While it is hard to get concrete numbers on the underground world of human trafficking, it is accurate to say there is no community that is safe from it. Young teen girls are the primary target. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 missing children have been forced into prostitution each year in the US.
Check Internet sites, and readers will find 30 to 50 new postings a day offering services of prostitution — and that’s just for one city in North Dakota. And with the huge influence of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry on the Internet, the U.S. trafficking industry has grown to $9.8 billion. The North Dakota Family Alliance is partnering with the newly formed Voice for the Captives and other Christian groups to fight this inhuman atrocity.
Trafficking involves force, fraud, coercion, enticement, harboring, transporting and promotion of these held captives. It is a dark industry affecting the most vulnerable among us. Small-time pimps dominate the trafficking industry, and it is important to be able to identify who they are. It may be that smooth-talking young man who shows up in the community one day. It may be a friend or even a family member. It seems impossible to break free. It seems as if there is nowhere to turn. Ironically, her only security seems to rest in the person holding her captive.
We need to step up. We need to be that security that restores the hope.
• First, we need to raise the level of awareness, then train teachers, law enforcement, counselors, parents, church staff and children how to recognize the tactics of the trafficker. We need to prevent trafficking.
• Next we need to rescue those held in captivity. We need to provide a safe transition out of their bondage, addressing their needs emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.
• Last but not least, we need to prosecute those guilty of these barbaric actions. We need to provide law enforcement with the resources to identify the traffickers and bring them to justice.
Learn more at Tom Freier’s Grand Forks Herald article: Help stop human trafficking in North Dakota.