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Stafford Alert









You may not see the problem, but it’s there. It’s estimated there are more than 21 million human trafficking victims worldwide. This is not something that only occurs in dark alleys in the far corners of the Earth, though. It’s happening around the world every day.

Human trafficking is considered modern-day slavery, and there are more slaves today than at any time in history.

Here are 7 facts about human trafficking you may not know, plus 3 ways you can help.

  1. The real definition of human trafficking.
    Human trafficking is the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion. It’s important to note, though, that human trafficking can include, but does not require, movement. You can be a victim of human trafficking in your hometown. At the heart of human trafficking is the traffickers’ goal of exploitation and enslavement.

     
  2. Exploitation covers more than you think.
    Sexual exploitation and forced labor are the most commonly identified forms of human trafficking. More than half of the victims are female. Many other forms of exploitation are often thought to be under-reported. These include domestic servitude and forced marriage; organ removal; and the exploitation of children in begging, the sex trade and warfare.

     
  3. Causes of trafficking: It’s complicated.
    The causes of human trafficking are complex and interlinked, and include economic, social and political factors. Poverty alone does necessarily create vulnerability to trafficking, but when combined with other factors, these can lead to a higher risk for being trafficked. Some of those other factors include: corruption, civil unrest, a weak government, lack of access to education or jobs, family disruption or dysfunction, lack of human rights, or economic disruptions.

     
  4. It’s a lucrative industry.
    Along with illegal arms and drug trafficking, human trafficking is one of the largest international crime industries in the world. A report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) says forced labor generates $150 billion in illegal profits per year. Two-thirds of that money came from commercial sexual exploitation, while the rest is from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture, child labor and related activities.

     
  5. Believe it. Human trafficking is everywhere.
    Every continent in the world has been involved in human trafficking. In the United States, it is most prevalent in Texas, Florida, New York and California. Human trafficking is both a domestic and global crime, with victims trafficked within their own country, to neighboring countries and between continents. Victims of trafficking can be of any age and any gender. Women and children are often used for sexual exploitation, while men are more likely to be used for forced labor. Globally, about one in five victims of human trafficking are children. Children are also exploited for the purposes of forced begging, child pornography or child labor. Their smaller hands may also be used in tasks like sewing or untangling fishing wire.
     
  6. We need to do more for migrants.
    All over the world, people are on the move. Many have been forced to become migrants because of conflict, a changing climate and economic instability. Some of these migrants are vulnerable to human trafficking. A United Nations rights expert is warning a new approach is needed. “Trafficking in people in conflict situations is not a mere possibility but something that happens on a regular basis,” said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the United Nation's special rapporteur on human trafficking, in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in October 2016.. “This means anti-trafficking measures must be integrated into all humanitarian action and all policies regarding people fleeing conflict.”

     
  7. Fighting trafficking: The three P’s, plus a little more
    The U.S. government is at the forefront of efforts to address human trafficking. Its policy surrounds the three P’s: prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute traffickers. The number of convictions for human trafficking is increasing, but unfortunately not proportionately to the growing awareness and extent of the problem. There are several reasons for that. There is an absence of anti-trafficking legislation in some countries. Sometimes the legislation exists, but law enforcement officials and prosecutors may not know how to use it. In some instances, victims may not cooperate with the criminal justice system because they have been threatened by a trafficker.

There are 3 ways you can help stop human trafficking:

  1. You can turn on the light on human trafficking by learning more.
    Human trafficking may be a crime against humanity, but as a human you can be the light.

     
  2. Use your voice.
    Protect human dignity and fight conditions that can lead to the enslavement of human beings by urging Congress to support legislation that will help keep supply chains transparent and free of products that are supported by human trafficking.

     
  3. If you see something, say something.
    If you witness suspected human trafficking or other forms of exploitation, speak up.  Contact the Sheriff's Office.

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