THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

HUMAN TRAFFICKING INCIDENTS RISE IN AMERICA

Women+stand+together+in+solidarity+across+America+in+light+of+the+human+trafficking+incidents+across+the+country.+
Women stand together in solidarity across America in light of the human trafficking incidents across the country.

Women stand together in solidarity across America in light of the human trafficking incidents across the country.

Zoya Wazir

Zoya Wazir

Women stand together in solidarity across America in light of the human trafficking incidents across the country.

Zoya Wazir, Section Editor

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In recent times, adolescents of color across the nation have been disappearing. The most recent spike in disappearances occurred in Washington D.C. with 14 African American girls missing. These disappearances have been theorized to be linked to human trafficking and even possible police involvement in these occurrences. In light of this, it is important for youth to be informed on signs of human trafficking.

Washington D.C. has logged a total of 502 missing youth, with the majority of them being African American or Latino. Only 22 of those cases remain unsolved; however, there is still worry about the human trafficking issue within the United States. 

Junior Sianna Lovell said, “I find it very concerning that the majority of these human trafficking victims have been women of color. As a woman of color within this country, I’m not only concerned for my safety but the safety of my friends and family. Despite this, people of all colors should be mindful of the different ways to prevent human trafficking because it could happen to anyone.” 

Due to the covert nature of the crime, it is not possible to definitely know how many victims of human trafficking exist within the United States. However, the number is believed to be well over 100,000 by the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking. Out of these victims, about 85 percent are women; sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.

Senior Delmarie Willock said, “Though I have never been encountered human trafficking where I live, hearing about the way it affects people around not only our country, but the world, breaks my heart. It is my hope that people who are not affected by it take action against it, because the lack of information on the issue is only helping it grow worldwide.” 

While the diversity of human trafficking’s forms makes it difficult to tackle the issue, there are still ways to help prevent it and realize it in time to contact the authorities. In order to prevent it from happening, it is important to be informed on the different ways it can occur.

Human trafficking is not just limited to random kidnappings; instead, it occurs in a plethora of ways. One of the most common methods of trafficking, especially in the sex trafficking of young girls, is through abusive relationships and coercion. Traffickers will often lure girls into relationships in order to establish trust and then force them into prostitution. Along with this, traffickers also trick unassuming people into modern slavery through the promise of better opportunities, such as jobs to support their families and money for education. However, these are merely empty promises used to coerce people into the illegal labor trade.

Though this issue has infiltrated the country as a whole, it also has effects on a local level. In recent times, incidents of human trafficking have risen in Florida; there has been a 54 percent increase in human trafficking incidents from 2015 to 2016 statewide, with a total of 1,900 reports in 2016 alone.

Officer Smart said, “[To prevent against human trafficking] on a local level, we should inform our kids not to travel alone and not to travel in bad areas and to travel in groups. Juveniles, specifically runaways, are in the most danger because they’re all alone.” 

Human trafficking is a very real threat that is present not only in impoverished nations but all over the world – even in the United States. It is important to stay informed on the different ways modern slavery can infiltrate our lives in order to prevent it from occurring and fueling the industry.

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