The Yazidis are a small religious minority in Northern Iraq. In 2014, ISIS targeted Yazidi towns, slaughtering thousands and taking women and children as sex slaves. The AP reported that ISIS is using apps and databases to register the slaves, buy and sell them. All ISIS checkpoints in Iraq have this information through the apps and will block the slaves from escaping. The UN is calling these horrific actions genocide.
It is crucial to educate the public as to what trafficking is and what it is not. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) has an excellent educational campaign called “Look Below the Surface”. The NHTRC has created small plastic laminated cards with basic clues to help determine if a person may be a victim of trafficking. These clues are 1) evidence of being controlled, 2) the inability to move or leave a job, 3) bruises, cuts, sores or signs of physical abuse, 4) fear of deportation, 5) not speaking on one’s own behalf of not speaking English, or 6) no passport or any type of identification. NHTRC has a 24 hour hotline available 365 days a year. If someone suspects someone is a trafficking victim, they can call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888.These cards are free and available to anyone not simply to victim advocates and government agencies. Handing these card out at all educational trainings would give the general public much needed and vital information on how to help someone if they suspect that they are being trafficked.
Bystander intervention is about reacting responsibly to a child’s physical boundaries. When a child says “no or stop” to a behavior such as tickling or being asked to show affection towards an adult that they do not want , that boundary needs to be respected. Bystanders can describe the unwanted behavior to the offender, such as “It looks like Tommy does not want to be tickled, you are making Tommy uncomfortable. Bystanders can then set a limit for the child, “please stop, we let Tommy decide if he wants to be tickled. ” Finally move on, “Tommy let’s go see what the other kids are doing.” Offenders are rarely caught in the act of child sexual abuse, but they are often seen testing boundaries and breaking rules. It is important to know how to enforce boundaries and protect children. If the person continues to test boundaries and break rules, make a report.
Traffickers count on individual and systemic forms of discrimination and oppression that fail to protect the most vulnerable, preying upon those who are marginalized, disempowered or stigmatized.
Sexual Slavery occurs when a person is forced to perform a sex act against his or her will. Sexual slavery involves the giving or receiving of anything of value, which can include money, drugs, food, shelter or clothes in exchange for a sex act (Gallagher, 2010). Ninety-eight percent of all sex slaves are women and children; however men and boys can be forced into sexual slavery as well (ILO, 2012). Unfortunately, less is know about male victims of sexual slavery than female victims. Female victims of slavery received more media attention than male victims. Regardless of gender, victims of sexual slavery can be difficult to identify because they are often caught committing the illegal act of prostitution/solicitation. Because they are violating the law, victims are often treated as suspects before it can be established that they are sex slaves (Hofmann, 2015).
Smuggling involves crossing international border. It occurs worldwide. People pay to be smuggled. People allow themselves to be smuggled in search of a better life, or to provide more money for their families.
Mankind has been migrating for thousands of years. Migration can be voluntary, or involuntary. Migration can occur when people are searching for a better life for their families. It can also occur because of war, famine, or natural disasters.
Less than 40% of all child sexual abuse is reported. If a child experiences emotional or behavioral changes pay attention. Extreme changes in behavior can include chronic stomach aches, headaches, anxiety, difficult behavior and “too perfect behavior”. These changes do not always mean child sexual abuse is occurring, but it is a good reason to take notice. Learn the signs to protect children and keep them from harm.
Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery remains a multi-billion dollar industry, and laws to combat the problem have been slow to pass. A hodgepodge of US legislation has allowed the industry to continue to grow, and current laws fall far short of being effective. Less than 1% of all traffickers in the US are ever brought to justice, while at the same time 70% of all murders committed in the US are solved (Bales & Soodalter, 2009)
Many slaves are from impoverished countries; thus the root causes of slavery can often be tracked to conditions in those countries. For example, poverty, lack of education, lack of income, war, natural disasters and employment opportunities can lead individuals to emigrate. Those in desperate situations will often turn to desperate measures in order to achieve a better life for themselves. Women and children tend to be the most vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual slavery.