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  • Geebo 10:18 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Human trafficking, schools   

    California schools to teach human trafficking awareness 

    California schools to teach human trafficking awareness

    While California may be the leading state in the country for human trafficking that doesn’t mean the state is taking it lying down. California is also one of the leaders in the country of human trafficking prosecution. This is the state that is trying to curb human trafficking at one of its roots by prosecuting the CEO and founders of Backpage.

    California is now trying to prevent human trafficking by using one of the greatest weapons known to man, knowledge. Back in October the state legislature passed a law that would require schools to train teachers and educate students on the signs of human trafficking. Let’s not kid ourselves that our children are not being targeted by pimps and traffickers online. With the advent of social media, these predators are using the impressionability of our children with promises of money and independence to lure them into a life of slavery.

    Since many parents are so unwilling to educate their children or are ignorant to the problem themselves that it is up to the schools to warn our children about these dangers. It’s more than high time for the rest of the country to follow California’s lead in this matter since the trafficking of women and children occurs in every state in just about every town.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Human trafficking   

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels 

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels

    With its year-round beaches, spring break destinations, and theme parks, the Sunshine State of Florida has long been a popular vacation destination for people of all ages for generations. Because of that popularity, Florida also has a reputation of being one of the biggest destinations for human traffickers.

    Recently, the Florida State legislature has considered a bill where hotels could be sued by human trafficking victims if the hotels either turned a blind eye, or helped others engage in the modern-day slave trade. While the bill has not been opposed in public, some claim that big names in Florida tourism have been working behind the scenes to undermine the bill.

    However, there is an out for the hotel industry in Florida. If the hotel provides proper training in how to recognize human trafficking and provide a protocol for reporting trafficking then those hotels could not be sued under the proposed legislation.

    While some fear this could cause a new cottage industry for overly litigious Florida attorneys, it could also provide new allies in the fight against the trafficking of women and children in what is supposed to be the ‘happiest place on earth.’

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Delaware, Human trafficking   

    Backpage shouldn’t be ‘in good standing’ anywhere 

    Backpage shouldn't be 'in good standing' anywhere

    The tiny, three county state of Delaware has long been a tax haven for thousands of corporations. Many high-profile companies incorporate in Delaware due to their lax corporate tax laws that allow many of these companies to get out of paying their fair share of taxes to the state where they actually do business. Many of the country’s leading companies are incorporated at the same nondescript office building in Wilmington.

    One of the companies that is incorporated in Delaware is Backpage, whose main offices are actually in Dallas, Texas. A number of Delaware government officials are concerned about Backpage’s presence in Delaware but say there’s nothing they can do about it. Even though Backpage is responsible for 80% of all online human trafficking in the U.S., are being investigated by Congress, and have had all major credit card companies refuse to do business with the, Backpage is still considered a company ‘in good standing’ by the state of Delaware.

    Both the Delaware Secretary of State and Attorney General say they do not have the legal authority to do anything about Backpage’s standing in Delaware stating they can’t dissolve the company but wish they could. Then maybe it’s time for the legislature of Delaware to give them the legal authority. While a number of companies would probably side with Backpage on this front claiming it starts a dangerous legal precedent, how many of those companies are making their money from the illegal trade of trafficking in human beings? While a company’s main objective is to turn a profit, it shouldn’t be done through the modern-day slave trade.

     
  • Geebo 10:09 am on February 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Human trafficking, ,   

    Super Bowl stings catch those who would buy children 

    Super Bowl stings catch those who would buy children

    Previously, we’ve posted about Washington County, Minnesota, and how they’re cracking down on the type of human trafficking that deals in children. This past weekend, Washington County was the site of many Super Bowl visitors due to its proximity to the Twin Cities area of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where the Super Bowl took place.

    They were just one of many police departments that conducted stings to try to catch those who would use sites like craigslist and Backpage to buy children for the purposes of sex. In Woodbury, which is the largest city in Washington County, at least three men were apprehended for allegedly looking for what they thought were children as young as 13 on both Backpage and craigslist. It’s highly doubtful that either website were willing participants in this investigation meaning they allowed ads placed by police posing as children to remain on their platforms. Washington County wasn’t the only task force cracking down on the trafficking of children as over 100 human trafficking arrests were made during Super Bowl week.

    People who say sites like craigslist and Backpage are making it easier for police to find human traffickers are forgetting one thing. It’s also making it much easier for pimps and traffickers to sell women and children against their will. Craigslist and Backpage can’t be both the cause of and solution to human trafficking. That is the textbook definition of a logical fallacy which forgets that the true victims in these cases aren’t craigslist and Backpage but the women and children who are sold unabated on these websites.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Human trafficking,   

    Don’t forget about human trafficking after the Super Bowl 

    Don't forget about human trafficking after the Super Bowl

    With the Super Bowl approaching this weekend, you’ll probably see a number of news reports about the increased presence of human trafficking surrounding the event. Now the numbers of how many traffickers and victims being brought to the area around the Super Bowl are largely debated, that doesn’t change the fact that human trafficking does happen around large events like this. Some anti-human trafficking groups are even heading to Minneapolis this weekend to offer assistance to the victims of trafficking.

    While this is a great opportunity to not only bring awareness to the human trafficking problem in our country, it also does a disservice to the victims of human trafficking. Once the confetti has fallen and the winning team takes their trophy and goes home, human trafficking doesn’t magically cease to exist. What does cease to exist is the attention the media gives to human trafficking. Once the Super Bowl is over, the media spotlight on trafficking is all but gone.

    In football terms human trafficking not only happens during the Super Bowl, but it happens during the pre-season, the regular season, and the off-season. It’s also not confined to cities that have pro football teams as it happens every day all over the country. So when you see one of these reports on your local news, please don’t forget about the women and children being trafficked against their wills once the big game is over.

     
  • Geebo 9:53 am on January 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Human trafficking, Omaha   

    Hotels are at the front line of human trafficking 

    Hotels are at the front line of human trafficking

    When we think of hotels and human trafficking we think mostly of the seedy roadside motel that no one would normally visit under any circumstance. While those places do exist, human trafficking also takes place at the same hotels we use for business and vacations. Think about that for a moment. There may be a victim of human trafficking at the same hotel that you may be staying at with your family.

    The problem has become so prevalent that many police departments and anti-human trafficking groups have taken it upon themselves to educate hotel workers about the problem. For example, the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative have educated workers at over 100 hotels in Omaha on how to recognize if someone is being trafficked. Often victims are either forced to work out of these hotels are or held captive there being unable to leave due to threats of physical violence.

    The problem is so prevalent nowadays thanks to sites like Backpage that this is only one of many initiatives being held across the country. Human trafficking is one of the most profitable crimes in the world since a person can be sold over and over again unlike something like drugs which require a constant manufacturing process. If more people were aware that human trafficking is happening everywhere and not just in the places we think it’s happening, a lot more could be done to put a stop to it.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on January 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cyber Patrol, Human trafficking,   

    Citizens group takes on human trafficking at the source 

    Citizens group takes on human trafficking at the source

    San Diego, California, has unfortunately long been known as a hot spot for human trafficking for several reasons. Due to its proximity to both Los Angeles and Mexico, and the fact that it has a large military population contributes to the amount of trafficking that takes place there. That’s not to disparage either location or our military, but unfortunately that’s the reality of the situation. However, a group of volunteers has taken the fight against human trafficking to its roots, the men who would buy trafficked women and girls from Backpage.

    The Bunch of Guys Cyber Patrol, or Cyber Patrol for short, have taken it upon themselves to warn those who would respond to Backpage ads are contributing to the human trafficking problem. The Cyber Patrol takes out ads that appear to be one of Backpage’s usual trafficking ads. All they’ll have on the ad is a picture of a woman and a phone number. Once the ad is posted it doesn’t take them long to start receiving phone calls from men looking for a woman, the Cyber Patrol responds with a script that details not only the plight of women and girls who are trafficked but also what could happen to the men who patronize these ads.

    The message goes on to say that many of the women advertising their services are underage, or were coerced into the business as minors, and that their pimps often keep all of the money for themselves.

    They are warned that a conviction for solicitation of a minor could turn them into registered sex offenders.

    While the Cyber Patrol are not law enforcement, they will on occasion turn some more concerning cases over to the Human Trafficking Task Force.

    While they may be just chipping away at a much larger problem, taking on the johns of the world is a tactic we need to see more of. It comes down to simple economics really. If you take away the demand, then there’s no need for the supply. By making the johns aware of the problem they’re contributing to, maybe fewer of them will turn to Backpage or other avenues of human trafficking.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Houston, Human trafficking, ,   

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit 

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit

    In the past year or so, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Backpage, the site that tries to disguise itself as a classifieds site but makes most of its money off of sex trafficking ads. Some of these lawsuits have come from families whose daughters were killed in the sex trafficking trade. Others have come from women who were trafficked while underage on Backpage. The one thing that all these lawsuits have in common is that Backpage took money for these ads while knowing exactly what they were for.

    Most recently, Backpage is being sued by an 18-year-old woman from Houston, Texas. She says that she was 15 when she was advertised on Backpage. Her lawsuit alleges that Backpage knowingly edited ads to hide evidence of child sex trafficking. This is the basis of most of the recent lawsuits against Backpage as a Congressional investigative committee found evidence that Backpage was allegedly actively editing their ads in this manner. Due to the findings of that investigation, Backpage has settled at least one lawsuit filed against them by trafficking victims.

    Since Congress has been dragging their feet on providing any kind of real legislative protection for Backpage’s trafficking victims, maybe hitting them in their pockets for millions of dollars in settlements will finally make Backpage realize that it’s not worth it being in the business of selling people.

     
  • Geebo 10:19 am on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Citizens Against Sex Trafficking, Human trafficking, , twin cities   

    Twin Cities suburbs fight against human trafficking 

    Twin Cities suburbs fight against human trafficking

    Last week, we discussed how January is Human Trafficking Awareness month and how the problem is not just confined to big cities and urban areas. At that time we talked about how the issue was affecting Idaho Falls, Idaho. Not exactly a monolithic metropolis. Now another location in Middle America is taking the fight to the plague of human trafficking and it’s in suburban, Minnesota.

    A group called Citizens Against Sex Trafficking, or CAST for short, is working in cooperation with the police of Washington County, Minnesota, which contains communities considered the suburbs of the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. Once again, a citizens group is showing that human trafficking is happening everywhere in our country, including small towns and suburbs.

    CAST is already showing results with the rescuing of a 13-year-old girl. And where is CAST finding these victims? Backpage of course. An investigator with Washington County police said that she has reviewed close to a 100,000 ads for trafficking in their county alone last year. This is after Backpage supposedly closed down their adult section, although in reality the trafficking ads just moved to the personals section where paying to have the ads promoted still exists. In essence Backpage, is still making money from ads where woman and children are being trafficked against their will, and as we’ve pointed out, this is happening everywhere probably including where you live.

    Until we as a nation start to recognize human trafficking as an ‘everywhere’ problem, Backpage and the traffickers that keep them in business will continue to make what is essentially blood money.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Human trafficking, Human Trafficking Awareness Month,   

    January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month 

    January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

    For those of you who may bot have heard, the President has declared January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In that vein, Local News 8 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, published a story about Human Trafficking Awareness Month with a local outreach program known as Operation Shield.

    The article goes on to detail about how you can protect your children from human traffickers, and we’ll get to that in a moment, but we should also look at one of the misconceptions about human trafficking that many people have. Human trafficking is not just a big city, or inner city issue. It affects every ethnicity and financial designation. Victims can be from the biggest cities in the nation to the smallest towns in Middle America. Due to the influence of social media and sites like Backpage and craigslist human trafficking has become an issue that we all need to be aware of, and yes, it’s even happening near where you live.

    Now, getting back to the tips on keeping your children safe, the article linked to has some great tips such as keeping track of your children’s online activity and making sure they don’t have any social media friends they’ve never met in real life. One tip that wasn’t mentioned that is known trick of human traffickers is the modeling or talent scam. Many times traffickers will pose as modeling or talent agents telling teenagers they can make a lot of money modeling or singing. Too many victims have been lured into trafficking with the promises of money and fame only to be turned out on to the streets and Backpage by violent pimps and traffickers. Please educate your children to be aware of anyone who may approach them with promises of money as one of those things that are way too good to be true.

     
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