - men, women, boys, and girls are victims. Approximately 21 million are in forced labor and 12.3 million are in sex trafficking.
In the United States, approximately 70% of female victims are in sex trafficking and 30% are in labor.
The average age of an American child entering the sex trade is 11-15 (U.S. DOJ).
Why Does Human Trafficking Exist?
Human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on supply and demand. It is fueled by a demand for cheap labor, services, and commercial sex.
It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world—Low Risk/High Profit. It is a multi-billion dollar industry!
As such, communities can help reduce/stop human trafficking by:
Not participating in the commercial sex or labor industry
Buying fair trade and survivor-made products and holding your favorite brands accountable for fair labors practices (humantraffickinghotline.org)
If you suspect Human Trafficking
Inspector General 1-800-424-9098
Florida Abuse Hotline 1-800-962-2873
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)
Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.