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Human Trafficking in Oklahoma!

School’s out and I’ve been able to travel. I loved the cool temperatures and managed to escape all the storms. Billboards entertained me as I drove. One surprised me greatly. It proclaimed a need for awareness about human trafficking. In America? In Oklahoma? Surely not. I wrote about human trafficking in my book, “The Calypso Princess”. I was inspired by a story I read while on a Bahamas cruise. The setting was Cuba, partly because I never dreamed it was happening in the United States.


We as a nation were recently astounded by the news of 3 girls held hostage for over ten years in the Cleveland Ohio kidnapping. Friends, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We, or least I, know so little. Educate yourself. Become an advocate. I listed 20 of over 50 facts found on the following website. It’s worth the time it will take to check it out. Look at #9!


1.  There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking.


2.  Approximately 75-80% of human trafficking is for sex.


3.  There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.


4.  Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.


5.  Human traffickers often use a Sudanese phrase “use a slave to catch slaves,” meaning traffickers send “broken-in girls” to recruit younger girls into the sex trade. Sex traffickers often train girls themselves, raping them and teaching them sex acts.


6.  An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.


7.  Ludwig “Tarzan” Fainberg, a convicted trafficker, said, “You can buy a woman for $10,000 and make your money back in a week if she is pretty and young. Then everything else is profit.”


8.  Pregnant women are increasingly being trafficked for their newborns.


9. Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about human trafficking. In the video, Gaga is trafficked by a Russian bathhouse into sex slavery.


10. After sex, the most common form of human trafficking is forced labor. Researchers argue that as the economic crisis deepens, the number of people trafficked for forced labor will increase.


11. Most human trafficking in the United States occurs in New York, California, and Florida.


12. Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S. are ranked very high as destination countries of trafficked victims.


13. Women are trafficked to the U.S. largely to work in the sex industry (including strip clubs, peep and touch shows, massage parlors that offer sexual services, and prostitution). They are also trafficked to work in sweatshops, domestic servitude, and agricultural work.


14. Sex traffickers use a variety of ways to “condition” their victims, including subjecting them to starvation, rape, gang rape, physical abuse, beating, confinement, threats of violence toward the victim and victim’s family, forced drug use, and shame.


15. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. Criminal organizations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly.


16. Human trafficking is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years. Journalist Victor Malarek reports that it is primarily men who are driving human trafficking, specifically trafficking for sex.


17. Sex traffickers often recruit children because not only are children more unsuspecting and vulnerable than adults, but there is also a high market demand for young victims. Traffickers target victims on the telephone, on the Internet, through friends, at the mall, and in after-school programs.


18. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and in some U.S. territories.


19. The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.


-- Posted January 2, 2011

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