Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I have finished my WIP, and all the tweaks my Beta Reader wanted me to make. I’m excited about this one. I can see the improvement in my writing and it just feels awesome. I’m sure you know what I mean! 🙂

I’m back today and it’s been awhile since I discussed a teen issue, so I thought I should talk about one that I’ve just become aware of. I didn’t know this, but the state of Michigan is ranked number two in Human Trafficking, the sex trade to be exact. When I found out, I couldn’t believe it. I was appalled and shocked. Nevada is ranked number one.

What is Human Trafficking exactly?

That’s a good question. Human Trafficking is the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

Image courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

According to the article below, Human Trafficking is a highly lucrative trade. There are high profits and low risks. This occurs in the agricultural, manufacturing, and construction industries. For more information click the link below:

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/20/human-trafficking-real-problem-michigan/79055920/

Teens and runaways are at a high risk for this trade. These isolated individuals are lured into the industry with promises of love, affection, and gifts.

Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

I’m shocked Michigan, my state, is number two, but according to my research it’s because we’re so close to Canada. Traffickers are taking their victims across the border and forcing them into this illegal trade.

I’m drawing the conclusion that once these victims are across the border, they become much harder to find. According to the article below, many people feel that the Canadian penalties for this crime are too lax. Read more here:

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/report-says-canada-too-lax-on-sex-trafficking-1.408336

For more information regarding the Human Trafficking Industry click the link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking_in_Canada

It sounds like this is happening right under our noses. How do we know what Human Trafficking looks like? Below are some guidelines.

Signs of Human Trafficking:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

 

If you suspect someone is a victim of this crime you can call your local law enforcement agency and report your suspicions, or you can call any of the hotlines listed below:

  • Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) to report suspicious criminal activity to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The Tip Line is accessible outside the United States by calling 802-872-6199.
  • Submit a tip at http://www.ice.gov/tips. Highly trained specialists take reports from both the public and law enforcement agencies on more than 400 laws enforced by ICE HSI, including those related to human trafficking.
  • To get help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTRC can help connect victims with service providers in the area and provides training, technical assistance, and other resources. The NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.

Click the link below for more information:

http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/identify-victim?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=stp&utm_campaign=search-stp

Check out the below petition to change legislation to stop Human Trafficking:

https://www.covenanthouse.org/help-the-homeless/pledge/12-bills?origin=DHQEI1600EJRVN&interest_id%5B0%5D=2781&gclid=Cj0KEQiA89u1BRDz8enExq7rvN0BEi

Thanks for reading my post today. If you have any ideas how we can stop this crime from occurring please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from  you!

 

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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6 Responses to Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens

  1. storyhelix1 says:

    I was just talking about this with my church’s bible study. Thanks for the concrete tips!

  2. Chel says:

    This is just scary… I knew it still happened in other parts of the world, just didn’t really put it together that it can and does happen so close to home. Scary. I hope that with this information people are able to realize and help others that are the victims of this.

  3. TampaMMJ says:

    Traffickers use Priceline or other similar airlines for transporting teen victims, they seldom id the underage victim being trafficked. Uber is used to transport victims, often paid by traffickers account. Hotels hand room keys over to victims, trafficker reserves room and has key waiting at front desk for victim, and they hand the card right over to underage out of state minors. Fake GPS apps installed on victims phones to disguise true location. Prepaid credit card are given to victims to arrange for travel also. Sickening. 170 days ago we discovered our child 1700 miles from home in our nations capital DC with 26 year old monster. The fake gps app failed and showed victim real wearabouts. #26 still walks freely in DC. The monster will be removed from society. There’s always more than 1 victim.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to your child. I hope they are all right. You have a lot of first hand knowledge about this. I would love to chat with you, do you mind if I send you an email?

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