It’s been a good and productive week for LA Stop the Traffik and our members!
We finally were able to send our members to Journey Out for orientation to volunteer. As a club on campus, our main goal is to educate and spread awareness to the student body. What better way to do that than to learn from a professor and LAPD, Dr. Stephany Powell. Our members got the opportunity to learn about the experiences Dr. Powell has garnered throughout her 30 years as a police officer. This is an exciting opportunity for our members because not only will they just be hearing stories and learning statistics about human trafficking, now they will be able to share their knowledge and skills with survivors during our future workshops.
For our third meeting of the quarter, we planned a little group activity where members matched some statistics with facts about human trafficking. Here’s what we learned:
- 5.5 million children estimated to be trafficked around the world (this includes: prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, forced marriage, sweatshop work, begging, migrant farming, armed services)
- Distribution of victims around the world:
-North America & Western Europe: 1,500,000
-South America: 1,800,000
- Human trafficking is the 2nd largest source of illegal income worldwide behind drugs trafficking.
- California has the 3 highest child sex trafficking areas in the US: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.
- Average age a kid enters the sex trade in the US is 12 to 14 years old.
After seeing the big picture and the numbers in the United States and globally, we all read an article about a human trafficking survivor from Rhode Island and learned about an online provider of human trafficking that is still active due to loopholes in the law.
It may be not as big of a shock to find out that these sorts of activities happen in third world countries, but when one realizes that it happens quite often in a first world country, such as America, it can change perspectives on human trafficking.
What we learned from this week is that human trafficking can happen to anyone at any ages, places, and from all backgrounds. The victims do not have to be in a third world country with no other options to choose from. So it is important for everyone to be educated on this topic in order to spot the signs, as well as to prevent it from happening to oneself.