Saturday, January 9, 2016

National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month

People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.

Until this week, I didn't realize that January is National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month (or if I did, I'd forgotten).

"In Fiscal Year 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 1,437 individuals for human trafficking -- the illegal trade and exploitation of people for commercial gain, most commonly in the form of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. From those cases, nearly 400 trafficking victims were identified and offered critical services."

They say: "While human trafficking can occur in a variety of scenarios and industries, indicators of trafficking activities often look the same across cases.

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:

Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
Has a child stopped attending school?
Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

If you notice suspicious activity, please contact ICE through its tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or For more information about the Department of Homeland Security’s overall efforts against human trafficking, please visit"

* Resources for Counter Trafficking
* Things You Can Do (Anti-Slavery International)
* Global Supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves
* Slave-Free Shopping Guide (particularly useful re: chocolate)
* UNICEF's suggestions for taking action

1 comment:

Linda B said...

We had a student who studied human trafficking a few years ago, and she created a room with pictures of victims all over the world, and taped voices telling their stories. It was a powerful display. I think she was most surprised that it was happening right here in the U.S. too. Thanks for sharing this, Tabatha. I didn't know it was a special month either for this topic.