Human Trafficking: Why You Need to Know About It
by Manuela Kress
I recently attended a session on human trafficking hosted by the East Lansing Chapter of Zonta International. Theresa Flores, the presenter who herself is a survivor of trafficking, gave an overview of the epidemic of human trafficking in the United States with a particular focus on Michigan. Here are some of the disturbing findings of her research:
Human trafficking involves manipulation, threats, and blackmailing for commercial sex or labor. If the person being sold is under 18, it is automatically considered human trafficking. There are more human slaves in the world today than ever.
If you suspect that one of the youth you are working with is a victim you can go to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center website. The Center has a wealth of information, resources for providers and law enforcement, and links to programs nationally. You can contact the National Human Trafficking Toll Free Hotline at 1.888.3737.888. If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking there are a few books available such as Not for Sale and The Slave Across the Street.