Can you imagine losing someone (under eighteen) by someone stealing them? It happens quite frequently, and it is becoming more frequent. Imagine yourself outside with your younger sibling. You go inside for a second to get a drink of water. You come back they are gone. You become distraught. Police cannot do anything for twenty four hours because it is not classified as a missing person for that long.
Once the police get involved, the search begins. What do you do? What happened to them? There has been an increase of human trafficking worldwide. What is human trafficking? Many believe it is just voluntary prostitution (e.g. pimp and his women), but it isn’t. Human trafficking is the use of a person for monetary purposes. Children as low as a year old have been caught up in human trafficking. The average age of a child is thirteen years old. It can be a male child (40%) or female child (60%).
The traffickers use various techniques to coerce, kidnap, or trick these children into coming with them. Some times it is even family members who use them for monetary gains. This happens everywhere, even right down the street from you. Even in your back yard.
They come from everywhere as you can see from the map above.
One of the most frequented routes within the United States is the I-10 corridor between Corpus Christi and New Orleans. Traffickers use these children to work in many venues not just sex. Some times they are sold as servants, some times they working popular festivals such as Mardi Gras, Super Bowl, and/or festivals or sporting events.
What do you do if you suspect child trafficking? Notify the authorities. What are some of the signs of human trafficking? Does the person appear malnourished, abused, and/or fearful? These are some of the signs of human trafficking. If you want to learn more, please visit Department of Homeland Security, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Metanoia and National Human Trafficking Hotline to name a few.