Human Trafficking and You

Avani Samandur, Lauryn Azu, and Jo Fogarasi

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Money. Lust. Vulnerability. Human Trafficking is deadly, profitable, and prevalent all around Michigan as well as the world.

On Sunday October 30th, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Greater Detroit Section, presented the Human Trafficking Awareness Symposium. Speakers included Homeland Security special agents, a University of Michigan Law Professor, the Oakland County Sheriff’s department, the F.B.I, Sanctum House, and Alternatives for Girls.

The Symposium was co-sponsored by Bloomfield Hills Schools, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, West Bloomfield School District, and the NCJW Greater Detroit Section.

Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Trafficking victims can be anyone- any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers usually prey on victims who are vulnerable because of their illegal immigration status, limited English proficiency, and those who are in other vulnerable situations due to economic hardship, political instability, natural disasters, or other causes.

While human trafficking may seem like a faraway problem, this is often, “hidden in plain sight.” It can affect people of all ages, nationalities, races, and genders. However, young people, especially teenaged girls, are at a higher risk. WBHS students should keep a look out for students that have these warning signs of potential sex trafficking:

  • Does the student have unexplained absences from school?
  • Does the student often receive gifts from people they have not met?
  • Is the student secretive about who they are talking about?
  • Does the student act fearful, anxious, nervous, paranoid?
  • Can the student freely contact friends of family?
  • Does the student socialize?

If you suspect that a person may be a victim of human trafficking, call the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) tip-line at 1-866-347-2423 image1

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