Human trafficking is a global issue which affects all types of people and is a serious problem with multiple facets. This international, national, and local issue is far from being eradicated.
Human trafficking is a form of organized crime generating a profit of 38 billion estimated annually. This crime is perceived as modern day slavery; these women and children are robbed of their dignity, freedom, and justice.
The public at large are not aware of the seriousness of this issue and its implications on human rights. Public awareness campaigns need to be launched and information disseminated widely through all forms of communication. The efforts to combat and prevent trafficking in persons require the support and cooperation of all sectors. It is also important for the awareness campaign to be coordinated while adopting a multi-sector approach between government agencies, NGOs, international organisations, and community groups in order to obtain collective and positive responses and actions.
The United States Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the 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. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
Trafficking for Women: Women account for 55-60 per cent of all trafficking victims detected globally; women and girls together account for about 75 per cent. Twenty-seven per cent of all victims detected globally are children. Of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy. Women traffickers are often involved in the trafficking of girls and tend to be used for low-ranking activities that have a higher risk of detection.
Internationally: Trafficking for sexual exploitation is more common in Europe, Central Asia and the Americas. Trafficking for forced labour is more frequently detected in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in South and East Asia and the Pacific.Victims trafficked for begging account for about 1.5 per cent of the victims detected globally. Trafficking for the removal of organs has been detected in 16 countries in all regions of the world. Victims of 136 different nationalities were detected in 118 countries worldwide between 2007 and 2010. Approximately 460 different trafficking flows were identified between 2007 and 2010.
Between 2007 and 2010, almost half of victims detected worldwide were trafficked across borders within their region of origin. Some 24 per cent were trafficked interregionally (i.e. to a different region). Domestic trafficking accounts for 27 per cent of all detected cases of trafficking in persons worldwide. The Middle East is the region reporting the greatest proportion of victims trafficked from other regions (70 per cent). Victims from the largest number of origin countries were detected in Western and Central Europe. The trafficking flow originating in East Asia remains the most prominent transnational flow globally. East Asian victims were detected in large numbers in many countries worldwide.
Victims from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South America were detected in a wide range of countries within and outside their region of origin, although in comparatively lower numbers outside their region of origin. One hundred and thirty-four countries and territories worldwide have criminalized trafficking by means of a specific offence in line with the Trafficking in Persons Protocol.
Child Trafficking: With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.
United States Trafficking: The U.S. Department of Justice estimates 100,000 to 300,000 American kids under 18 are involved in prostitution and often targeted by sexual predators annually. According to the FBI, the average age of a child sexually exploited is 11. The average age of entry for a girl into prostitution is 13, for a boy 12.
The U.S. cities where human trafficking is worst are: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, DC. The terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, like Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa. Actually, human sex trafficking and sex slavery happen locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in citizens’ backyards. The United States not only faces an influx of international victims but also has its own homegrown problem of interstate sex trafficking of minors.
The mission of this campaign is to bring the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of public awareness:
By empowering individual communities to take action through education, training and the coordination of resources.
By creating partnerships of informed communities to share information, experiences,programs and best practices in order to make the work of each partner more effective and to extend efforts beyond local jurisdictions.
By supporting primary research and disseminating information.
Our organization is dedicated to bringing the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of public consciousness through local community action and the sharing of resources and programs among communities and organizations. We believe that many forms of human trafficking can be prevented when people are aware of the crime and understand how traffickers lure people into modern-day slavery.
For this campaign that we are working on, the specific target audience are Salisbury University students, faculty, and staff.
To increase awareness of sex trafficking among children in the United States.
To educate the target public about sex trafficking of minors in the United States before November 24;
Raise awareness, about sex trafficking of minors in the United States, with 200 students at Salisbury University within two weeks;
To draw the attention of Salisbury University students through visual and personal means to the plight of underage sex trafficking in the United States.
Distribute flyers, at Salisbury University, with important facts about Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States that students should be aware of.
Host a movie screening which shows the true horrors of sex trafficking in the U.S.
- Have a petition for students to sign which shows that they understand how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and will help put an end to this social issue.
To evaluate the success of this campaign we wanted to measure if awareness was increased at Salisbury University on sex trafficking of children in the United States.
Human trafficking is a broad issue, after developing our research we narrowed our campaign towards focusing on sex trafficking of minors in the United States. It was a positive light to draw our focus in on minors in the United States because abuse and harm to young children will quickly draw attention and encourage individuals to be more alert to this topic.
The objectives for this campaign were clear– that is, to educate and raise awareness on sex trafficking of children in the United States. There was a specific timeframe for this campaign. We were able to measure awareness in order to measure the success of these objectives.
The strategies for this campaign were also very successful. We were able to successfully draw the attention of Salisbury University students on this issue.
We were able to successfully accomplish each tactic. 200 flyers were handed out and posted around Salisbury University. We were able to rent out a movie room and host a showing of the movie “Human Trafficking” which accurately depicted the horrors of sex trafficking of minors in the United States. This movie shows how girls from across the globe are brought into the United States to become apart of this large organized crime. We were able to get 33 signatures on our petition; all of these signatures were from Salisbury University students and staff.
After evaluating the success of this campaign it was established that we could have had a more successful campaign if we had more time to plan this campaign. Also this campaign was implemented at the end of the semester. Many students were home already for Thanksgiving break or focused on their own end of the semester projects. In the short time we had to plan this campaign we believe that it was very successful and definitely raised the level of awareness about this issue at Salisbury University.
We reached out to several local organizations which dealt with eradicating sex trafficking in the United States by raising awareness on this issue. The three organizations we contacted were
Turn Around Inc., Polaris Project in Washington D.C., and the Protection Project at Johns Hopkins University. We received an automated response from Polaris Project that said that they would get back to us in the near future. Due to time restrictions we have yet to receive a response from these organizations.