Guest Column

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

f47ce5f7fa3d16c4833c_3091ed8045cb74fa5c42_448b6434706ba13a5607_Human_Trafficking_Pic.jpg
f47ce5f7fa3d16c4833c_3091ed8045cb74fa5c42_448b6434706ba13a5607_Human_Trafficking_Pic.jpg

Many people have the misconception that slavery ended after the Civil War. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Slavery is very much still in existence — in fact, it is believed that 40 million people are slaves in the world today. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world, just behind illegal drugs.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as:

Sign Up for E-News

The act of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

The two main forms of slavery or human trafficking are forced labor and prostitution. Both occur in the United States, as well as around the world. Traffickers prey on the vulnerable: runaway teenagers, immigrants and those with little or no support networks.

Once manipulated or forced into human trafficking, these victims cannot escape. They are closely guarded and their captors threaten them and their families with physical harm.

How do these traffickers find their victims?

In labor trafficking, people are lured by promises of high-paying jobs or educational and travel opportunities. Once they arrive, captors take away their passports and force them to work long hours under grueling conditions for little or no pay.

In sex trafficking overseas, young women answer ads for jobs like nannies or models in a foreign country. Once they arrive, their passports are taken and they are forced into prostitution to stay alive.

In the United States, teenagers run away from home. Strangers pretend to care about them and promise to help them. Once these so-called “caring” strangers have the runaways under control, they force them to become prostitutes, while these strangers keep all of the money. Often, they threaten to kill the teenager’s family if they even think about running away. These youngsters are trapped with no freedom and nowhere to turn.

Recent examples include the following:

  • In San Antonio, Texas, 10 people were found dead in a truck in a human trafficking case. They died inside a tractor trailer that was over 100 degrees inside. James Matthew Bradley Jr., the driver of the truck, was arrested.
  • In Belgium, eight princesses from the United Arab Emirates were arrested for inhumane treatment of servants. The servants were forced to work night and day, often without food, and with no beds to sleep in. Their passports were confiscated.
  • A 16-year-old girl escaped from a house in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, where two adults forced her and another teen into prostitution. Denina Roman, 21, and Taymel Harris, 20, were arrested and charged with sex trafficking, sexual misconduct, acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, unlawful imprisonment and promoting prostitution.

More real-life examples and also tips on what you can do to help prevent human trafficking can be found on websites such as these:

Together, we can fight and prevent human trafficking. It could happen to anyone anywhere. Rich or poor, in the cities or in the suburbs.

Idelle Kursman is the author of the novel, "True Mercy," a thriller about human trafficking that takes place in Morristown. Visit her website by clicking here.

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

As Our Parkland Community Comes Together ...

February 21, 2018

PARKLAND, FL — While Marjory Stoneman Douglas was the setting for the tragedy of last week, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the person, was a civic-minded journalist who devoted her life to preservation and civil rights. 

The events of the past week have left our Parkland community devastated but determined to bring forth hope and optimism for the future.  We have been left asking ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_a9c5e109f17f702efcb4_littleleaguesignup

Sat, February 24, 9:00 AM

Belmar Municipal Building, Belmar

BALC Little League Registration

Carousel_image_af9b7a77aeef86a9f272_besptoslidersaturday

Sat, February 24, 12:00 PM

Jake's Downtown, Belmar

Jake's Downtown Slider Saturdays

Carousel_image_a8d94a9a3c243767bb81_hearthands

Sat, February 24, 6:00 PM

Taylor Pavilion, Belmar

For the Love of Thy Neighbor Gala by the Sea

Carousel_image_5b9a91ce41bd9322c775_stpatricksparade

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Belmar

St. Patrick's Day Parade Fundraiser

Carousel_image_ed86f2f2d2a7cc52026f_mini_magick20180224-113232-1itjbmf

Tue, February 27, 5:30 PM

Anchor Tavern, Belmar

Belmar Business Partnership Annual Meeting

Monmouth County Communications Center Earns National Award for Outstanding 911 Services

February 20, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center recently was recognized nationally for excellence in providing emergency services that utilize the latest advancements in new technology.

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden recently traveled to the nation’s capital to receive the Outstanding 911 Call Center/Program Award from the NG911 ...

Washington Crossing State Park Brings on Spring with Maple Sugaring Demonstrations

February 22, 2018

TITUSVILLE, NJ — The art of maple sugaring, known as a harbinger of spring, is featured in a series of educational programs to be held through early March at Washington Crossing State Park.

"Maple sugaring is a hands-on activity that serves as an excellent vehicle for teaching many important natural resource concepts," said Mark Texel, director of the N.J. Department of ...

JCP&L Offers Customers Assistance with Winter Heating Bills

February 13, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — As the cold weather continues, financial assistance programs are available for Jersey Central Power & Light customers who need help with winter heating bills.

Assistance to qualifying JCP&L customers is available through the Lifeline, Universal Service Fund, Weatherization, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) and New Jersey SHARES ...

TAPinto.net Named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ —  TAPinto.net has been named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons, a network of more than 230 news organizations across New Jersey. The award goes to a journalist or news organization that showed overall excellence in its work for 2017.    

Joe Amditis, associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media, said TAPinto won the award ...

Belmar and Lake Como

February 7, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2018.

BELMAR

Nora Campbell, 35, of Eatontown was charged with disorderly conduct after her January 9 arrest on 10th Avenue by Police Officer Anthony Steneck.

David Lukens, 46, of Belmar was charged with disorderly conduct after his January 14 arrest on 16th Avenue ...