Posted by: JennyRain | June 23, 2010

Trafficking: The Not-So-Subtle Violation of a Person’s Soul – Part 2

Without knowledge, my people perish.

That is the goal of my series this week on trafficking. To increase education on the subject of human trafficking.

Did you know that…

The International Labor Organization (ILO)—the United Nations agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues—estimates that there are at least 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial sexual servitude at any given time.

Of these victims, the ILO estimates that at least 1.39 million are victims of commercial sexual servitude, both transnational and within countries. According to the ILO, 56 percent of all forced labor victims are women and girls.

12.3 million adults and children suffering.

Right now.


To give you an idea of how many people that is… consider this graphic (click to enlarge)

That means that if the Census bureau measured trafficking, statistics would show that…

There are more men, women, and children trafficked at any given time than comprises the population of over 30 states in the United States of America.

There are more people trafficked at any given time than the combined populations of New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Kansas.

There are more humans trafficked at any given time than live in Ohio.

Only five states in the US have a higher population than the total human trafficking population at any given time.

This issue of human trafficking cuts across economics, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and educational level.

No country on our globe is immune to the impact of human trafficking.

No state in America is untouched. No neighborhood is safe from the clutch of trafficking’s razor-sharp talons. Not even the richest neighborhoods in the United States.

Not even the kids in your neighborhood.

Consider Elizabeth… a fifteen year old covered in a Washington Post story

Her name was “Elizabeth London,” she said. And, shivering in a short, white skirt and tottering on huge, acrylic heels too big for her little feet, she was standing on a corner in Northwest Washington, about four blocks from the White House, “waiting for a friend.”

She was a child, about 15, I guessed. Her makeup was clumsy and clumpy, her long, blond hair was limp. The detective with me agreed that she was a kid, but she had no I.D., so he couldn’t prove it.

He took some notes about her, “a new one,” he mumbled, who was probably imported from somewhere far from the city. “They bring them up the Interstate, 95, through the big cities. D.C. is on that circuit,” the detective explained to me as we cruised around the District’s open-air, prostitution hotspots back in 2002 for a story I was writing.

Human trafficking right here, in the nation’s capital, seemed improbable. Women couldn’t possibly be “trafficked” in America. That happens in exotic countries, where they are held in bamboo cages and forced to service dozens of clients a day, right?

“Ha. Try Leesburg. Ballston Common Mall. Tysons Corner. Those are all spots” where girls are meeting clients under the watchful eye of their pimps or being recruited into the sex trade with flattery and flashy clothes, Tina Frundt told me this week.

This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it.

Now, if I’ve gotten all up in your craw – forgive me.

Well, on second thought…

Stay mad.

Stay mad as hell. Passionate about this to do something about it. Mad at the people who are allowing it to continue. Angry at the systems that perpetrate it. Furious at the economic platforms that support it and the governments who do nothing to deal with it.

Then choose to get involved… here are some ways you can help:

1 – If you see someone you think is a trafficking victim, report it!


2 – Realize that no matter where you live, this is happening in your back yard and get involved.  You can get involved through the Polaris Project:  Polaris Project | P.O. Box 53315, Washington, DC 20009 | Tel: 202.745.1001 | |E-mail:

3 – If you have access to anti-trafficking resources, post them below in the comments section. Retweet these resources. Blog about it. Facebook about it. Get the word out to victims that help is available to them!

4 – You want to help, but you have no training or resources. Start a ministry in your church using some of the following training resources to help get you started (other organizations have already done the work so you don’t have to!)

Hands That Heal International Curriculum

Telephone: 888.466.4673

The Salvation Army’s U.S. Anti-Trafficking Training Manual

The training manual provides seven easy to follow hour-long sessions, which include facilitator notes, as well as small group learning exercises.  To obtain a copy of the resource CD, please contact Penny Matheson at or at 703-647-4780.

CCIP Train-the-Trainer Institute Manual

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Community Intervention Project (CCIP) manual will provide you with all the tools and resources needed to conduct community trainings about the commercial sexual exploitation of children. For more information, please contact Frank Massolini at: or at 312.291.7916.

Wise As Serpents

The biblically-based seven week study can be used for Sunday School classes, Bible studies, confirmation classes, or retreats aimed at grades 7, 8, and 9. Included in the package is a video with survivor stories and curriculum materials on how to teach about the perils of sexual temptation and prostitution.

Telephone: 612.872.0684

I can do something. You can do something. Together WE can do something.




  1. I shall pass this on xx

  2. This is a brilliant article; well researched and plenty of ways for the reader to support the work that is so under-served and yet so necessary. Well Done!!

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