Saturday, July 30, 2022, marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons as resolved by the United Nations. This Year with the passing of the TVPA in the House, we have more reasons to be positive that change is happening.
According to Bill Woolf, founder of The World Group in his recent speech, “Human trafficking has the potential to touch each and every community across the globe, especially through the use of technology. Current global statistics report that “one in every three victims detected is a child” and that “the share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years.” Statistics like these cannot be ignored.
The Covid pandemic and digital platforms have added gasoline to the fire, therefore making this year’s theme the “Use and Abuse of Technology” which, according to the United Nations, has allowed traffickers to “recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators, and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness, and anonymity”. As a former human trafficking investigator, I have seen how traffickers manipulate technology to scout, manipulate, and trap young people into a life of exploitation.”
A common example:
“It was a casual relationship at first. You could see there was a mutual connection. I thought he was cute,” Tonya recalled. “I could tell he was really flirtatious with me. We would talk and flirt a lot, but it was not much more than that until we met again when I was 15.”
Tonya would cook, clean, and look after Eddie’s kids from time to time. However, when the two were at a party filled with alcohol and drugs relationship took a turn.
“He approached me and told me in so many words, ‘I want you to have sex with this guy for money,’” “I was very uncomfortable, and I kept saying no, I didn’t want to do it. He kept telling me, ‘If you love me, you’ll do this. It’s just one thing. Just try it.’”
What she thought would be a one-time thing became an everyday routine for the next few weeks.
Human trafficking is a topic we don’t talk about at dinner, and maybe if we are parents or caregivers to children, we should. About 10,000 children a year suffer the horrors of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. Each victim, on average, is forced to have sex more than five times a day. Yet, the buyers who fuel the child sex trade are seldom held accountable. Most blend back into their families, jobs, and neighborhoods.
Click below, listen, learn things, and share.Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.