Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery in America Vanessa Gonzales
Modern day slavery• There are 27 million slaves in the world today• Bonded labor• Forced labor• Sex trafficking Human trafficking is the worlds fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the worlds second most profitable criminal enterprise.
Where is slavery today?Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry into thiscountry for victims of slavery and trafficking. This traffickingroute occurs in a triangle from Los Angeles, California to LasVegas, Nevada, and back to Sacramento, California.Sex trafficking has become a top issue for L.A. County leaders.A key source of victims for sex traffickers is right in LosAngeles County’s own foster care system.
Sex Trafficking• An organized criminal industry that affects every nation in the world.• “Sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.”(Polaris project)
Closer than you think• It is estimated that California is amongst the top 3 states in the nation for human trafficking. Human trafficking is surprisingly easy to hide. This is because large immigrant communities within California, provide for good concealment of a trafficking operation. Many of these communities don’t trust authority enforcement and therefore tend to remain silent when they see these types of crimes committed.• An estimated 12 - 27 million people are caught in one or another form of slavery. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States.
Why does slavery still exist?Last year slave traders made an estimated $32 billion. That’s more money than Google, Starbucks, and Nike combined.• Easy to recruit• Cheap to maintain• Replaceable• E
Statistics• The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.• 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.• 14,500 – 17,500 foreigners are being trafficked into the United States• Most often the victims are females between the ages of five and twenty-five with the average age range being twelve to fourteen.
Who is behind human trafficking?• Organized crime gangs• Individuals and or small groups of criminals• Drug cartels and or drug dealers
Helen Jean Singh Gets Nine Years In Bay Area Sex Trafficking RingOakland, CaA Sacramento woman was sentenced to nine years in prison for running a Bay Area sex ring that saw her and her husband use fear, drugs and money to control teenage prostitutes, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.Helen Jean Singh, 22, and Mike Singh, both of Sacramento enticed the four teens into prostitution by promising a "family-like" environment but eventually the girls were frightened or manipulated into continuing to sell themselves, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said.Singh pleaded guilty to sex trafficking conspiracy earlier this year and U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton handed down the sentence Wednesday, Haag added.Investigation later showed the girls were promised a 50 percent share of the $100 an hour fee the Singhs charged customers for encounters with the young women. The girls were also promised food, shelter and a supply of drugs, including methamphetamine. However, as time went on, the teens received none of the money, were beaten and were forced to continue to have sex with clients, prosecutors said.The couple allegedly used internet postings and cell phones to set up encounters with customers in hotels around the Bay Area.Source: The Huntington Post.
What’s being done to help?There is only one shelter in the U.S. designed specifically to meet the needs of trafficking victims, and it currently only houses a total of seven to nine victims.But the F.B.I claims to be doing “plenty”.“We work with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and national victim-based advocacy groups in joint task forces that combine resources and expertise on the issue. Today, the FBI participates in 71 human trafficking task forces and working groups around the nation.Our Victim Specialists (along with victims specialists from the U.S. Attorney Offices and/or other non-government victim assistance service providers) work with human trafficking victims to not only advise them of their rights as victims but also to assure they get the help they need to address their short-term and long-term needs—like legal and repatriation services, immigration relief, housing, employment, education, job training, and child care.”
How will human trafficking end?• Raising awareness of the existence of human trafficking and modern day slavery• Investigating these cases should be top priority• Enforcing existing laws against slavery and human trafficking through increased reliance on investigational work and authority enforcement