Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HUMAN TRAFFICKERS: ARE THEY RECRUITING AT YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL?


This is a follow-up to my blog post below: HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA.

Since I'm studying to be a special education teacher, I visit the US Department of Education website quite often. Earlier this week, I came across this disturbing article: HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES: A FACT SHEET FOR SCHOOLS.

Apparently,
it is a common practice for pimps to recruit trafficking victims from middle schools and high schools. (Any victim under the age of 18 used in a commercial sex act is considered a trafficking victim even if they are not taken across the state line.) Because this practice has become so common, the US Department of Education has created this fact sheet so teachers and other school officials can recognize the signs of a child engaged in commercial sex acts.

Pimps do not target just one group of students. These students can be male or female, any race, and may be as young as 12 years old.
"These pimps have been reported targeting their minor victims through telephone chat-lines, clubs, on the street, through friends, and at malls, as well as using girls to recruit other girls at schools and after-school programs.‪" (U.S. Dept of Education)

*HOW TO IDENTIFY A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING:

  • The student has unexplained absences from school for long periods of time.
  • The student chronically runs away from home.
  • The student makes references to frequent travel to other cities.
  • The student exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, acts withdrawn, depressed or fearful.
  • He/she lacks control over his/her schedule or identification documents.
  • The student comes to school hungry and malnourished or inappropriately dressed based on weather conditions.
  • The student shows signs of drug addiction.
  • The student demonstrates a sudden change in attire, behavior or material possessions (suddenly has expensive items).
  • The student makes references to sexual situations that are beyond their age specific norms.
  • The student has a "boyfriend" who is noticeably older (10+ years).
  • The student makes references to terminology of the commercial sex industry that are beyond age specific norms, engages in promiscuous behavior, and may be labeled "fast" or "easy" by peers.
*It is important to note that this list is not comprehensive of all signs of human trafficking, nor are all students who exhibit these signs most certainly trafficking victims. The list is meant to be a guide to help determine if further action is appropriate. (U.S. Department of Education website)I don't know how everyone else feels, but this is getting too close for comfort. To think these pimps could be watching our children while they are at school is such a scary thought. Schools and parents need to team together to help keep an eye on our children. Remember, it is said "it takes a village to raise a child". One of the best ways to help combat human trafficking is to raise awareness and learn more about how to identify victims. Information on human trafficking can be found on the following Web sites:

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11 comments:

Shayna said...

Wow... that is just beyond disturbing. Thanks for the information - I will be forwarding it on ---

Stopping by from SITS --- Please visit me at http://LifeForward.onsugar.com

Delia said...

Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest. This is sobering information, especially as I have a middle-schooler myself. Thanks!

Louise | Italy said...

This is truly chilling. God help our kids. It's bad enough that they have to go through the uncertainties of puberty, but to actually be targetted and victimised in this way doesn't bear thinking about.

Michelle said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

What a crazy story!

Safe Home Happy Mom said...

hi there, I am your latest follower. You can also follow me at www.safehomehappymom.com

Your blog is really informative, I will be hanging around for awhile digging into archives.

Manic Mother said...

Scary! I am so not ready for the teen years...so much more to worry about!

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Im stopping by from the comment challenge but I saw this when I stopped by from entre card I think... so sad. So awful.. I dont know whats wrong with people, I swear

Stephanie Faris said...

That's pretty scary. I never even thought about this before!

wsxwhx724 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Aurora said...

hi stopping by from SITS. yes this is disturbing and a couple of years ago a couple of girls were arrested for arrested for this. The ring leader was 14 years old!!! of course the person who recruited her all adults. i see so many parents trying to hard to be their kids friend therefore giving them too much freedom. If they get mad at you for being too nosy or saying no, so be it. Its our job as a parent to do that. Great post!

Rebecca said...

Happy Thurs stopping by from SITS,
Good post ~ I'm married to a lawman so these kinds of things never leave my mind.
Cheers!

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