International Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Friday, Jan. 11. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of sex slavery and the human trafficking industry around the world, prompting people to help put an end to the catastrophic problem.
Human trafficking has been called a form of modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Contrary to popular belief, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and some U.S. territories. Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female.
There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.
Facts about human trafficking
The average cost of a slave around the world is $90. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including:
- Forcing victims into prostitution
- Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude
- Compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography
- Misleading victims into debt bondage
The United Nations estimates that 700,000 to 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world for purposes of forced prostitution, labor and other forms of exploitation every year.
An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 100,000 American children being exploited in the commercial sex industry annually.
What you can do about human trafficking
Learn. Educate yourself and those you influence.
Express your concerns to your political representatives. The International Justice Mission site simplifies the process with a form that will automatically forward a letter to your state senators. Be courteous and thank those who reply.
Protect by prevention. Be aware of traffickers’ tactics, and talk with your children, school administrators, youth directors, and anyone working with children or teens.
Save 888-373-7888 in your phone.
This is the number of the hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center sponsored by the Polaris Project. Save it on your cell phone. The line is manned 24/7, with multiple language interpreters available.
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