Are you keeping an eye on your kids as they surf the net, tweet on Twitter, post on Tumblr and “poke” their friends on Facebook?
Here are some troubling facts about human trafficking. As a mom with a teenager in the house, I find these facts and figures are staggering and far past troubling. I’ve often thought that if you give your kids enough of the right life lessons at home, while they’re in school AND if you get really lucky, you’ll emerge with a teen that’s kind of got their crap together. When I think of what I personally went through at the hands of a husband, a man that I knew for almost a decade before marrying, it makes me wonder if anything is truly enough. Do we ever prepare our kids enough to cope with the new challenges that life brings with the advent and full blossoming of the internet and the social media sites?
Perpetrators have admitted to trolling the social media sites like Facebook looking for young attractive girls. Using charm and flattery often works with their victims. Things quickly progress to gaining their confidence, cell phone numbers and finally an opportunity to meet in person.
In what is a alarming crime, facts and figures in the United States studies vary drastically on human trafficking reports. Estimates are somewhere between 600,000 and 800,ooo persons are trafficked internationally every year. 80% of those persons are women and children. While UNICEF reports that 1.2 million children are victims of trafficking each year. Many groups are quick to report the sexual exploitation of the victims, however there are many different forms of victimization. One of the key components of the crimes that receive less publicity is the fact that many of these victims are exploited for cheap labour all the while being promised a better life as they’re being lured.
Whichever group and whatever label they choose to put on or what their facts and figures say about this criminal practice, the end result is that these crimes can and do exist. Whether the victim is impoverished, merely naive and trusting or sold by their family – the financial stakes are high for the criminals. The growing statistics reflect one of the fastest growing international criminal activities. The many-layered networks include people from many factions. From the highest levels of organized crime down to local business owners.
Global figures are hard to determine in studies because of the difference in the standards of defining and reporting the crimes. It crosses all boundaries globally as well as many moral boundaries.
To report human trafficking:
U.S. – FBI – 1-888-428-7581, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
Canada – Royal Canadian Mounted Police Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre H.Q. Ottawa 613-993-2325
Silence is not an option!
We don’t need to look any farther than recent news stories on teens to know that exploitation exists.
All comments are welcome, have you or a family member known anyone affected by online luring?