The term Human Trafficking refers to modern day slavery and includes sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, involuntary servitude, and child soldiers. These horrific forms of abuse are all linked together. END IT states that human Trafficking happens in 167 countries (that is 87% of all nations in the world) and approximately 1 in 5 victims are children. The number of victims caught in this web of abuse is staggering. According to A21, human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating more than $150 billion USD every year. Traffickers use a variety of methods to recruit victims including abduction and even being sold into trafficking by their family. Often people are tricked into trafficking through false job advertisements, false immigration, and/or promises from supposed lovers/friends.
To emphasise the importance and impact of sex trafficking, our group would like to highlight the numbers.
Polaris Project provides four statistics on their Sex Trafficking page:
- Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
- In 2016, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.
- Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.
- In a 2014 report, the Urban Institute estimated that the underground sex economy ranged from $39.9 million in Denver, Colorado, to $290 million in Atlanta, Georgia.
Thorn‘s research on web based sexual abuse indicates that of victims identified 91% are African American & Latino youth, 50-90% have some form of child welfare involvement, 76% are refugees and/or migrant children, 50% are youth in the LGBTQ community, 25% are homeless youth, and 16% are considered runaways.
MN Human Trafficking Hotline has data on recorded Human trafficking cases in the state of Minnesota. As of 2016 there were 299 calls to the hotline, 62 cases were reported. Of those 62 cases reported to the hotline 53 of the victims were female and 14 victims were male. 48 of the 62 cases were specific to Sex Trafficking. The locations of the 48 Sex trafficking incidents included but are not limited to hotels/motels, commercial-front brothels, street-based, and escort services.
only 1% of victims are ever rescued *A21
STAR_mdst is a group of Metro State students working to increase awareness of sex trafficking. Our group was tasked with selecting an issue and developing a social media campaign for it. We chose sex trafficking because we felt there are multiple pieces to this issue that we can highlight and there are real opportunities for our readers to make a change.
According to Merriam-Webster, the legal definition of sex trafficking is the illegal business of recruiting, harboring, transporting, obtaining, or providing a person and especially a minor for the purpose of sex.
Equality Now states that at least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor. Victims of sex trafficking are often isolated, intimidated, sold into debt bondage and subject to physical and sexual assault by their traffickers. Most live under constant mental and physical threat. Many suffer severe emotional trauma, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and disassociation. They are at greater risk of contracting sexually transmissible infections, including HIV/AIDS. Many become pregnant and are forced to undergo often unsafe abortions.
Our plan is to inform readers about:
- sex trafficking including definitions, statistics & basic facts
- local & federal laws pertaining to the various forms of sex trafficking
- organizations in Minnesota making a difference in sex trafficking
- national & worldwide organizations supporting change in sex trafficking
- the impact large scale events (super bowl, national conventions, Olympics) have on sex trafficking numbers
Our goal is to share pertinent accurate information about sex trafficking with our readers. We will link to local, national and worldwide organizations, create YouTube videos, and deliver relevant information through our blog, Facebook and Twitter.
It is important readers understand they can help:
- support an organization (with time and/or financially)
- lobby for change
- speak out (if you see something say something)
- promote awareness
Our hope is that the research we share will motivate our readers to act which will in turn reduce the occurrences of sex trafficking.
Check our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Blog Type #1
As students of this course on social media, we’re spending a lot of time investigating new emerging tools and channels to communicate, network and collaborate with each other. One of the most fascinating ones to me was Slack. I had heard of it in passing, but never had a chance to test it out. From chatting with other classmates, I know I’m not the the only one. We’re all living in something of a digital renaissance and its our collective jobs to decide which social media platforms are meaningful to us.
Along those lines, I wanted to share this article
at The Atlantic
, a magazine known for critical thinking and digging into global trends. It looks at how Slack could be positioning itself to kill Facebook, which is the long-running giant in the social media world. It talks about how Facebook has always tried to take its competitors features and make them its own (such as the new Facebook Stories, which are a ripoff of Snapchat.) But, Slack is using the same strategy:
Slack has always found useful ways to integrate third-party apps within its service—or, in Slack’s parlance, to reduce the “context switching” that eats away at productivity. But the move also reveals quite a bit about Slack’s larger ambitions, and may hint at the larger direction of the social web. The main point is, Slack doesn’t want you to have to log off—ever. This is a familiar mentality online these days.
It’s a really interesting point of view. And that begs a good question: Could you see Slack replacing Facebook’s role in your life? How about email? Messenger services like WhatsApp? I am curious what everyone’s thoughts are. Personally, I think Slack does offer a lot of features I use, but I already have other apps or places that I prefer. It would take a lot for me to switch.