30 thoughts on “HUMAN TRAFFICKING”

  1. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/16/thai-pm-i-will-punish-those-who-threatened-human-trafficking-whistleblower

    I read this article about a human trafficking that was a story I had no idea was going on. Thailand’s most senior leader on human trafficking left Thailand to head to Australia or political asylum. He exposed that some key members of a police force in Thailand were involved in human trafficking.
    Many people say that this man should come back to try and punish those involved but he fears for his life. This also one of the problems that our society has with whistle blowers. I think people that see corruption and say something should be protected and taken seriously. Almost instantly “whistle blowers” are discredited or publicly chastised (such as Edward Snowden).
    The human trafficking industry is a very violent and scary thing and the only way to fully take down this business is from the inside. Until there is something in place where whistle blowers can go and speak freely and be taken seriously, we won’t be able to fully eradicate this horrible industry.

  2. The NY times covered several acts of illegal human trafficking in the United States and abroad this year. As a result, the subjects varied from “foreign servitude, 21st-century slave trade, human smuggling and sex ring trades.” These topics describe the horrific situations humans encountered. As many as 20,000 people have been trafficked into the U.S. annually with the highest percentage of people being children who are high-risk for sex and prostitution for girls 11-14 and boys 11-13. Americans believe these incidences occur in high crime areas, however, evidence revealed from recent research indicates these crimes are occurring in communities and neighborhoods in low crime areas. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is physically transported, recruited, harbored provided and or obtained for the purpose of exploitation- individual often sold as an object. Modern day slavery exploits people through forced labor or sex. Considering, slavery has been banned across the globe, today there are more than 29 million people living in slavery. Amazingly, the U.S. Department of Labor says forced labors are making some of your favorite commodities, clothes, coffee, shoes, etc. Trafficking laws vary from state to state. When victims of sex trafficking are arrested, the judicial system often treat them more harsh than those who facilitate the activities. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center can provide individuals with the resources to identify and aid victims of trafficking. Getting involved in community or state non-profit organization such as; Polaris Project, Not For Sale, Project to End Human Trafficking all work to end modern-day slavery.

  3. Honestly, while I knew the human trafficking was a problem, I was not aware of how large an issue it was here in the US. After reading the two articles Dr.Brown posted most recently, I was astounded by the number youth who were victims of this crime and how little is actually being done about it regardless of the amount of buzz around it.
    After reading the first article, ” Why Sex-Trafficked Children Can’t Be Called Prostitutes” I agree with the article’s premise that the mentality and the terminology surrounding the sex-trafficking need to be changed to take away the “blame” for the victimized children and to re-label it as a crime, as it should be. I think that this simple change in the way we think about human trafficking will actually greatly change the way we deal with the issue. Right now, some view this as a choice made, when in actuality, it is often times completely against the victim’s will and is rape.
    The second article was also interesting as it approaches the topic from the medical practitioner’s role in the the aftermath of human/sex trafficking. While I guess I thought about the medical aspect, it astounds me how unprepared and uneducated many of those in the medical field are in regards to handling the medical needs of these victims. It is vital that these medical professionals are aware of these victim’s plights as it will often times influence their treatment in terms of medical and emotional.
    Over all these articles were very informative and made me think about how this problem is really prevalent and can influence so much in a child’s life.

    1. Human Trafficking – EDC 601 Lauren Hargrave

      In reading the articles on human trafficking, there were a few major things that stood out to me. My first biggest issue is health care professionals claiming not to know what to do when they suspect that someone is a victim of human trafficking or not even noticing the signs. I cannot accept that excuse considering of all of the doctors I have visited, they have been trained to not only know about medicine, but to be able to identify specific things about the patient such as nervousness, anxiety, and visible bruises. When I first moved away from home to go to college I was having trouble with my diet and I simply visited a doctor. We quickly discussed, not in great detail, some things that had taken place in my life lately and she automatically knew that it was anxiety. I am saying this to say that it is inexcusable for health care professionals to claim that they cannot recognize signs of trafficking. Also, if a parent, specifically a minority parent, brought a child in and they suspected abuse or neglect, they would not have an issue intervening and calling a social worker, and I feel that human trafficking is no different.

      Moreover another issue that the articles discussed is the law, or a lack thereof. I do believe that people who are caught paying for prostitutes should get more punishment instead of putting them back out onto the street to do the same thing and to continue the cycle. In addition, for the people who are being put in jail or juvenile detention for prostitution, I believe that instead of receiving a large amount of jail time, they should also be receiving counseling or some kind of assistance that will encourage them to get out of the lifestyle once they get back into the real world.

      Furthermore, I can appreciate the fact that Diddy tweeted to his followers to sign the petition to change the name of child prostitutes. However, I believe that public figures, famous people, and people with a higher power should take more initiative to support and get their fans/followers to support important matter such as this. A tweet is great, but lets start a movement.

      Lastly, in reading the article when referring to prostitutes or victims of human trafficking, the ideal person was a female. It is important to keep in mind that males can also be a victim of trafficking or prostitution. Society shouldn’t allow them to be left in the dark just because it is not the “norm”. Males can be victims as well and need just as much help.

    2. http://www.polarisproject.org/take-action/365-days

      I read the article posted above about human trafficking, and was completely taken back by the facts and numbers. The fact that I found the most disturbing was that: in 2014, an estimated 1 out of 6 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 68 percent were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran. I’m curious to find out if anyone dug deeper into those cases where the child ran away from foster care, to find out what the underlying cause was for their running away, and if there was a common reason amongst other foster care runaways. In having that information, the state could make proper changes to the program or in specific situations.

      1. I completely agree with your comment. I read in my juvenile delinquency course that many females who run away from home are victims of sexual abuse. However, I have never read anything about foster care significantly influencing the number of children who run away. 68% is a very alarming proportion. I think there definitely needs to be more research conducted in this area to see what is influencing this high rate.

  4. Human Trafficking- EDC 601 Josh Pruitt

    This topic is a very real topic in today’s world. The human trafficking that takes place right in front of us is by far one of the biggest problems that goes unnoticed. Speaking of the Super Bowl i’ve heard several stories and rumors of hotel floors being rented out and prostitution taking place, I’ve heard the same thing at other organized events that I can not mention. Several of the victims are victims who are out on their own, who are looking for someone to take care of them. Some may just be kidnapped and shipped around the world. If you remember, last year there was a situation here in Lexington where the owners of Subway were arrested for human trafficking. According to the ICE.GOV website, Human Trafficking Indicators include the following: Human trafficking indicators include:

    Does the victim possess identification and travel documents? If not, who has control of these documents?
    Did the victim travel to a destination country for a specific job or purpose and is victim engaged in different employment than expected?
    Is victim forced to perform sexual acts as part of employment?
    Is the victim a juvenile engaged in commercial sex?
    Does the victim owe money to an employer or does the employer hold wages?
    Did the employer instruct the victim on what to say to law enforcement or immigration officials?
    Can the victim freely leave employment or the situation?
    Are there guards at work/harboring site or video cameras to monitor and ensure no one escapes?
    Does the victim have freedom of movement? Can they freely contact family and friends? Can they socialize or attend religious services?

  5. Human Trafficking – Victoria Johnson EDC 601

    Human traffic is a global issue that hits closer to home than many of us could’ve imagined. It is in Kentucky. It is in North America. It is in Asia. It is in South America. It is in Europe. It is in Africa. It is in Australia.

    Human trafficking tears apart families and communities, not to mention all of the physical and phycological effects it has on the person being trafficked.

    I’ve met individuals, in Thailand, who were trafficked for sex tourism. They were sold by their parents, for a small fee, to work. The families needed money and sold their little girls to traffickers with the promise of a better life for the girls. Several of the individuals that I spoke to stated that their parents probably didn’t know what they were actually doing since the families live in the countryside.

    The sex tourism industry, in Thailand, remains a very big problem. Individuals from all over the world travel to Thailand, for vacation/holiday, for sex. The Thai economy relies heavily on tourism.

    According to the website below, the Thai government supports measure to end human trafficking, although there are no laws that specifically address sex tourism. The U.S. Department of State made recommendations in 2011, to the Thai government as a way to end human trafficking.

    The questions remains: What other measures must be taken to stop human trafficking?

    Below you will find a link that looks at the issue of human trafficking in Thailand. It looks at both internal and external trafficking.

  6. Human Trafficking—Jessica Thornsberry EDC601

    I think when Americans think of human trafficking they imagine a foreign country far away from the United States. They never imagine that atrocities like this occur in their country, their state, their city, their community. But they do.

    The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline received enough information to ascertain that human trafficking was occurring in every state in 2014. The hotline averages 100 calls per day.

    I appreciate that the Polaris has included a list of signs that someone may be involved in human trafficking. Some of them include not being able to give an address or personal information that specifies a place of residency, appearing malnourished, or exhibiting signs of physical and/or sexual abuse.

    Human trafficking is a modern day slavery. When we imagine it we imagine an ring of underground smugglers, pimps, and criminals. We don’t imagine a scenario in which a high school students sells their significant other to others for sex. We don’t imagine that it can take place in the homes of our students.

    As educators we must be cognizant of these possibilities.

    1. Many children around the globe are trafficked and sold into slavery and as cheap labor. It is here in the US in many states. Check out farm labor statistics and sweat shops. Think of how many may be here in Kentucky.

      1. I’ve read numerous articles about child labor laws, sweatshops, and or trafficking individuals for labor. A sweatshop was once defined as an agency, which hired and or supported individuals diagnosed with an intellectual disability, unable to find or maintain suitable employment. Aka, Sheltered workshops hire individuals to perform simple labor, i.e., packaging, folding, and sedentary jobs. A provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to pay disabled workers “subminimum” wages according to supposed productivity, based in a percentage of what someone in the integrated workforce would make. (Dept. of Labor). Business profit off the labor and receive government subsides up to at least 50% of the company’s annual revenue. As it stands, this is a violation of 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
        There is no single definition of what a sweatshop is. The US Department of Labor defines a sweatshop as a factory that violates two or more labor laws, such as those pertaining to wages and benefits, child labor or working hours. In general, a sweatshop can be described as a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal and physical abuse. Since sweatshop workers are paid less than their daily expenses, they are never able to save any money to improve their lives. They are trapped in an awful cycle of exploitation.
        As for child laboring, Americans are well informed of famous clothing made, produced by children in foreign companies. For an example; In 1996, after Charles Kernaghan and the National Labor Committee revealed that Kathie Lee Gifford’s clothing line for Wal-Mart was being made by 12 and 13-year-olds in Honduras, the resulting scandal and publicity was enough to virtually wipe out child labor in garment factories around the world producing for export to the U.S.

        The International Labor Organization (ILO) has estimated that 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work in developing countries. 61% in Asia, 32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. Many of these children forced to work. They denied an education and a normal childhood. Some are confined and beaten. Some denied the right to leave the workplace and go home to their families. Some even abducted and forced to work.
        Kathie Lee Gifford scandal, children are again sewing clothing for Wal-Mart, Hanes and other U.S. companies,” said Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee. “Children belong in school, not locked in sweatshops. Wal-Mart, Hanes, and the other companies owe these children, and must now provide them with stipends to replace their wages and cover all necessary expenses to send them back to school.”
        According to a National Labor Committee 2006 report, an estimated 200 children, some 11 years old or even younger, are sewing clothing for Hanes, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, and Puma at the Harvest Rich factory in Bangladesh.

        The Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights is an independent, nonprofit human rights organization and the leading anti-sweatshop watchdog group in the U.S. The Institute has run successful campaigns not only against Kathie Lee Gifford and Wal-Mart but also on production for Sean “P Diddy” Combs, the NFL, NBA, GAP, Disney, Nike, and others. Most recently, the Institute exposed the descent of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement into human trafficking and involuntary servitude

        As you review the above brand names and retailers, we fail to recognize where we shop and what we purchase from the companies we support who benefit from child labor. There is not one person who can say they do not shop at Walmart, look at every item for “made in America” sticker shop at the Gap or have purchased Nike?
        Defenders of sweatshops often bring up the fact that even though sweatshops are bad, they at least give people jobs they would not have had otherwise. However, the types of jobs sweatshop workers receive are so bad that they rarely improve their economic situation. No, I am not suggestion everyone protest, discard all your personal items. However, be aware or take notice of what you are purchasing and whom you are supporting if you choose to advocate for child laboring.

  7. I’ll admit, before reading this article I was unaware of human trafficking. I had always heard about human trafficking, but had never associated this problem with the United States. I found it very disturbing that 1 in 6 runaways were likely child sex trafficking victims.
    As an educator I will look for these signs as I would any other type of abuse. I will take note of students who appear to be anxious, unusually submissive, or nervous. These students may also show signs of physical abuse such as bruises and sores from being physically restrained. Students who have these injuries may have inconsistent stories as to how they obtained the injuries. This is always a red flag, and I will report these instances to the correct authorities. Schools should also have material available in the counseling office which provides hotline numbers and local agencies victims can go to for help.

  8. Sex Trafficking is an issue that I feel like many turn their cheeks to. It is disgusting, and sometimes easier to ignore than to face. However, as (future) educators, it is our job to know about this issue and how to approach it. We can be the force that helps, or even SAVES, sec trafficking victims.

    In order for us to make a difference, we have to know what we’re looking for. For such a sensitive issue, it comes as no surprise that many of us don’t know what the signs are (or maybe i’m just sheltered). Here is a great PDF that I found that outlines human trafficking, how to identify it in the school setting, and what to do.


  9. I was fortunate enough to sit in on a meeting of Kentucky’s Human Trafficking Task Force. While I was aware of the global magnitude of human trafficking, I was blissfully unaware of the prevalence of prostitution and human trafficking in Lexington and Kentucky as a whole. The Polaris article mentions the perceived spike in trafficking during events like the Superbowl, and I was shocked to find out that events in Kentucky hold the same threat. This is a link to a news article about the increased interest in trafficking during the Kentucky Derby.
    Members of the meeting also mentioned the Breeders Cup and how it may cause spikes in trafficking in Lexington. While events like the Superbowl, the Derby, and the Breeder’s Cup may cause a short term increase in trafficking victims, I love that the Polaris article makes it clear that human trafficking is a year round issue that does not go away when these events end. The most shocking part of the meeting was when people discussed the main sites of prostitution and trafficking in Lexington. While it was saddening to hear about the risk the Breeder’s Cup has, it was shocking to hear of the common place areas in Lexington that are used to perpetuate modern day slavery. Regular places that I frequently go to. It is good to remember that human trafficking is not just a far away in justice. It is right here in Lexington as well.

  10. Two articles I have read recently were Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door (TGND) from Vanity Fair May 2011 and Poverty & Human Trafficking (PHT) from the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (not dated) were scary, depressing, angering and yet enlightening. I know they are not peer reviewed nor from scholarly publications but they have their merit.
    Statically human trafficking is the second largest criminal activity worldwide exceeded only by the drug trade – PHT. According to the U.S. government human traffickers make approximately $9.5 billion yearly in the sex trafficking business – PTH. There are approximately three hundred thousand young American girls involved in the sex trafficking industry at this moment – TGND 2011. Krishna Patel, assistant U.S. attorney in Bridgeport CN. says that it has become more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns, “A pound of heroin or an AK47 can be sold once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day. . .” The average starting age for a prostitute today is about 13 years old.
    Why list these statistics? Because this is a crime that is not part of the news daily. We were flooded with news of a hunter killing a lion (no, I do not excuse the action), we see stories of gun deaths, horrid and definitely should be in the news, BUT 300.000 young American girls trafficked right now, pimps becoming millionaires while raping, beating, drugging and even killing 13 year old runaways and yet we hear little to nothing. Why? Because differing from incest, rape and domestic violence, trafficking generates massive revenues — $32 billion a year worldwide – TGND 2011. And because many of the clients are people of power and position – “When – – – ag girl such as ******** ends up with a pimps gun in her mouth so she will go out and service a politician.” Dr. Sharon Cooper TGND 2011.

    1. Until last year, I was unaware or you could say ignorant to the high rates of human trafficking that is happening here in the United States. I always thought this was a problem in other countries. My husband and I liked eating at a restaurant in Georgetown and we found out they we’re shut down and arrested during a human trafficking raid! I was shocked! Since then, I have been observing women in many places I go and watching for red flags, because it is such a problem. It should be talked about more.

  11. This article first caught my eye because it is a topic that I am ignorant about, not that it exists, but its prevalence. I’m sure that before this article, I was basically knowledgable about human trafficking based on movies or just in passing. I was definitely unaware that this is an issue for all states. It’s terrifying to think of how widespread it is and how ignorant people are to the fact. I can honestly say that I have never seen ads about trafficking, but I do believe that they are helpful. I just wish there were more ads, even in the smaller cities to make people more aware. Overall, advocates are making the correct strides. I am glad that I’m now more aware and that I could possibly become an advocate as well.

    1. I went to a conference in Lexington that talked about the rise of human trafficking in Kentucky. Also, how many teens get caught in this web because of the way the foster care system is set up.

      1. It is interesting to think about the intersection of foster care and human trafficking. While I knew about the prevalence of human trafficking in the US, I had never considered the role of the foster care system before, but it makes sense. Just doing a quick internet search on the topic, I found that over half (and often a much greater percentage) of young people involved in human trafficking in the US are/were in the foster care system.

        Unfortunately for Kentucky, we have the highest percentage of homeless youth in the country and our number of children in foster care is at the all-time high. Additionally, the state budget for social services has been slashed millions of dollars over the past couple of years, so there are fewer social workers to help children and teens in the foster care system. Since both foster care and human trafficking are often overlooked, we need to provide education and awareness to the community about the issues as well as places for young people to seek help in the community, such as Arbor Youth Services.


  12. After reading the article on the main page, it really is an eye opener. While many of us think of human trafficking as something that happens in less developed countries, or those depicted in the movies, it really is hard to believe that this happens as often as it does in our country. With this being an epidemic in our country, especially with the abduction of so many children, we need to do more to educate our students about this in our school system. Students need to know more about this epidemic and what they need to do in order to protect themselves.

  13. Interestingly enough, this web article was not the first time I have heard about the attempts to prevent human trafficking during the Kentucky Derby. The amount of informational advertisements on human trafficking and concerns about it happening during the Kentucky Derby had increased significantly starting a few weeks before the derby. I saw a poster up in a grocery store and I also heard an awareness ad on the radio on more than one occasion. This is the first big event that I have heard these kinds of proactive measures to make people aware of their surroundings. It makes me wonder if other major sporting events make similar efforts to protect potential victims? How much does the increase in awareness help in prevention? I haven’t seen anything else on the news after the derby, but it would be interesting to see a follow up report.

    1. I have actually never heard any of the ads about the awareness of human trafficking, nor have I seen any posters. I do think that it is great that they are raising awareness, but I am wondering if these ads are mainly being placed in Louisville, KY since this is where the derby is held. However, other cities, such as Lexington, also have big events to celebrate Derby. I believe that it is equally important to spread awareness in other places during these high risk events and times. I am also interested in seeing what other follow up advertising reports and awareness that will be shown. Again, it’s great to have this awareness during such big events and times where human trafficking cases are likely to increase. However, there are still hundreds of other days throughout the year when this still takes place. Awareness shouldn’t be limited to two to three times a year. I believe it is the lack of awareness throughout the year that accounts for the continuation of this catastrophe.

  14. Normally when I think of human trafficking, I think of it happening most often in developing countries, but recently discovered that it was a much larger problem in America than I ever realized. The following article highlights that while the Super Bowl is the largest human trafficking event in the country, it occurs daily in cities all around us. As educators, we have the potential to send the message that trading or buying and selling other humans is not an okay thing to do, as well as provide resources and help to human trafficking victims.


  15. Surprisingly, human trafficking is something that crosses my mind frequently. I once watched a documentary that discussed all different types of trafficking that is happening right under our noses within the U.S. . It was mind blowing to think that something so terrible was happening right in front of our eyes, and we have all the power to try and put a stop to it, but never knew. Educators should look for children who seem like they are showing signs of a poor home life. These signs would lead the educator to investigate, bringing light to the greater problem.

  16. This article discusses human trafficking and its relation to children in school. First, the article sets out to define human trafficking, and then provide a discussion on why it is an issue that must be addressed. Next, the article continues by offering a list of what to look for in regards to identifying a victim of trafficking. The article expands on this topic by also describing how one should go about reporting suspected human trafficking to local and state officials. Finally, the article concludes by warning educators on the negative implications trafficking has on a child’s educational experience, as well as to offer suggestions on what educators can do to help children in their classrooms suspected of being trafficking victims.

  17. This website on human trafficking really surprised me. I knew that human trafficking was an issue in other countries and that sex trafficking has been somewhat of an issue in the U.S. in recent years but I had no idea how much of an issue it had grown to be. I was certainly unaware, and very surprised, at how many incidents had occurred in the U.S. especially at the Super Bowl. As Lan mentioned, Kentucky currently has only one shelter dedicated to victims of human trafficking. This was somewhat disturbing to me and it is clear that in Kentucky, and nationwide, a greater push for legislation and resources available to these individuals needs to be made.

  18. This makes me think of a documentary called “The Nefarious.” It’s about trafficking and something a girl said really resonated with me. Full disclosure here, but she said she did it to provide for her family and really there was no other choice to help her family’s survival (something along those lines). I believe she was in Korea and being Chinese myself and knowing the importance of family, I had an unsettling acknowledgment that I would probably do the same if it meant the well-being of my family. There’s just a cultural thing there that ties us strongly to family, and if we are in a position to make their lives better, we do it. By no means should that be the only way for her to help her family and trafficking is an absolute horrible thing, I simply found an interesting perspective.

    Something else to think about too is often times we speak about trafficking as if it’s somewhere else much like other topics. However, with I-75 and I-64 right in our backyard, trafficking is a very prevalent problem in KY. Also, last I heard, we only have 1 shelter dedicated to human trafficking victims. Definitely lots of work to be done with awareness and advocacy in this realm.

  19. There are numerous root causes for the existence of human trafficking. Some causes include: lack of employment opportunities, poverty, economic imbalances, corruption, gender and ethnic discrimination, and political instability/ conflict. These negative factors are then contrasted with the factors of demand for workers, possibilities of higher standards of living, and the perceptions that life is better in the richer communities. For child trafficking specifically, the underlying cause is poverty. Children around the world are often trafficked because either they or their families desperately need money, and because poverty makes them very vulnerable. Additionally, factors such as war or natural disasters, family dislocation, lack of laws against trafficking, or domestic violence make children more at-risk of trafficking. Educators have an opportunity to help identify and guide youth who display risky behaviors to receive the appropriate community supports and services that they need. Additionally, educators can look for the following signs of victims of child trafficking and report them if seen: does not attend school regularly, runs away from home frequently, often has unexplained absences from school, talks about frequent travel to various cities, has noticeable bruises or trauma spots on body, appears hungry, malnourished, or depressed often, etc. Finally, if an educator suspects that a student is a victim of child trafficking they should recognize the red flags students may exhibit; and then make the appropriate referral to school personnel and community contacts.

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