It is an evil that some people STILL perpetrate on other people. In the slave trade of the 1700’s and 1800’s, it is estimated that 13 million people were enslaved. Today, it is called Human Trafficking (HT) and there are approximately 27 MILLION people enslaved worldwide.
According to International authorities, every eight seconds someone is bought, sold or taken into slavery and every 20 seconds it is a child. It is the fastest growing criminal endeavor in the world, and in dollar volume, second only to drug trafficking. More people are enslaved today than at any time in human history.
Also in the days of the slave trade, a slave cost the owners an average of $40,000 (in inflation adjusted dollars) each. Today, the average cost is $40 to $90 per slave, depending on the source. This disparity in cost is largely because most of the enslaved today are grabbed off the street, beaten severely to keep them compliant, and then put out to turn tricks as prostitutes and hand over every cent to their “owner.”
Almost every country in the world has slaves today. In the United States there are slaves all across the country in cities, suburbs and rural areas. 600,000 to 800,000 slaves are taken across national boundaries each year. 14,500 to 17,500 foreign slaves end up in the U. S. every year. About 20% of the slaves re forced to work in various ways, but most often in sweatshops, farm fields, restaurant kitchens and as hotel cleaning staff. Approximately 80% of the slaves are being sexually exploited as prostitutes, strippers, and pornography “models”, thus the vast majority are female. Fifty percent are children.!! As many as 300,000 American young women and girls are enslaved In the United States every year.
In Milwaukee today, there are dozens of cases pending in the federal court against traffickers. The police that I work with told me a story of a man who used his son to recruit 13 and 14-year old girls as prostitutes, took nude photos of them and then posted them on Craigslist. This recruiting took place in one of the high schools where I have now presented on HT. Both father and son were recently convicted, as seen in a Journal Sentinel article in March. Todd “King Tut” Carter, 40, the Milwaukee man who admitted prostituting at least a half-dozen teenage girls in Wisconsin and other states was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in federal prison, the first person convicted in Wisconsin under a tough federal law aimed at the sex trafficking of children.
At Brothers And Sisters In Christ Serving (BASICS), a Christian mission agency in Milwaukee, we have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase awareness of human trafficking to people in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin. We see this as part of a call to action of Christians everywhere to be part of the solution, and in some cases to stop being part of the problem. “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11)
The government has a 24/7 national hotline for trafficking victims and those attempting to help them: 1-888-3737-888. Professionals working there will take all the information a concerned citizen has and then call the Human Trafficking Task Force in the area from which the call came. Southeast Wisconsin has a task force located in Milwaukee. It is this professional team of law enforcement officers who make the investigation into HT reports and make or aid in making arrests.
Included on this team are two FBI agents and a Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) detective who work with us in this awareness endeavor. They not only consult with BASICS, but they also collaborate with us by introducing us to MPD district commanders, who put us in touch with the school squad police officers. They in turn introduce us to the principals and other decision makers at Milwaukee Public School (MPS) high schools. In the past few months, after receiving permission from MPS central administrators, I have made over sixty HT awareness presentations, mostly in high schools, but also in churches.
Our goals are: first to increase the awareness of slavery occurring today.
Second, I pray that, due to this increased awareness, people who attend the presentations will recognize people who are in trouble, make the call to the national human trafficking 24/7 hot line, and more victims will be rescued from slavery.
Third, we hope that those rescued will be restored to a normal life and that ministries such as ours will be a part of that process.
Finally, because it happens so easily, we hope to warn our young people, and their parents, in a way that will make them much more vigilant so as not to allow this horror to happen to them.