Human Trafficking is defined as the action/practice of illegally transporting people from one country/area to another, typically for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry, with 300,000 Americans that are under the age of 18 being allured into the commercial sex trade every year. Society should begin educating the signs of a trafficked victim, go through trainings of how to help a victim, figure out where their products that they use come from/how they are made, the different types of trafficking, how social media influences trafficking, and how famous people encourage/been involved with sex trafficking. Through learning more about these things about society and human trafficking we can make a difference in the statistics of Human Trafficking in the United States.
The most important aspect that society can do is reach out to children through education. Education is one very big thing in everyone’s life starting at a very young age, and its continued into our adult lives. There is a group/society in Atlanta, Georgia called the iSeeMe society and it was tool created to reduce the supply of vulnerable youth introduced to participate in market of sex trafficking (Taylor 960). The iSeeMe program was created to engage adults in the youth community empower them to make better life decisions based on the man or woman they want to be (Taylor 960). Sex traffickers make up to $32,000 a week, the exploitation of minors causes a lot of damage to those who are being exploited. The victims are minors that go through a lot of emotional, physiological, and psychological trauma (Taylor 961). The program includes teaching youth proper decision-making skills. These decision-making skills educates the youth for things like not meeting up with someone they meet online, or taking rides from strangers, etc. Children should have a safe place to go in order to get away from their problems. School is supposed to be that safe place for children who are being abused at home or victimized any other way.
Teachers now are getting special trainings in order to realize the signs of a child who is being abused at home or even might be in the what people call the Human Sex Trafficking Ring. There are certain protocols to follow if a child tells a teacher that they are in danger. Most times a child who is a victim will show a difference in the classroom and their behavior. In the state of Virginia, it is required that all individuals that are seeking to become a teacher license or certificate must complete a course on child abuse recognition and intervention (Simon 313). In the state of Florida, the Florida’s Child Abuse Source Book updated a section for Florida School Personnel to include child trafficking in 2011 (Simon 313). These small but very important resources/things that are needed to be done in order to become a teacher and make sure your students are okay. Human trafficking happens when major events are happening, and even in plain sight every day.
The super bowl is one of the biggest, and most watched things in February, with events like this everyone is interested in it and many parties at homes and at bars take place. These events are hot spots for human trafficking. The super bowl happens during Human Trafficking awareness month, and during last year’s super bowl festivities the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), ECPAT-USA, Polaris, the Minnesota Lodging Association and local hotels teamed up and increased people’s education and training on human trafficking prevention (States News Service Jan. 31, 2018). There are an estimated value of 40.3 million people currently living in trafficking or exploitative situations, one in four of those are children (States News Service Jan. 31, 2018). Most trainings help staff at hotels to identify and respond to possible trafficking cases.
These trainings will decrease the victims being abducted to be put into trafficking and maybe even help someone get out of trafficking. The United States government has a policy known as the “Four P’s”, which includes that prevention of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers, protection of victims of trafficking, and the establishment of partnerships with others in counter-trafficking (National Academies Press, 2014). The training and policies don’t just happen at the working class our government has policies in place that are supposed to help human trafficking victims to be protected and their trafficker to be punished. Having these policies in place and people actually getting to know that our government put these in place gives the victims hope that they will be saved.
Are you supporting Human Trafficking without knowing? There are more than 14 million people being trafficked for labor, there are 4 million women and girls and 9.5 boys and men being trafficked. (Fisher, Nicole). These statistics are scary because there maybe someone right next to you who being victimized. Human Rights First estimates that $9 billion in profits are made through agriculture (Fisher, Nicole). Every day we may be using or eating something that has been touched by a victim and we don’t even know it because we don’t care where things came from and how they got here, just if we enjoy it. There are websites that you can upload picture to in order to show the conditions someone is working in, or inside the hotel rooms all in hopes to find where those being trafficked are working (Fisher, Nicole). The Department of Labor is encouraging companies to take steps to investigate and prevent human trafficking in their supply chains (U.S. Department of State). With these websites available, as consumers of products we can see what the process of the product is. If there are children working and making product you can report it and help them get out of the trade.
How would you define Sexual Trafficking? Is that the only definition for it? The united states government has defined it as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision. Or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act,” (Hodge 144). With this definition we see that we can go ahead and define ways of how people who are trafficked are being used. Human trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime. Organized crime has dominated sexual trafficking. When a women is trafficked she retains little to none of the money that they “earn” in the industry (Hodge 144). The women are forced into sexual interaction that is being paid for. The “profit” from this they see none of it, and they have to depend on their pimp to take care of them. There are people in the world that get off on the fact that this women or girl has been taken away from their family and are forced into giving them what they want. The traffickers move their girls all around because they want to maximize profit and supply fresh product for the sex industry buyers (Hodge 145). We may have been sitting on a plane or a bus right next to a young girl being trafficked and not know it because in today’s society we are not educated enough to see the signs of a trafficked victim.
Social media has become very influential. Most teenagers today are on twitter, snapchat, and Instagram. These platforms have a big risk to them because if they aren’t on private anyone can see what you are posting. On every social media platform, you are to give a lot of personal information in order to create an account. On snapchat and twitter on your birthday there are special features that occur when it is your birthday. Now if your account isn’t private or if it is and you let random people follow you and they direct message you, you become vulnerable to becoming a victim. Most young girls have a lack of self-confidence and they thrive on the compliments that the guys who follow them give them. With social media it is easy for someone to act younger or older than they actually are or like someone that they aren’t. This is what we call catfishing meaning to lure someone into a relationship by fictional online persona. This is a way that the traffickers find their victims. It is easy to find a young girl looking for the attention of a guy online and when she finds it she does whatever to keep the attention coming. When the guy asks to meet up she will go and that is the last time their family sees them.
At thus point the family turns to social media. They are looking for their missing daughters through posting information online, and the victims of human trafficking that have grown up, post on social media in order to find their parents (Albanese, Jay 1). The platforms of social media can help and investigation of finding someone’s missing daughter, and if they do locate her and get into contact with them the girl may have to act like she doesn’t want to come. The girl’s fall in love with their pimps and think that how they are being treated is what love feels like because their pimp is buying them expensive things, or taking them out, and even saying that they love them. With social media comes famous people who have a role in children’s lives and also have a secret life of being a pimp or involvement with human trafficking.
There are many famous people that have been involved with human trafficking, and they are people that many kids listen to, or watch on television. There is an annual event called the Players Ball, and it is an event in which pimps gather together with a girl on their lap and “compete” for pimp of the year. The players ball has been a tradition since 1974, when pimps came together to celebrate Don Juan’s birthday. At this event are famous rappers like Snoop Dogg, Lil John, Afro Man, Wiz Khalifa, also there are actors like Ice-T who have been to this event (The original, June 2104). Ice-T was in the army and when he was stationed in Hawaii, he met a pimp that taught him how to become one himself. Ice-T has songs that talk about pimping. He is also a main character on the TV show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which is ironic because he himself has caused mental probably physical abuse to young girls, but he is playing a cop who helps those victims. In Lil Wayne is a very influential rapper, and he is known for songs like 6 foot 7 foot, Lollipop, and a song called like a pimp. This song has a lyric that says, “you got to talk like a pimp what’s good mommy,” also “I am pimp not a simp like ice in my drink”, these two lines speak directly on the topic of pimping. Having these men openly talk about being pimps or even exploiting young girls has an impact on society. Young boys think that what they are rapping about is okay for them to do to girls, and the girls think that it is okay to be treated like that. With this being said there are famous people who are stepping up and fighting to end sex trafficking.
There are many famous people that are standing up and fighting for an end to sex trafficking. These people include Ricky Martin, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Carrie Underwood and Kristen Bell, David Beckham, Julia Ormond, and many more. The most influential person/s listed above are Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, together they founded Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children (The independent). This non-profit organization works to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material and stand up to child sex traffickers. Ashton Kutcher said, “I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia,” also he said, “And this child was so conditioned by her environment, that she thought she was engaging in play,” Kutcher was speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about human Trafficking.
The video of him speaking has gone viral, in the video hearing and seeing him talk about the victims he has seen or helped shows how badly he wants to make a difference in the world of sex trafficking. His organization works with government organization and non-government organizations to create resources to help a victim get out of their situation. There are a lot more famous people who have made a difference or are working to make a difference in Sex/human trafficking, but Ashton Kutcher has gone viral and has continued to make a difference.
With these six new ideas about what society can do to help and learn about human trafficking society can start making a difference in Human trafficking. We can make the statistic of human trafficking being a $32 billion a-year industry to $15 billion a-year industry and each year decrease it every year. The more we educate ourselves and other the more we can help those that have been trapped for a small time or even a long time.