School are having their school bus drivers trained and establishing anti-human trafficking clubs. However, with these clubs, one needs to be careful in gang neighborhoods as gangs often retaliate against "snitches.." If a school official is notified that a student is being groomed or trafficked they need to call them in and tell them that THEY noticed that the student was missing school a lot, etc. not state that another student reported them as a possible victim.
Jenne Littrell, the Director of Guidance for one school system realized that because of privacy laws, the probation department and social services could not share information with schools as to who they may know to be victims of human sex trafficking and/or which students may be recruiters. So Jenee asked the U.S. Dept of Education to do a study where they shared information. Before the study in 2010, they identified 17 victims. In 2011 with the study, they identified 300! Once they identified the victims, they found the recruiters and either arrested them or expelled them. Once they found the recruiters, they found the traffickers. There were so many arrests the pimps/human traffickers social media blew up telling each other to get out of that school district and they did. Here is a brochure for teachers based on this project. Jenne has been training school administrators and teachers for years and now has a "Train the Trainer" training that she is doing for counties and districts on how to reduce human trafficking. School Districts can reach Jenne Littrell at Realmattersjenee@gmail.com
Illegal massage parlors are a 3 billion dollar a year industry. Many cities have taken on closing down illegal massage parlors. One city succeeded in closing down all of them. The city went from 74 to 42 massage parlors in 3 years through stings and passing a powerful ordinance. One of the biggest challenges law enforcement has in prosecuting illegal massage parlors is as soon as they close one down, the former owner just "sells" the business to a family member or friend who immediately sets up shop in the same location. Now law enforcement has to create a whole new case costing thousands of dollars. To prevent this, in addition to "Stings" law enforcement in one city asked citizens for their support to pass an ordinance that prohibited landlords from renting to another massage parlor for a year, if their tenant was found to be operating an illegal massage parlor. What this meant is the the landowner had to re-purpose the facility for a new type of tenant and it is very expensive to do a new build out. This had the landowners be vigilant as to who they rented to. As a result of all the prosecutions and the difficulty in finding a place to rent, the illegal massage parlors left.
Many faith communities have created anti-human trafficking ministries and have taken on educating the community through conferences and events. They have partnered with non-profits and done fundraisers. They volunteer as speakers and go to surrounding faith communities to raise awareness. There are scores of actions a faith community can take that are outlined in detail at our sister site www.throughGodsgrace.com
Vanguard University engaged their college students to go to every clinic in Orange County and drop off flyers educating medical personnel as to what to look for and where they could get training. You can find a similar flyer to what they gave out here. In the first week, 2 victims were rescued.
The Dignity Health Hospital group which has 39 hospitals and 400 care centers, hired a survivor of human trafficking to create a training for their medical personnel. They also consult other hospital groups on training. They teach medical personnel how to recognize traffickers and what to do. An example of one module they teach: The traffickers send victims in with an individual whose job it is to keep the victim "under control" (usually a woman) who will claim the victim can't speak English and they will translate. If the medical team suspects that they are dealing with a pimp and their victim, they might say something like..."The patient needs an x-ray and hospital policy dictates that only the patient can go to the x-ray room and they will be right back." Once they get the victim alone, they can find out what is going on.
Many hotel and motel chains have signed the Expat code which is a commitment to provide training to their employees. These trainings include what signs to look for like a room that is asking for towels every hour. Some hotels and motels have gone even further and blocked pornography from their wifi and rooms. Businesses can support these efforts by only booking rooms for their conferences, trainings, meetings and traveling executives with hotels/motels that have joined Ecpat and block porn.
Service Clubs like Rotary and Soroptomists are sponsoring conferences and hosting awareness tables in strip malls and shopping centers to hand out flyers. (Please see our Awareness Campaign tab for flyers.) They are also using their vast influence to support legislation to reduce human trafficking
Cities are making "What Does Human Trafficking Look Like?" as part of their neighborhood watch program. They are also asking homeland security to train their bus drivers as recruitment often happens on buses. In addition, they are having their postmen/postwomen trained as these workers are often the first to notice changes in the neighborhood, like men in suits and ties coming and going from an apartment all day long.
Task Forces are so important to the community. Non-Profits educate law enforcement on how to approach victims. The community has the opportunity to meet those who are active in the fight and offer to volunteer to work with them. In addition to education among members, these task forces take on community projects like teen events at local schools or organize volunteers to be at sporting events to raise awareness. Everyone has a chance to share what is working and not working which is invaluable to the participants.
Both these groups are offering presentations on predators which includes human traffickers. Keep in mind that the FBI tells us that there are over 800,000 predators online. The difference between a predator and human trafficker is that a predator keeps the victim for their own personal use (sex slave) while a human trafficker sells them to others. On our Speakers and Training tab are trainings a scout leader can use. At Boy Scouts of America, search for "cyber exploitation" to find their resources. Many Girl Scouts are in the community raising awareness.
This is a business and human sex traffickers spend money on their "product" to make them more attractive. As a result many victims see professionals in the beauty field. For this reason, the Ohio State Cosmetology Board is requiring that all their operators receive training on how to spot victims. All states should be doing this.
Many churches or other entities have major donors who have money or groups of people who want to start a home. However they don't feel qualified to take care of victims. Refuge for Women is partnering with churches and other entities to set up homes. One resource churches have is volunteers for these homes. They will work with a group to help them raise money, hire staff, train the staff, etc. Refuge has a proven program with over a decade of experience of working with victims. Instead of Refuge, you might prefer a local non-profit that you want to partner with in a similar way. Your group can provide resources they are good at and the non-profit can do what they are good at.
Victims from all over the world are taken by plane to their destinations. Airline crew are trained by this organization as to what to look for and has been responsible for identifying thousands of victims. Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) is affiliated with the United Nations and recognized by the US Congress. In addition to anti-human trafficking training, they provide humanitarian aid to orphans around the world. To learn more about their work you can find their site here.
One of the most popular spots where pimps bring victims are trucking stops and rest stops. To date, TAT has trained almost 3/4 of a million truckers and have been responsible for over 1,000 victims being identified. To learn more, please go to their site.
From the time a sex buyer orders a "date" at an escort site, they can have a client meet in one hour. Pimps/human traffickers often use services like Uber to transport their victims to the location of the "date." Since 2015, Uber has worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), ECPAT-USA, and The McCain Institute to develop resources for all U.S. drivers to help identify and report human trafficking. In addition, Uber has signed the “The Code” to protect children from trafficking. They also partner with Thorn to support their innovation work and provide engineering expertise to help build technology to defend children from sexual abuse.