THE ISSUE

The Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act federally defines trafficking as

“the exploitation of a person through the use of force,

fraud, or coercion for the purpose of forced labor or commercial sex.”

We slayed that old evil called slavery over 150 years ago, in 1864, with the 13th Amendment. Or so we thought. In fact There are more slaves today worldwide than at any point in history. In fact we did not kill slavery. We merely pushed it underground, where it thrives, hidden yet robust. And because it is hidden our view of slavery – which we now call human trafficking – has been obscured.

The question is, can we allow ourselves to misunderstand such a monstrous sin while it creates profit out of misery and resides in our own communities just as it does around the world?

We can’t be overwhelmed by scope and significance of the issue. Human trafficking is as old as human society. Steeped in shadow as it is today and propped up by high profitability and the anonymity provided by the internet, slavery has the potential to grow at an alarming rate. But consider the consequence of inaction and willful ignorance – an entire generation of youth swallowed by misery. Something should be done. And it can be done.

The Misconceptions

Sources:
  1. Lt. Karen Hughes, “Surviving Sin City”.  http://congojusticelv.org/th_gallery/surviving-sin-city-documentary
  2. Banks, Duren and Kyckelhahn, Tracey, “Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010.” http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cshti0810.pdf
  3. Estes, Richard J. and Neil Alan Weiner, “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children In the U. S., Canada and Mexico”, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2001
  4. U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, 8th ed., 7
  5. Walker-Rodriguez, Amanda and Hill, Rodney, “Human Sex Trafficking.” https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/march/human-sex-trafficking
  6. Cho, Seo-Young, Dreher, Axel and Neumayer, Eric, “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1986065
  7. Human-trafficking l (accessed Sept 15, 2013)
  8. Polaris Project “Sex Trafficking Networks”.
  9. “The United States not only faces an influx of international victims but also has its own homegrown problem of interstate sex trafficking of minors”http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/march_2011/human_sex_trafficking (accessed July 31st 2013)

F.R.E.E. International is working towards the end of human enslavement. Through our school assembly programs, outreaches, trainings and community partnerships we are working to prevent trafficking, to reach those already victimized, and to equip others to join our cause. 

We ask that you thoughtfully consider joining us in this most important mission.

I’ll HELP!