Thursday, December 31, 2009

the Hard Facts

Slavery is out there, and it is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD.

1. Current U.S. Anti-Human Trafficking Law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”) defines “Severe forms of trafficking in persons” involves (A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. See Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 22 U.S.C. 7102(8)

2. The U.S. State Department estimates that approximately 14,500 to 17,500 men, women, and children are tra­cked into the United States annually (U.S. Department of State, 2004). An additional number are tra­cked within the United States, although the government indicates that trends in international tra­cking are easier to estimate than are trends in domestic tra­cking.

3. The vast majority of the trafficked and prostituted children in the U.S. are either runaway’s, or abandoned children. Common themes found among survivors of child prostitution that lead them into that situation are: sexual abuse as a child, parental neglect, parental drug use, emotional/physical abuse from a family member, and poverty.

4. The average age of entry for girls and boys ranges from 11-14 (Ernie Allen, President & CEO, NECMEC, July 21, 2009).

5. The travel and tourism industry plays a vital role in facilitating child sex trafficking. Many hotels have become havens for what has become known as “child sex tourism,” in which traffickers and sex offenders utilize hotel facilities to carry out their illegal activities. This has become the case, due in part to the lack of set human rights policies at these hotels. Further, many of these hotels do not have programs to train their employees in how to identify and handle these illegal activities when discovered.

6. The Internet has become the new marketplace for trafficking in children. The child sex industry is growing even as fewer prostitutes work the streets. This is because of the anonymity, relative safety, ability to easily lie about age, and low cost of using the internet to set up appointments and transactions. The Internet has also allowed child sex trafficking to expand not only in large cities, but across the mid-west and into rural areas of the country.

7. Local news publications are also contributing to growth in the child sex trade. Failing to implement proper background checks, they allow postings for unlicensed “massage parlors” and “escort services” in their classifieds sections. These establishments have proven links to child prostitution, often acting as fronts for brothels. Those businesses that through faulty review systems are able to obtain licenses, are subsequently left unregulated due in part to infrequent inspections and lack of police presence.

8. Astonishingly, with in the first 48 hours of being on the street, 1 in 3 children are lured into prostitution. (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children/NISMART-2)

9. According to ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for sexual Purposes), as many as 100,000 U.S. children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year. Approximately 300,000 U.S. children are at-risk.

10. Traffickers (also called “pimps”) are known to recruit at malls, fast food restaurants, schools and after-school programs. Recruitment can take multiple forms, including: 1) kidnapping; 2) solicitation by other women or girls recruiting on behalf of the sex trafficker; and 3) the “loverboy” approach of appearing genuinely interested in a romantic relationship while gradually coercing the victim into prostitution.

- 27 million slaves worldwide

- 200,000 slaves in the United States

- 18,000 slaves trafficked across US borders every year

- 80% of trafficking victims are female, 50% are children

- $32 billion annual trade for traffickers

- Prevalence of trafficking victims in the world: 1.8 per 1,000 inhabitants (in Asia and the Pacific: 3 per 1,000)

- 4,166 successful trafficking prosecutions in 2009 (40% increase over 2008)

- Countries without laws, policies, or regulations to prevent victims’ deportation: 104


Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact is there are more slaves today than there ever were…”
– Robert Alan, American Author

Slavery is what slavery’s always been: About one person controlling another person using violence and then exploiting them exonmically, paying them nothing. That’s what slavery’s about.” – Kevin Bales, Free the Slaves

Slavery was, in a very real sense, the first international human rights issue to come to the fore. It led to the adoption of the first human rights laws and to the creation of the first human rights non-government organization. And yet despite the efforts of the international community to combat this abhorrent practice, it is still widely prevalent in all its insidious forms, old and new.” – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General

Fear, violence, and drug use are often part of the slavery equation.

Seek Him First,
All text © 2011 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2011 Hislight Photography