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Behavior Change

In: Social Issues

Submitted By AKOBEN15
Words 2040
Pages 9
June 23, 2016
Human Trafficking
Defining the Problem
Modern day slavery has hit like never before. Actual slavery is flourishing in our own backyards. The buying and selling of human beings for profit is a crime against humanity which still exists. A lot of the trafficking in America is done right under our noses, without us even knowing about it. It is a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Human Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for one of three purposes: involuntary servitude, debt bondage, slavery or sexual exploitation. Trafficking has three basic elements:
The Act (meaning what is done)
The Means (meaning how it is done)
The Purpose (meaning why it is done)
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPA) is a very vital bill which will replace the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which established the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The original legislation was designed to combat trafficking in the US and the new Act builds upon the original Act to improve it in many different ways. The TVPA provides both international and domestic provisions. (FIGHTSLAVERYNOW.ORG)
The TVPA is attempting to combat the trafficking problem by implementing the 3 P’s policy: Prosecution, Protection and Prevention.
Prosecution of trafficking offenders. This involves passing the appropriate laws that criminalize trafficking, and jailing the abusers who exploit other humans for profit.
Protection of victims of human trafficking. This would involve identifying victims, providing them with medical care and shelter, and sometimes witness protection, and when necessary, repatriating them.
Prevention of trafficking in person. This involves raising awareness of the inhumane practices involved in the trafficking trade and promoting a paradigm shift that seeks to reduce the demand for the “fruits” of human trafficking.
Types of Human Trafficking
There are several forms of trafficking, however, two commons forms are Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking. Both forms are inhumane. Sex Trafficking is defined as causing a person to engage in a commercial sex act under certain statutorily enumerated conditions. Labor Trafficking is defined as the recruitment or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force or fraud for the purpose of involuntary servitude. It is a modern day form of slavery and a fundamental violation of human rights.
Who Are the Traffickers
Traffickers can be individuals or those associated with gangs. Young ladies are also part of the trade gangs. Most often it involves a male ‘pimp’ (trafficker) and one or more trafficking victims. Family members may traffic their own children, often for drug money. Traffickers often lure kids by showing them something they don’t see every day. The traffickers generally place prime opportunities on the table for these youth. Once the traffickers have lured the victims, they sometimes place their symbol on young kids to show ownership. You can identify the victims if they have someone’s name or emblem branded on their body that may not belong to them. The traffickers would soon thereafter begin to attempt to break down or degrade their victims by verbally abusing them or even physically abusing them. They began to all their victim names in which these victims are okay with being called such derogatory names. At the end of the day, the trafficker is ultimately trying to take the only identity that the victim may have. Since it’s more about manipulation of the mind than physical force, at least at first, scars aren’t easy to spot.
Techniques often used by traffickers include: ‘Romeo’ pimp, bait and switch (e.g., modeling), trades in drug debts and abduction. However, not many abductions occur because now the victims get right into the car. The Romeo pimp uses catch terms such as “Can I pull up on you?”, Can I take a picture with you? or even tell a victim that they are very attractive. They are very clever in the terms that they use and feed off of the victim’s reaction. Social media is also a common means for baiting victims. Often times, traffickers, “hide behind the scenes” with beginning a conversation and complimenting a victim with the added ease of hiding behind a screen.
In many cases, the whole thing starts as a befriending process. A pimp tends to lure a victim by buying her things like a new cell phone and a glamorous wardrobe and paying for her hair and nails. He might even act like a boyfriend which would cause her to develop feelings for him.

Who are the victims
Victims can be any age, race, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. More often, the younger generation are more at risk than adults. The sex trafficking industry overwhelmingly preys on young women and children. Traffickers tend to seek out runaways or foster children as they are always looking to be loved. They look for vulnerable youth who may be homeless and looking for stable shelter. Some of the victims are prior child abused kids, have a lack of caring and support persons in their lives. Many victims lack education or a means to earn income. They may be drug addicted thereby having to turn to trafficking as a means to support their habits. A lot of times, these victims have very low self-esteem and do not care much about themselves. Others at risk are LGBTQ youth, youth involved in the juvenile justice system or youth exposed to violence at an early age. The slave labor markets rely on a ready supply of men and women fleeing desperate circumstances. They are so desperate, they see this opportunity as a means or a way out, giving very little thought of themselves being victimized. Pimps will often prowl places like bus stops to prey on runaways or homeless youth, but they’ll also hang in the seemingly normal places everyday teens frequent, like the mall. Some even argue that pimps tend to prefer those who aren’t savvy or familiar with “the streets” because they are easier to manipulate.
Regardless of where they find victims, traffickers sniff out vulnerability-people who might be hurting or in need of attention or someone they can depend on. In a pimp’s mind, dependence equals control. That’s why there’s not a single type of person who is likely to fall victim. (McNamara)
Often it is difficult to decipher if a person is in need of help or may be going through a situation such as being trafficked. There are a number of behaviors and attitudes that would suggest if an individual is being subjected to trafficking. A lot of kids may start to show a disinterest in school or you may see a pattern of absenteeism. Some kids tend to drop out of school with no thoughts of returning to school. Often times youth start to rebel and even run away from home. They may experience sexual abuse, sometimes even from their own family members. They are neglected by the ones who are supposed to be providing care for children. You may often see the neglect through improper caring for a child or taking notice to their poor health. More commonly youth are becoming addicted to drugs.
McKinney-Vento Homelessness Education Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Act has created valuable programs that have saved lives and helped hundreds of of Americans to regain stability. This Act describes homeless as Children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate night time residence. Homelessness looks like: poverty, trauma, mental illness/anxiety, poor self-esteem, violence, over crowded housing, abuse, addiction, stress, domestic violence, hunger, sadness, survival, disaster, pain unemployment, financial hardship and anger. These are risk factors that a trafficker would seek out. This Act was the first major federal response to homelessness. In 1983 the first federal task force on homelessness was created to provide information to local areas on how to obtain surplus federal property. In 1986 this homeless housing act was adopted. There was a large republican sponsor of this Act named Stewart B McKinney of Connecticut and leading supporter, representative Bruce Vento. After the death of both McKinney and Vento, the Act was renamed The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The Act originally consisted of fifteen programs which provided services to homeless people including emergency shelter, transitional housing, job training, primary health care, education and some permanent housing. (web). The McKinney- Vento Act has created valuable and useful programs that have saved lives and helped hundreds of thousands of Americans. A 1995 evaluation of the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program found that homeless children’s access to school has improved significantly since passage of the McKinney-Vento Act, and that “state coordinators and local school district administrators have worked hard, with limited resources, to ensure homeless children’s and youth’s access to free, appropriate education” (Anderson et al., -1995).
The Vulnerability of Potential Victims
Traffickers prey a lot on minors. They are the easier targets. They are easier to recruit and they are quickly attracted to material goods. Kids long for affection that they may feel they are not getting from home or from the ones who are supposed to love them. Kids sometimes have a poor self-concept and desire to escape an oppressive home. In doing so, their instincts are to survive after leaving home, therefore, they do what they have to do. Also, traffickers know that clients pay more for sex with minors.
Resolution to the Crisis
The prevention of human trafficking is a major task. Prevention work includes raising awareness among policy-makers, law enforcement and civil society. A greater effort has to be placed on discovering the root causes of trafficking, the concept of demand and the role of the media and peacemakers in preventing trafficking. Community-led activities are an important prevention tool.
Challenges
The sensitive nature of the issue and the lack of collaborative action on trafficking make information collection a challenge, reflecting the unwillingness of some to acknowledge that a problem even exists. The absence of data makes it difficult for any group or country to fight trafficking effectively.
Additional Information
Human trafficking is a big business. The fact that the ability to sell a girl or boy more than once each night (up to 20 times), human trafficking has become the second largest international criminal industry (tied with illegal arms). It reportedly generates $99 billion in profits globally per year. Traffickers benefit as they earn approximately 32,000/ week. This industry is usually not local, but highly mobile. (McNamara). This business is associated with hosting major sporting events such as the superbowl.
The Department of Justice has identified St. Louis as one of the top 20 human trafficking jurisdictions in the country. The reason why is because of the strip clubs, social life and activity associated with St. Louis. St. Louis is known as the “All or Nothing Location.” It is a “perfect storm” of situational factors: the location, highways, poverty, gang violence and high crime rates.
Human Trafficking is not a problem or epidemic which occurs right here at home, but it is problematic globally. Other countries such as Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, India and many more of these places. So as you see, we all have a problem in which we need to work together in order to resolve the issues dealing with human trafficking.
We all have to do our part in becoming aware of warning signs and prevention. Do your part by helping to raise awareness about human trafficking? Check out more information on how to get involved and educate yourself on the issues related to human trafficking. Learning to be proactive and not reactive is the key. Communication and sharing information is important with maintaining awareness in regards to the issue.

Works Cited
AuthorLastName, FirstName. Title of the Book Being Referenced. City Name: Name of Publisher, Year. Type of Medium (e.g. Print).
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