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Presented by
Meceola Human
Trafficking Task Force
Bringing Awareness to Mecosta and Osceola Counties
United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime
Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking
For more information about our Task Force, please contact
Dee Van Horn at 231-972-5737
Estimates are there 100,000-300,000 youth at risk daily in
the United States. Michigan is ranked in the top 10 for
trafficking and Western Michigan has an estimate 2400
youth trafficked daily. So……..
Do you know what sex trafficking is?
Does it happen in your community?
Who are the traffickers?
How do they find their victims?
Who is most at risk?
What signs should you be looking for?
What should you do if you suspect a victim?
Contact the Meceola Human Trafficking Task Force to schedule a program to answer these
questions and more. Call Dee VanHorn at 231-972-5737 to schedule.
Human Trafficking –
Why Should We Care?
Human Trafficking
Types of Trafficking
Worldwide, nearly
21 million people are
victims of forced
labor [human
trafficking] …bringing
in profits of over
150 billion dollars
Trafficking Victims Protection Act
The recruitment, harboring, transportation,
provision or obtaining of a person for a
commercial sex act, in which a commercial
sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion,
or in which the person induced to perform
such an act has not attained 18 years of age.
The recruitment, harboring, transportation,
provision or obtaining of a person for labor
or services, through the use of force, fraud
or coercion for the purpose of subjection to
involuntary servitude, peonage, debt
bondage, or slavery.
22 USC § 7102
Child Trafficking in the U.S.
(12/2007 – 9/2014)
Source: Polaris Project, National Human Trafficking Resource Center
What about Michigan?
* Michigan has the one of the highest rates of
child trafficking as well as one of the highest
overall rates for all human trafficking in the nation.
* Michigan’s proximity to the Canadian border
and waterways increases likelihood of trafficking
in the state.
* Michigan has had cases of traffickers
prostituting minors to Michigan truck stops
and then over to hotels in Toledo.
Cities in Michigan with the most calls
received by the National Human Trafficking
Resource Center and reported by the Polaris
Project include:
Grand Rapids
Ann Arbor
Mackinac Island
Major gathering places, such as the North American International
Auto Show or major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and
Art Prize are prime target areas for human trafficking.
Western Michigan has 2400 youth trafficked daily
Source: Rebecca McDonald, Women at Risk International (WAR)
It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Second only
to the drug industry. You can sell a package of cocaine once. You
can sell a girl or boy over and over again.
Between 100,000 and 300,000 children are at risk for sexual
exploitation in the U.S., with an average age of 11 to 14 years old.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
As many as 2.8 million children run away each year in the
U.S. Within 48 hours of running away, one third of these
children are lured or recruited by traffickers.
Who are most vulnerable?
Victims of Prior Abuse/Violence
Youth living in Poverty
Runaway and Homeless Youth
Youth Lacking Strong Support Networks
Unaccompanied and/or Undocumented Foreign Youth
Youth with Special Needs
LGBTQ youth
What do we know about
the victims?
3% - Kidnapped by strangers
35% - Trafficked by Family Members
62% - Tricked by friends, “Romeo” boyfriends, others
Source: Presentation by Theresa Flores on 10/6/2014
Average age of entry into prostitution and pornography
11-13 – boys
12-14 – girls
It is estimated that 76% of transactions for sex with
underage girls start on the internet
Source: U. S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children
Who are the Traffickers ?
Traffickers are people who exploit others for profit
Criminal Networks
Intimate Partners
Family Members
Where Does Recruitment Occur?
Party Stores and grocery
Online and social media
Social hang outs
Bus stops
Where Does Trafficking Occur?
Sex Trafficking
Labor Trafficking
* Private Residences
* Online Exploitation
* Hotels & Motels
* Truck Stops
* Street Prostitution
* Escort Services
* Strip Clubs and Bars
* Domestic Servitude
* Agriculture
* Traveling Sales Crews
* Factories
* Construction
* Service Industries
* Small Businesses
* Restaurants and Bars
What are the signs of a
person being trafficked?
• Fearful or submissive behavior
• Untreated medical problems such as bruising
and broken bones
• Poor hygiene, malnutrition, and dehydration
• Wearing “gifts” of expensive jewelry or
• Person doesn’t know their address
• Has no privacy and is never alone
What can we do?
Get educated.
* Read Literature
* Explore websites
* Watch the news
* Attend workshops, seminars or meetings
to learn more
* Review the checklists for
potential indicators
Protecting the children in our life:
* Learn about what they are experiencing
or their challenges
* Check out the internet resources they
are using
* Learn the names and phone numbers
of their friends and family
* Work to build resiliency factors with our
* If you don’t mentor the children in
our communities, the pimps, dealers and
other negative members of society will.
Spread the word.
Tell others about this atrocity
Encourage them to get involved