June 9, 2020

Human Trafficking in Under Ten Minutes

Kate Reilly

When people hear the words, “human trafficking,” they perhaps think of faraway places beyond the borders of their own state, perhaps even beyond the borders of their own country. The term is used to reference a horrible reality that is distant from them. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Human trafficking is a criminal industry that impacts and affects over 40 million victims globally, and 83% of human trafficking victims are US citizens, (Educate). The TIP report is put out by the State Dept annually. In the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), it states that the top three nations of origin for victims of Human Trafficking are the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines.

But what is human trafficking? The dictionary defines it as, “the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation,” (Dictionary.com, 2020). Most think of human trafficking as it is portrayed in the media and movies, such as “Taken.” However, what this definition disallows is an understanding of actions against victims that are both big and small, and still considered human trafficking.

One of the greatest ways to help fight back against human trafficking in the Virginia area and nationwide is to educate yourself and others. Below are five resources to help you join the fight against human trafficking.

  1. Visit our Facebook page to watch our quick one minute video to better understand why human trafficking happens and peer into the emotional vulnerability of the victims: Click here.

  2. Home Land Security works tirelessly to hunt down predators and trafficking rings through investigations and tips from people just like you. Visit their website to educate yourself on key indicators to look for when trying to identify a victim and possibly save a life. They also have this list on a printable or orderable card so that you can carry it with you at all times: Click here.

  3. The concept of human trafficking is, unfortunately, surrounded by myths and misconceptions that prevent the public from realizing that this crime goes on around and near them. One of the best steps to contributing and fighting against this crime is to recognize and help spread the word on common myths. Myths such as human trafficking only happens outside the U.S. or that human trafficking only victimizes the poor and foreign nationalities. Learn more here about common misconceptions: Click here.

  4. Learn the numbers around you and inform others, too; human trafficking happens closer to home then you think. You can view your state’s statistics: Click here.

  5. The best tool you can equip yourself with is to know the steps to take in reporting a possible victim. Remember as many details about the situation as possible, noting the victim, details about the person you believe is the trafficker, license plate numbers, car type, and the location where the event was witnessed. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888 and share your collected details. You can also text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733, or visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline online chat via, www.humantraffickinghotline.org/chat, (Mellissa Withers, 2019).

If you wish to continue to educate yourself, here are six documentaries you can watch, (Elena Baxter, 2019).

  1. I Am Jane Doe

  2. In Plain Sight

  3. Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

  4. Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth

  5. The Abolitionists

  6. Blind Eyes Opened

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Interested in helping to educate your community? Visit our website to learn more about requesting a speaker or speaking events taking place near you. Learn more here.

Reference List:

Educate. Retrieved from http://fiercefreedom.org/educate/

Dictionary.com (2020). Human Trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/human-trafficking?s=t

Mellissa Wither. (2019). Be the Change: How you can end human trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/be-the-change/stop-human-trafficking/

Elena Baxter. (2019 ). 5 Documentaries to Watch to Educate Yourself About Human Trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.freedomplaceproject.com/single-post/2018/09/25/5-Documentaries-to-Watch-to-Educate-Yourself-About-Human-Trafficking

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