Human Trafficking is $150 Billion/Year Industry

Webmaster: I include these articles on human trafficking because “gangstalking” of “TIs” too involves human trafficking….. the TIs are sold as non-consensual human experimentees to various universities, research institutes, the military, private corporations, etc. for ongoing neuroweapons and nonlethal weapons testing programs.

I. Human Trafficking: The Invisible Slavery

October 24, 2018 | Betty Proctor | Internal Press Release
human trafficking conference

The Humanities and Fine Arts Division of Chattanooga State Community College will present Human Trafficking: The Invisible Slavery, a conference to educate the audience, campus and the wider community about human trafficking in the Chattanooga region on October 26 and 27, 2018. This important two-day conference is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

This conference will explore many of the unknowns to help identify traffickers, clients, and victims. “We hope to instruct participants about how to spot potential trafficking, where and how to report a tip, as well as explain how predators operate and how they groom their potential victims,” states conference organizer, Dr. Katheryn Thompson. “These topics will not only be addressed for the protection of our students who are part of the targeted population, but also so that participants can share what they learn with their younger siblings, their friends, and their children,” adds Thompson.

The opening session from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 26 in the Erlanger Health Science Center lobby will address the problem in the Chattanooga region. Guests speakers will include representatives from the FBI, Homeland Security, TBI, and the Chattanooga Police Department.

Saturday, October 27 will begin with an open plenary session panel discussion from 9 a.m. to Noon that will focus on the complex trauma in the victims of human trafficking and address issues affecting prosecution and treatment. Panel members include Jerry Redmon, director, SecondLife; David and/or Jolien Haggard, directors, Blazing Hope Ranch; and Mimi Nikkel, director of ministries, Love’s Arm Outreach Ministries.

Breakout sessions from 12:30-2:30 p.m. will look at two of the top venues that attract human traffickers. A discussion about the hotel industry will be led by Chattanooga State’s Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management program Dan Zink, while a second session will address the trucking industry.

The International Labour Organization estimates that forced labour and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. Because victims are “sellable,” they are trafficked for an average of seven years, and their body can be sold hundreds and thousands of times. There are more than 40 million victims globally. In speaking with local police and service agencies, Dr. Thompson shared that victims of trafficking in the Chattanooga area are usually from this area and that the primary issue is the sex trade.

As the second fastest growing criminal industry, Human Trafficking crimes rank just behind Drug Trafficking in Tennessee. Approximately 94 minors are trafficked within the state of Tennessee each month according to End Slavery Tennessee. Despite the tragic reality of trafficking, Tennessee is one state leading the way in legislation and action to combat trafficking.

To research this conference please visit www.library.chattanoogastate.edu/HumanTrafficor to register online visit www.ChattanoogaState.edu/human-trafficking-invisible-slavery-confernce. For further assistance, call Dr. Katheryn Thompson at (423) 697-3387 or email Katheryn.thompson@chattanoogastate.edu.

II. Human Trafficking Is an Epidemic in the U.S. It’s Also Big Business

Belle Plaine, Minnesota. Billboard showing the effects of sex slavery in the United States.
UIG via Getty Images
By Jaclyn Gallucci April 14, 2019

Slavery is alive and well in the land of the free. With human trafficking now a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide and cases increasing in the United States, activists are trying to squash the myth that most women who work as prostitutes do so because they want to.

“Prostitution isn’t people deferring entrance to Yale while they prostitute to raise money for tuition—that’s not the reality of what it looks like,” said Nicole Bell, who worked as a prostitute after being trafficked as a teen. “We’re looking at people in poverty, people of color, people coming out of the foster care system.”

Bell, who spoke alongside a panel of activists at the Women in the World Summit in Manhattan Friday, is now the founder and CEO of Living in Freedom Together (LIFT), a survivor-led organization that helps individuals exit the world of commercial sexual exploitation.

“We look at prostitution and trafficking as two different things, but most people in prostitution have experienced trafficking in some form,” Bell said. “Most were brought into this before they were old enough to consent to have sex—never mind to being sold for sex.”

Human trafficking is estimated to bring in global profits of about $150 billion a year—$99 billion from sexual exploitation, according to the International Labor Organization. Nearly 9,000 cases in the U.S. were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline in 2017—a 13% increase from the prior year, according to the Polaris Project. But this data is incomplete, as cases are severely underreported.

“This is not only a dominant issue, it’s an epidemic issue,” Cindy McCain, who chairs the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council said. “It’s also something that is hiding in plain sight. It’s everywhere—it’s absolutely everywhere.”

President Donald Trump has said his proposed wall at the Southern border would have a huge effect on ending human trafficking, but McCain said the problem is within our own borders.

“He’s living in Disneyland,” McCain said. “These kids that are being trafficked are domestic. They are within the United States and they’re going from state to state.”
A Pipeline of Vulnerability

Some of the biggest factors that lead vulnerable children to become vulnerable adults are poverty, homelessness, abuse at home, the foster system, and glamorization of the sex industry, what is essentially a “pipeline of vulnerability,” said Dr. Sharon Cooper, founder and CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics.

“What we see is that children are at great risk to be brought into what’s referred to as ‘the life’,” said Cooper. “They are really groomed, sometimes by society, by the advertisements, by what they see on social media, and therefore we have to be very proactive to make this stop.”

Through LIFT, Bell works with incarcerated women, another group hugely vulnerable to sex trafficking.

“When you’re looking at our prison system, it’s literally a fish pool of vulnerabilities,” said Bell. “Women with substance abuse disorder, people who don’t have any family support, homelessness—if you want to find a victim, all you have to do is go through the court transcripts … and offer them a way out.”

And don’t think your state is immune. Of the 5,147 human trafficking cases reported in 2018 through the National Human Trafficking Hotline, not one state was excluded.

“The general public thinks that trafficking of girls occurs in inner cities,” said Cooper. “We’ve seen cases where girls were taken to farms and sold to migrant farmers, drugged in order to become compliant. We’ve seen girls who have been living in homeless shelters, and who come out of the homeless shelter just to walk down the street, but that homeless shelter has been cased by traffickers who will then drive down the street and say, ‘Hey I have a job for you and you can get the tips.’ This is the kind of thing if you offered to a homeless child they would will absolutely believe is authentic and is an okay thing to do.”
Prostitution vs. Sex Trafficking

Dr. Cooper often treats sexually traumatized children and testifies in court to help prosecute those who victimized them.

“When I’m testifying in a trafficking case, which is fairly common these days, it’s really clear that judges and juries do not really understand the difference between prostitution and sex trafficking,” said Cooper.

While prostitution is defined as the exchange of sex for money, drugs, or influence between two consenting adults—where consent can be given—human trafficking means there is third-party control.

“Whenever someone else is getting that money on the backs of those individuals—often children who are having to perform 10, 12, 15 sexual acts, and actually being sexually assaulted, at a time—that constitutes sex trafficking,” she said.

And these children often end up the adult prostitutes, who many assume are just making a job choice, said Bell.

“The difference between a child victim of sex trafficking and an adult victim of sex trafficking is 60 seconds,” she said. “Nothing changed as I turned 18 years old. I was still being victimized. It still was not something I wanted to be doing. I spent the majority of my adult life involved in prostitution, sometimes with a third-party exploiting me and sometimes because I didn’t feel like I had any other options or any other worth in this world.”

Bell is working to decriminalize the act of prostitution, and advocates instead for harsher penalties for those who purchase sex, because while female sex workers often face jail time, johns are often given educational intervention.

But things are starting to change.

“We take their cars away from them now,” said McCain, referring to the state of Arizona. “So these guys have to go home and explain to their wife, their significant other, to their boss, whatever it may be, why they don’t have a car anymore. And it’s working beautifully.”

In other cities, like Los Angeles, those who get arrested for buying sex might find their names printed on billboards. And Bell said her organization, LIFT, sends bright yellow postcards to the homes of those caught buying sex.

But the best way to end sex trafficking, activists say, is preventing it.

Making sure our prosecutors, judges, schools, doctors, first responders, are trained on what to look for and what to do when they see human trafficking, is the most important piece of combatting it, said McCain—but that can be harder than it sounds.

Schools aren’t always welcoming when it comes to speaking to children about sex, even when it is a safety issue.

“I’ve run into this everywhere I go,” said McCain. “This is not sex ed, this is saving lives.”

The McCain Institute is supporting research to get more complete and reliable data on human trafficking in the U.S., in order to better target awareness and prevention training. McCain also encourages people, especially women, to be proactive in their communities and see what resources are available to both prevent sex trafficking and help victims.

“This is very much a man’s issue,” said McCain. “Women, we need to take hold of this.”

III. 5 Prevailing Causes of Human Trafficking

Causes of Human Trafficking

Likened to modern slavery, human trafficking is driven mostly by similar motivations to those of slavery. The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the “illegal trade of humans for exploitation or commercial gain.” Exploitation frequently involves forcing victims into prostitution or slavery. Human trafficking can be separated into sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Though they have different purposes, there are general trends that explain the overall root causes of human trafficking.

According to a 2012 International Labour Organization (ILO) report, 21 million people are victims of forced labor. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced laborers in the world with 11.7 million victims (56 percent of the global total), followed by Africa with 3.7 million (18 percent) and Latin America with 1.8 million victims (nine percent).

According to the Huffington Post, approximately 75 to 80 percent of human trafficking and slavery is for sex. The rest are forced into labor exploitation, such as agriculture and construction work. In 2015, 5,544 cases of human trafficking were reported, as stated in a study by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

Top 5 Causes of Human Trafficking

Poverty, war, natural disasters and a search for a better life.
Traffickers look for people who are susceptible to coercion into the human trafficking industry. Those people tend to be migrants, fleeing their homes either because of economic hardship, natural disasters, conflict or political instability. The displacement of populations increases individuals’ emotional vulnerability, and frequently they do not have the financial support to protect themselves. This makes them subject to abuse through trafficking.
Women and children are targets.
In some societies, the devaluation of women and children make them far more vulnerable to trafficking than men. Traditional attitudes and practices, early marriage and lack of birth registration further increase the susceptibility of women and children. They are also targeted because of the demand for women in sex trafficking. A report by Equality Now states that 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor. Women and girls make up 98 percent of the victims trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Demand for cheap labor.
The service industry, particularly restaurants and kitchens, are common exploiters of human trafficking. There is also a demand for cheap domestic and agricultural labor. Employees are often initially promised a safe work space and a steady salary, only to later find that they are paid less than minimum wage and worked over time. Business owners guilty of this behavior continue to practice these illegal norms because the victims of trafficking can rarely protect themselves and they have very few alternatives.
Human trafficking generates a huge profit.
According to the ILO, the human trafficking industry generates a profit of $150 billion per year. Two-thirds is made from commercial sexual exploitation, while the remainder comes from forced economic exploitation such as domestic work and agriculture. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing and second-largest criminal industry in the world, after drug trafficking.
Cases of human trafficking are difficult to identify.
Some challenges in identifying victims of human trafficking arise because victims are well-hidden or highly traumatized. Those that are traumatized are unlikely to divulge information to investigators, either because they are scared to confront law enforcement, or because they are too troubled to respond. Consumers of human trafficking also contribute to the crime’s hidden nature, according to a report by the Urban Institute. Both traffickers and consumers are aware of the huge risk they take by participating in this illegal behavior and will do their best to cover up any illicit activity.

Initiatives to diminish these causes of human trafficking include international cooperation agreements, national policies against trafficking, improved immigration policies that can detect the exit or entry of humans being illegally trafficked, and increased infrastructure to protect those that are being exploited for labor or sex.

– Michelle Simon

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