In Indiana, there has been an increasing problem in human trafficking with an estimated 27 million human beings enslaved in the world today, according to purchased.org. Human trafficking, prostitution, sex trafficking, coercion, bonded labor, debt bondage slavery, exploitation, forced labor and grooming are all issues, a member on the Purchased board for dealing with trafficking in Indiana, Mona Clayton, battles daily.
As Clayton says, trafficking is a modern day form of slavery occurring worldwide and is slowly making an appearance in every state in the United States. In many cases, this involves immigrants who are promised money and jobs when entering the United States.
“Many times, these cases involve immigrants who must pay a large amount to a third party to leave the country. They are promised a good job. When they arrive in the destination, they may be with several other people and have to work long hours, cannot leave on their own and a small amount may be sent back home,” Clayton said.
Labor trafficking is just as much of a problem as sex trafficking. People are stolen from their homes and families for long periods of time, thinking they are getting something good out of it and just end up not getting what they were promised and not having the money anymore to get themselves back home.
It is not only sexual exploitation that is the problem in the U.S. and other countries. In an article by Sophia Yan that Clayton provided, there were Chinese workers who were tricked into doing work for the United States, illegally.
They were put in horrible conditions and taking home less than half the money they were promised. When they arrived, they realized that they were all put on the casino construction site illegally in a U.S. territory, not in North America.
Carolyn Knight is a Christian missionary who is involved in a texting ministry to help people, Light in Darkness, that helps rescue people trapped in trafficking and exploitation.
“My role is raising up teams of women to go where they are working, primarily strip clubs, and we work to befriend them, offer practical help such as getting them into safe houses or rehabs or we assist them in finding other work, or we help reconnect them to their families. Sometimes we are involved in rescue operations with trafficked women to get them to safety, away from their trafficker or abuser,” Knight said.
Trafficking can be a terrifying experience for anyone involved. There are places to go to get answers and the help you or someone you know might need like purchased.org, love146.org/action/online-safety, and polarisproject.org/human-trafficking.
All students can watch their surroundings and watch who they talk to online and offline to keep themselves and their friends safe.
Anyone can also call either 911 or the Natonal Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1(888)373-7888 if they are ever notice any behavior that could lead to human trafficking.