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Human trafficking (HT) is also known as trafficking in persons (TIP). In short, human trafficking is modern day slavery. Trafficking is recognized as a crime under federal and international law and in the majority of states within the USA. Human Trafficking is a fast moving criminal activity that targets our most vulnerable members of society. Unlike street drugs or stolen items, which can only be sold once, a victim can be “sold” by a trafficker multiple times. Traffickers view their victims as commodities, not as human beings, with no regard to basic human rights. Trafficking is an entrepreneurial business for traffickers. Unfortunately, Maine was given a grade of “F” by a national advocacy group for its laws dealing with the sex trafficking of minors. In a report released by the “Protected Innocence Initiative,” Maine was criticized for being one of four states that does not have a specific human trafficking law and one of ten states that does not have a specific sex trafficking law¹.
What does a human trafficking victim look like? There isn’t one consistent “face” of a trafficking victim. Trafficked persons in the United States can be well educated, while others have no formal education. Men, women, and children are all represented among identified victims both globally and locally, and the socioeconomic background of victims also varies. This said, we do know some population groups are more likely to be trafficked due to the intrinsic vulnerabilities of their situations. For example, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are highly vulnerable due to a combination of factors, including: lack of legal status and protections, language barriers, limited employment options, poverty and immigration-related debts, and social isolation. They are often victimized by traffickers from a similar ethnic or national background, on whom they may be dependent for employment or a means of support.
Because Human Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, we need to focus and educate more on Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships in order for us to put an end to trafficking and offer assistance seeking both justice and restoration to those who have been victimized. This will be the focus of our next conference here in Maine.
¹ Source: Sharedhope.org
Human trafficking IS happening here. In the US. In Maine. In our communities. We can ALL do something. We can ALL use our time, talents, resources, and gifts to combat human trafficking right now, right where we live. Check out this video, created by an inspired group of compassionate and talented individuals who worked together to produce something remarkable:
This video exists because a small group of concerned individuals came together to take action against injustice. They created something beautiful to shine a light into the darkness, to raise awareness, and to support the organizations and individuals working to combat human trafficking right here in our own communities.
YOU are part of our network. YOU can help raise awareness and bring hope to victims. YOU can support the work of the many individuals working tirelessly to combat human trafficking, rescue victims, and restore lives. ONE may seem like a small number, but ONE person who chooses to do something can move us all forward together as we collaboratively work to protect the vulnerable from exploitation, and provide hope, healing, and justice to those caught in the web of human trafficking.
This video is the result of:
ONE is a powerful number. What will YOU do? Take a stand against injustice. Be a part of the discussion on facebook and twitter. Help us to spread awareness about human trafficking and help us raise much needed funds for victim aftercare by sharing this video, starting conversations, volunteering with organizations involved in the fight, and donating to our aftercare fund.
The Not Here Justice in Action Network would like to thank all the generous individuals who gave so much of their time and talent to create this inspirational song and video. For more information on their other work and projects, please visit:
The Not Here Conference is designed to bring outstanding experts together to address a broad range of listeners, and to empower these listeners to join in the movement of justice within their own communities.
We intend to spur efforts that work on innovative approaches to addressing recognized vulnerable populations such as child abuse victims, witnesses to domestic violence, runaways and throw aways, immigrants, gender specific groups and those impacted by mental health, substance abuse, or intellectual challenges.
We believe in bringing people together to develop creative collaborations that facilitate impacting the greater good! We ask the question, “How can we do better as a society to help those who are hurt by others?”