One of our most important initiatives is human trafficking education for school aged children.  Its known as “Voices for Safe Havens”. We provide training services to communities, schools and nonprofit groups servicing youth, through select topics presented at forums by our speakers bureau of subject matter experts.

You would think that after almost 200 years since the abolishment of slavery that humans would no longer be sold.  Humans have been viewed as a commodity for centuries.  Our value is determined by the dollar amount the seller can get on the auction block.  That auction block is now replaced by a street block, a hotel room, a cold wall in a dark alley or the back seat of a stranger’s car.  Regardless of where, the concept is still the same – children are being bought, sold and exploited every single day.  The business of human trafficking is just as deadly and ruthless as it was in the 1800s, only with a modern twist and different captors.

The term human trafficking means the same thing as slavery. If you are coerced, threatened, entrapped by drugs, guns or physical violence and then pushed into doing things you otherwise would not do, you are being trafficked – you are enslaved.

Human trafficking is not driven by ethnicity or gender.  Its driven by money.  How much money can someone make off of a warm body and for how long can they make that money.  Victims are walking – talking cash registers and before that cash register breaks down and is no longer able to perform, traffickers will pull every dollar they can out of an enslaved person’s life.

Sometimes it will take years, and sometimes young people end it themselves by taking their own life because the pressure and unpleasantness of being exploited is too much to bear.  Traffickers don’t care about victims as a person, they care about the product and money a victim represents.  The younger the victim, the longer they profit.

So many of our young people think, mommy and daddy are cruel and they need to move out and be on their own. And along comes this handsome, dashing young man who whispers sweet nothings in their ear and “bam” your child thinks the grass just got greener. That the grass is not green for our children, its only green for their trafficker.  Many tactics are used to attract, groom and recruit our children.  Our initiative, Voices for Safe Havens, provides communities with resources through our forums, on what to do and how to protect against trafficking predators.

The likelihood of being trafficked is real and it only takes a few seconds to lose a child to this crime.  However, some traffickers will lure your child away using different tactics over a period of time.  Visit our website www.voicesforsafehavens.org for more information.