What does an Amber Alert, Teen Runaways, Missing Children and Child Porn all have in common? You may have seen their face during an Amber Alert and never knew it.
When I see an Amber Alert with a missing teen or preteen now, the first thing I think of is Human Trafficking. That pretty naive little 17 year old that ran away with her 17 year old boyfriend may not really be with her boyfriend. She may be with the 17 year old that groomed her into leaving with him so he could place her in traffic. Don’t assume it is a trusted or protected person in their shadows. Many of these girls have no idea that the person they have trusted to hide with is the monster that just kidnapped them and placed them in the sex slave market.
The Department of Homeland Security along with the Department of Justice work on Human Trafficking and exploitation cases in the United States as well as abroad. This is an epidemic that is not just a problem for third world countries or “bad areas” of other territories. The United States alone is responsible for more than one million children being raped and exploited for the purpose of pornography. The children are getting younger and the demand for brutality is increasing. More than 91% of children in these videos are under the age of twelve.
Did you know that there are over 100,000 pedophiles involved in organized pornography rings around the world and more than one third of them operate in the United States? This is in your backyard. Read up on the terminology and how they work the system and pursue their victims. Read up on it.
The animals heading these rings are not all well-aged adults. Many are teenagers and young adults themselves. They work as kidnappers, pimps and tortures. Three men ages 18-21 were recently arrested after kidnapping a 17 year old girl and forcing her into prostitution for three days before she escaped. They used threats of torture, murder and family harm if she attempted to flee. They are the workers for the heads of the snake. Read Arrest Story.
South Carolina has seen more and more of the trafficking problem over the last few years. It has always been here, you just didn’t hear about it. Because of the efforts of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) to combat this horrific crime, efforts are being made to save these children and adults and detain the traffickers and abusers along the way.
Trafficking and the child sex trade is at its highest in Myrtle Beach, SC in the summertime. The trade increases by over 400% during peek beach season. Hiring prostitutes allows for supply and demand. Many kidnappers turn to beach goers for targets. Many teens on their own find themselves missing, kidnapped, murdered, enslaved and never heard from again. The crowds are overwhelming and spotting or locating a missing person can be virtually impossible.
Greenville, SC is the state capital for Human Trafficking in South Carolina. The incidents and missing are greater there than anywhere else in the state. Many are brought into the state and dropped into Greenville then distributed throughout the state as seen fit. It’s the “Central Station” if you will.
A recent ring associated with kidnapping, prostitution and child porn was rounded up. They had ties to SC, GA and NC. Their arrest and sentencing made headline news. Story.
Identifying and Reporting Human Trafficking
KNOW THE INDICATORS
Indicator 1: The person has no control of his or her travel and identification documents.
Indicator 2: The person has no freedom of movement or social interaction.
Indicator 3: The person has no logical means of reaching, or lacks knowledge of his or her final destination.
Indicator 4: A child traveler does not seem to be accompanied by his or her parent or legitimate guardian.
- Do not confront the suspected trafficker or suspected victim.
- Do not draw unnecessary attention to the suspected trafficker or suspected victim that may alert them to your suspicions.
- Do report your observations. In addition to submitting video alerts, call the DHS tip line, you will be asked:
- Airline, flight number, and seat number;
- If the individual is currently in-flight;
- Arrival city and estimated time of arrival;
- Identities (names, citizenship, etc.) of suspected victims and/or suspected traffickers; Physical descriptions of the suspected victims and traffickers; and indicator(s) you saw or heard.
- Call 866-347-2423 toll free in U.S. and Canada, 24 hour a dayFlashcard Front
- Call 802-872-6199 (tolls apply) in any country in the world, 24 hours
- National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 and or 911
Airline Ambassadors International has developed a cell phone app and strategy to recognize and help report human trafficking suspicion throughout airports nationally and internationally.
Get the wallet card. The app works on all operating platforms – Androids, iPhones, & more. Get them here for Google Play and for Itunes
Another service to report an incident you are witnessing lets you take a picture of the person you suspect is in danger and text it to 909-ALERT-US (909-253-7887) where Bashpole will search for the person in their database and alert authorities. You can read more about this service here.
email firstname.lastname@example.org to order one of their Flash Cards with the TIP #
Get involved and stop letting these voiceless victims get pulled right past you. To learn more about spotting a victim and reporting it, visit The US Institute Against Human Trafficking http://usiaht.org/