Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, men and women. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing. Many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry. But trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.
Facts on Trafficking:
- An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 victims are annually trafficked across international borders
- Sex trafficking is tied with drugs as the second most profitable industry of organized crime
- Annual revenues from sex trafficking are an estimated $7 billion
- Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims annually are estimated to be trafficked into the U.S.
- Most victims into the U.S. are from Asia, Central and South America and Eastern Europe
- Many are unable to seek help because they do not speak English, they are afraid, threatened, socially isolated, or their movement is restricted
- Many victims are forced to work in prostitution or sex entertainment
- Victims also are used in labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, sweatshop factories or migrant farm work
(Information from the Department of Health and Human Services)
World Relief Jacksonville has been combating human trafficking since 2005.
Our focus is to:
- Raise awareness of human trafficking
- Povide trainings to communities
- To bring restoration to victims
WRJ serves international male and female adult victims of sex and labor trafficking. We work closely with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Florida Coastal School of Law, and the International Organization of Migration. WRJ is a member of the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking and an inaugural member of the Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Coalition. WRJ was recognized for its efforts in the area of Anti-Trafficking when Michelle Clowe, the Anti-Trafficking Program Manager, received the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. WRJ’s funding is provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Office and is very, very limited.
The Reality of Human Trafficking: One Woman’s Story
“I was transported to Florida, and one of the bosses told me I would be working in a brothel as a prostitute. I told him he was mistaken and that I was going to be working in a restaurant. He said I owed him a smuggling debt, and the sooner I paid it off the sooner I could leave. I was constantly guarded and abused. If any of the girls refused to be with a customer, we were beaten. If we adamantly refused, the bosses would show us a lesson by raping us brutally, We worked six days a week, 12 hours a day. Our bodies were sore and swollen. If anyone became pregnant we were forced to have an abortion. The cost of the abortion was added to the smuggling debt. I was enslaved for several months; other women were enslaved for up to a year. Our enslavement finally ended when law enforcement raided the brothels and rescued us.”
Partner with World Relief to Help Victims of Human Trafficking Organizations or schools that are interested in learning more about human trafficking and what they can do to advocate for this cause are welcome to contact World Relief to schedule a presentation. Our presentations give an overview of human trafficking, the growing criminal element in the U.S. today, how to identify a victim, and what the audience can do to get involved.
Ways You Can Help
- Educate yourself: Access information on World Relief Jacksonville’s resource webpage and become informed about modern day slavery here in Jacksonville.
- Educate others: Help World Relief educate others about the crime of human trafficking. Schedule a presentation for your school, church or other organization by sending an email to Michelle Clowe.
- Be a resource: Use your contacts in the community to help meet the needs of trafficking survivors
- Volunteer: Click here to get involved.
U.S. Rescue and Restore Campaign: www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking
Three survivors share their story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqyzW84I3Dc
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST): www.sharedhope.org
Nationwide Network to Fight Human Trafficking: www.polarisproject.org
Socially Conscious/Fair Trade: www.shoptostopslavery.com
International Code of Conduct for Men in the 21st Century: International Code