January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month Published Jan. 4, 2018 By Susan Alexander 45th Space Wing Violence Prevention Office PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING? A form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to exploit/control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his or her will. Traffickers Lure people by promising a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities. In other cases, they may kidnap victims or use physical violence or substance abuse to control them. They can be: Male or female Family members Intimate partners Strangers Acquaintances Victims Globally - men, women, boys, and girls are victims. Approximately 21 million are in forced labor and 12.3 million are in sex trafficking. In the United States, approximately 70% of female victims are in sex trafficking and 30% are in labor. The average age of an American child entering the sex trade is 11-15 (U.S. DOJ). Why Does Human Trafficking Exist? Human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on supply and demand. It is fueled by a demand for cheap labor, services, and commercial sex. It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world—Low Risk/High Profit. It is a multi-billion dollar industry! As such, communities can help reduce/stop human trafficking by: Not participating in the commercial sex or labor industry Buying fair trade and survivor-made products and holding your favorite brands accountable for fair labors practices (humantraffickinghotline.org) If you suspect Human Trafficking Contact: Law Enforcement Inspector General 1-800-424-9098 Florida Abuse Hotline 1-800-962-2873 The National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.