Friday, January 11, 2013

Sandy beaches, sunshine, surf AND sexual exploitation

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and although I normally sit down and write our blog posts with ease, this post has certainly been the exception. I thought I knew a good deal about human trafficking but the more I read, the more disgusted, appalled, scared, (you can insert any number of fitting, descriptive words here) I become.

Human trafficking, sex trafficking in particular, is not only the fastest growing crime in the world, it is also one of the most profitable criminal industries in the world behind only drug trafficking and weapons dealing, but apparently not for long.  And for those who would think it is not happening in our country, in our cities, in our neighborhoods, to our children’s friends, it is time to get our heads out of the sand and see this horrific crime for what it is and stand up and do something about it.

Brothels, dance clubs, strip clubs, and massage parlors are typical industries for sex trafficking; often exploiting both documented and undocumented immigrants and foreign nationals to provide commercial sex.  There is also what is known as domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and the commercial sexual abuse of children, and Florida is the third largest hub of human trafficking in the U.S. for DMST.  In fact, central Florida has the second highest number of child sex trafficking cases in the United States.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Sandy beaches, sunshine, surf AND sexual exploitation of children – that is what our state is becoming known for.

Please take a few minutes and become educated about this terrible, tragic crime against young women and children in our country – in our own state!  This is a very informative article; it is not easy to read, but it is essential that each and every one of us understands this issue and becomes a part of the solution! Awareness is the first step to action.

Please remember and share: Today, January 11, 2013 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  For the 27 million people living in modern day slavery, reading this article is the least we can do! 

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