what is human trafficking?
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that is broken into two categories: forced labor and sex trafficking. Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.
Human trafficking is not just a problem; it is an epidemic taking away freedoms and livelihoods form men, women, and children around the world. Labor trafficking and sex trafficking are both forms of modern day slavery. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. It is estimated that at least 30 million people worldwide are enslaved today, this is more than any other period in history.
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
Bringing our focus closer to home, Restore One works diligently to prevent the trafficking of American youth and provide shelter for domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) victims. In the United States, human trafficking often goes unrecognized or unmentioned. Many Americans assume human trafficking happens overseas, in third world countries or in big cities. However, the United States is a thriving hub for traffickers and pimps. The trafficking of American children occurs in every U.S. state in rural towns and prevalent cities. We strongly advocate against DMST, a ravenous crime that is exploiting thousands of American children within North Carolina and the United States. DMST is considered a federal crime and is defined as the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders, by means of recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
DMST often appears in the forms of commercial sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, pornography and/or erotic entertainment. ECPAT International estimates that 100,000 - 300,000 American youth are victims of DMST within the United States and 325,000 more youth are at risk of becoming a victim. Polaris Project estimates that the average age an American boy enters into forced prostitution ranges from 11 - 13 years and 12 - 14 years for girls. Studies indicate that an equal number of homeless, sheltered, or runaway girls and boys are at high risk to commercial sexual exploitation and DMST. At Restore One, we recognize child slavery is in our own backyard; the problem is that few of us are aware, and others choose to do nothing.
What It Looks Like
When asked, " What does a human trafficking victim look like?", we say, "Look at the person beside you." Human trafficking does not hold to a specific race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or age. However, all people have one thing in common: a desire and right to live freely. Behind every human trafficking statistic is a person who is someone's friend, family member, or companion. Slavery steals lives. Human trafficking looks like someone's mother, brother, sister, father, aunt or uncle. At its growing rate, human trafficking is expected to surpass drugs as the largest global criminal enterprise. Now that you see what human trafficking looks like, what does it look like we can do to stop it?
Can you think of a time in your life that you were forced to do something you did not want to do? When asked this, many can conjure up at least one incidence, but could not image it becoming their lifestyle. Everyday victims of human trafficking are held against their will and are subject to their traffickers' and pimps' demands. The emotional and physical damage done to human trafficking victims is demoralizing. Once a victim is rescued, the road to complete restoration is difficult. Survivors suffer lifelong consequences from severe trauma, total loss of autonomy, and extreme abuse they have experienced. Generally, survivors can suffer complications such as anxiety, panic attacks, attachment disorder, depression, substance abuse, development disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, personality disorders, self-harming disorder, eating disorders and/or others. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most common types of trauma disorders found among trafficking victims. At Restore One, God has given us a heart to facilitate restoration to human trafficking survivors. By working together with churches, community members and qualified professionals, Restore One will open multiple safe houses where human trafficking survivors have the opportunity to receive healing and restoration.