Thursday, March 13, 2014

Slavery in 21st Century America

I attended a Girl Be Heard (http://girlbeheard.org/) event last night for a performance about Human Trafficking. Apparently the 3 major international rackets are 1) arms 2) drugs 3) human enslavement. The enslavement/trafficking is the fastest growing cartel out of the 3, with $32 billion a year to criminal gangs.

Human trafficking/slavery is very big in America. Domestic workers are lured here, have their passports taken away, and then forced to work for free (slavery). Kids are kidnapped and shipped around on planes as sex slaves in the open. This happens in every major airport, train stations, and bus stops cause most adults can't put the clues together, the kids can't speak English or are drugged out of their mind, or the kidnapped victim is too scared to say anything cause they're traveling with their perpetrator.

One of the event speakers was a girl from NYC who was kidnapped by her elementary school janitor, sold to a pimp, and forced into sex work in East New York. She escaped after several years and told the story of being in a house with other children in NYC.  200,000 children are trafficked in the US every year and used as slaves. That is a low-ball estimate. The real numbers are probably a lot higher.

Ads for 'nanny' or 'domestic worker' companies in America fill the grocery store bulletin boards in other countries. Promises of easy money that young adults can send back home to their parents makes desperate people sign up and fly blindly into a new country with only one contact. These boys, girls, and women disappear from the radar and fall into a underworld that feeds America's desire for free work and prostitution.

But the 'nanny' scam is just one of the many ways human trafficking has spread throughout America and other affluent nations. There are outright cases of parents selling their kids to traffickers as well as children being kidnapped, tortured, raped, and drugged into a delusional state of complete submission.

I spoke to one of the heads of the organizations in attendance after the performance. Deborah Sigmund runs Innocents at Risk, a not-for-profit focused on making people aware. She said Innocents has been trying to train airline stewardesses to spot the warning signs of a child or young person being trafficked on planes.

Innocents at Risk is at innocentsatrisk.org.

They list the warning signs and simple things everyone can do to help. 

1 comment:

Mildred said...

Critically important. Thanks for this.