ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show trafficked children.

WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINITION

Human trafficking is commonly referred to as today’s modern-day slavery. Federal law defines severe forms of trafficking in persons as:

  • 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
  • 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. [1]

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

Each year, over $32 billion is generated by human traffickers. [2] According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing.” [3] Millions of souls are trafficked across international borders as well as within their own country each year. The International Labour Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of human trafficking at any given time. [4]  55% are Female 26% are Children [4]  

IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EVERY COUNTRY?

Human trafficking is a global problem of epidemic proportions. Not one inhabited continent is untouched by it, including the United States.  

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES?

An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 victims are trafficked in the U.S. annually, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. [6] Cases of human trafficking in the U.S. have been reported in all 50 states, and hundreds of thousands of U.S. minor citizens have been estimated to be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. [7,8]  Sex trafficking has been found in sex industry venues, including residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, brothels disguised as massage parlors, strip clubs, and street prostitution. [8] The average age of entry into prostitution in the U.S. is 12 to 14 years of age. [9] Other major forms of human trafficking include debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, and forced labor. [10] Human traffickers can be individuals, a small group of people, or a large network. [11]   

WHAT IS THE UNITED STATES DOING TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

The government is training law enforcement on human trafficking and has launched numerous public awareness campaigns. In the past, the U.S. Congress passed various legislation to help combat human trafficking in America. Learn more about the government’s efforts to end human trafficking by clicking here.  

WHY DID ZOE CHOOSE SOUTHEAST ASIA?

Commercial sex trade is rampant in Southeast Asia. Thailand is geographically centered in this region as well as being a short flight away from powerful East Asia countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea. Thailand is a beautiful and free nation with good and friendly people. However, human traffickers wrongly exploit the freedom available to the people in this country. Therefore, Thailand has become a source, transit, and a destination country for human trafficking.  Conservative estimates of the number of human trafficking survivors in Thailand are in the range of tens of thousands. [5] Child prostitution remains a problem. Children, particularly from migrant and poor populations, are forced, coerced, or lured into prostitution. In some cases, parents force their children into prostitution. [5] A 2005 study estimated there were 20,000 street children in major urban centers, but shelter could only be provided for 10,000 of those children each year. [5]  Child trafficking awareness is increasing in Thailand. The Thai government faces an uphill battle against this international problem. ZOE is privileged to work together with the many good people in this land to fight the evil of child trafficking.

WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

A majority of human trafficking victims who become involved in prostitution are runaway children from abusive or otherwise dysfunctional homes. [12] Minors who take money for sex are usually taking part in prostitution, but they are also victims of crime. [11] Other vulnerable populations may include undocumented immigrants, runaways and homeless youth, survivors of trauma and abuse, refugees, and impoverished groups and individuals. [13]

WHAT ARE SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?*

A fact sheet produced by the U.S. Department of Education Office states a victim:

  • Has unexplained absences from school for a period of time, and is therefore a truant
  • Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis
  • Chronically runs away from home
  • Makes references to frequent travel to other cities
  • Exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression or fear
  • Lacks control over his or her schedule or identification documents
  • Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings)
  • Shows signs of drug addiction.

SIGNS OF A SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM INCLUDE:

  • Demonstrates a sudden change in attire, behavior, or material possessions (e.g. has expensive items)
  • Makes references to sexual situations that are beyond age-specific norms
  • Has a “boyfriend” who is noticeably older (10+ years)
  • Makes references to terminology of the commercial sex industry that are beyond age-specific norms; engages in promiscuous behavior and may be labeled “fast” by peers

 

*It is important to note that this list is not comprehensive of all signs of human trafficking nor are all students who exhibit these signs most certainly trafficking victims. The list is meant to be a guide to help determine if further action is appropriate.

Source: U.S. Department of Education. Human Trafficking of Children in the United States a Fact Sheet for Schools. Retrieved October 31, 2012.

For more resources and information on how to report human trafficking, click here.   

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Your donation directly contributes to child trafficking awareness campaigns, rescues, and restoration efforts.

Sources  

[1] Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (2000). Public Law 106-386. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10492.pdf.
[2] Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour Newsletter, Issue 2 (2011). Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/publication/wcms_151537.pdf.
[3] Anti-Trafficking in Persons. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/anti-trafficking-in-persons.
[4] ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour: Executive summary (2012). International Labour Organization. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/publication/wcms_181953.pdf.
[5] Human Rights Report: Thailand (April 8, 2011). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.
[6] Clawson, Dutch Solomon & Grace. (2009). Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of Literature. US Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved May 2, 2011 from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/HumanTrafficking/LitRev/#Trafficking.
[7] Human Trafficking of Children in the United States A Fact Sheet for Schools. Department of Education. Retrieved October 31, 2012 from: http://rems.ed.gov/docs/ED_HumanTrafficking_FactSheet.pdf.
[8] Clawson, Dutch Solomon & Grace. (2009). Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of Literature. US Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved May 2, 2011 from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/HumanTrafficking/LitRev/#Trafficking.
[9] Street Prostitution. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking-in-the-us.
[10] What is Modern Slavery? U.S. Department of State. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/what/index.htm.
[11] The Traffickers. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-traffickers.
[12] Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Child Prostitution FAQs. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/childprostitution_faqs.html.
[13] The Victims. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-victims.