Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Preparing for human trafficking: 5 Things you must know

In Latin America it’s called “Trafico de personas”. You know it as human trafficking.
It didn’t use to be a widespread problem in Argentina. It existed, but after the 2001 collapse it increased significantly. Poverty, crime, government and police corruption all works to create an environment where slavery flourishes.
The same is happening in US right now. Human trafficking is on the rise. Calls to U.S. trafficking hotline rise 26 percent led from last year by sex victims.
When people ask about the similarities between what happened in Argentina and Greece and what could happen in America, I explain that it’s already happening. The difference is that in the case of U.S. it’s a slow, long process with few landmark moments but with very similar results. Poverty, social degradation and loss of standards of living just degrades everything around you until one day you wake up, look around and wonder what the heck happened.
This would be the perfect example. Human trafficking, slavery, Child abduction and prostitution are all connected and there’s a good chance you’re not as prepared for it as you should be.
Some of the things we learned and that you should keep in mind:
1) It can happen to anyone.
It’s not just teens coming from troubled families. Even small children from good homes are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Kidnappers may drive around nice neighborhoods looks for very young children, teenage girls or young women. And it’s not just teenagers and children that are in danger.
Even middleclass adults with families of their own have been kidnaped. Such was the case of 23 year old María de los Angeles Verón, a young middleclass mother taken when walking to a doctor’s appointment in broad daylight in the city of Tucuman, Argentina in 2002. María Verón is still missing.
2) It can and does happen in the country. A LOT.
Ok, this right here is very important and you must understand how dangerous this is. When you think of children or adults being abducted and sold for prostitution and slavery you often think this happens in Thailand or some hell hole in Latin America. It’s happening all over USA and not just among troubled inner city youths. Rural judges are in fact the ones that have seen the sharpest increase of child prostitution.
“Almost one in three of the juvenile judges surveyed said they had seen an increase in the past five years in the number of child prostitutes coming into their courtrooms. Rural judges participating in the survey reported the sharpest increase, with the typical rural judge seeing an average of three youths a month involved in prostitution.”
3) The dangers of the internet
Internet and social media are often where these criminal organizations find their victims. The pictures and profiles on Facebook provide a lot of personal information. It also helps traffickers keep an eye on their victims and their whereabouts, tracking them every second.
Make sure you know what your children are up to when online, no matter how old or young you may think they are. Know who they are talking with and what they are talking about and be extremely careful regarding people outside their circle of friends they have direct face to face contact with.
4) Once taken, it is very hard to rescue them.
When someone is enslaved, they are usually threatened and beaten into submission. Sometimes its financial leverage that they have over the victim. Without ant cash, ID or money, all which are taken away, the victim feels powerless. In the case of sex slaves they are often beaten, raped and kept drugged for months until they are emotionally broken. The kidnappers will often threaten to kill the parents of the children they abduct or in the case of women with children of their own it’s them who are threatened. Kidnappers usually have either political connections or friends among local police. Often they have financial power or leverage because of their clients which are sometimes powerful, influential people. This is often the case of prostitution rings.
5) Its already happening all around you
Its not just about prostitution. There’re slaves working in New York City as maids and salves picking strawberries in the fields of California or working in the restaurant kitchen where you just had dinner with your family. It is estimated that there are 1.5 million victims in USA of either sex or labor trafficking.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

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