Thursday, July 08, 2010
How it Happens Minimize

How are children smuggled into the United States

According to Interpol (international police organization), children from foreign countries are kidnapped or purchased to being smuggled into the United States by plane.  Increasingly, victims travel first to South Africa, where fraudulent documents may be obtained. Interpol also suggests that seafaring ships usually approach America via the Pacific Ocean, where Canada has also intercepted a number of cargo vessels carrying illegal Chinese immigrants trying to enter through the Vancouver area. But recently, use of this method has declined. Instead, many trafficking victims are arriving in Central or South America to enter the U.S. via Mexico.




How Trafficking Happens

Traffickers use a variety of recruitment methods including outright abduction and purchase from family members. However, in most cases, the potential trafficking victim is already seeking a chance to migrate when she is approached by an acquaintance or lured through an advertisement. Some are tricked into believing they are being recruited for legitimate employment or marriage abroad. Others know they are being recruited into the sex industry and even that they will be obliged to work in order to pay back large recruitment and transportation fees but are deceived about their conditions of work. The web of dependence is a complex one. Traffickers generally seek to exercise control over a victim’s legal identity by confiscating her passport or official papers. Her entry or stay in the destination country is usually illegal – serving to increase her reliance on the traffickers. Debt bondage is widely used to control trafficked persons and to ensure their continued profitability. Physical restraint, violence, and intimidation are frequently reported.

Victims of trafficking are rarely treated as anything other than criminals by the authorities of the receiving state and are often detained, prosecuted, and deported. This reality, combined with a fear of reprisals from traffickers, means that trafficked persons have little incentive to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the destination countries. A lack of knowledge of legal rights and entitlements, cultural and linguistic obstacles and the absence of support mechanisms combine to further isolate trafficked women and to prevent them from seeking or receiving justice.

Myths about Prostitution and Immigration Minimize


Foreigners illegally immigrate into our country to take away our Social Security and destroy our lands while enjoying our government programs after all American citizens don't illegally enter their countries.

Reality:  While there are foreigners who overstay their visa or try to escape from war or poverty torn countries, there is a majority smuggled into our United States each year as slaves for domestic servitude or sexual slavery.  12 Million globally are kidnapped or sold to human traffickers.  200,000 are brought into the United States against their will annually.  American children are not immune to human trafficking crimes.  Children are at risk in our own country of being kidnapped or abducted in foreign countries and forced into slavery.  Human traffickers will abduct a victim from any race, any socio-economic background, religious and even those educated at university level.  Human trafficking is the 2nd fastest growing crime in the world.

Why don't they just leave?

Reality:  Victims of trafficking often do not immediately self-identify as victims of a crime, due to lack of trust, self-blame, or training by the traffickers. Trust-building and patience is required for the whole story to unfold.

The legal definition of trafficking does not require physical restraint, bodily harm, or physical force. Psychological means of control, such as threats, or abuse of the legal process, are sufficient elements of the crime.

Most prostitutes are crack addicts and want this lifestyle.

Reality: Trafficking is modern day slavery.  The traffickers and pimps are the ones who make the money.  Victims are forced to repay their "purchase price" and are imposed with fines making it impossible to ever pay off the debt.  This practice is known as "debt-bondage".  Victims are forced to service as many as 15-25 clients per day in a 14 hour to 18 hour workday without pay.   Most victims are children under the age of 18 and can be as young as 5 years old.

These victims can't be that innocent, after  all they were prostitutes in their own country.

Reality:  Most victims are lured into making a better life for themselves or for their family.  They are lured into believing they will receive jobs, education, or the promise of marriage.  Once the victim is escorted to another country their passports are taken away and are given false identities.  Opportunity for escape becomes very difficult. According to the UN a major factor that has allowed the growth of sexual trafficking is "Governments and human rights organizations alike have simply judged the woman guilty of prostitution and minimized the trafficker's role." (UN Treaty)

The victims are only from poor countries.

Reality:  Victims of human trafficking can come from every socio-economic background.  Some are sold by their parents to traffickers, others are kidnapped from countries and have religious backgrounds.  Victims of modern day slavery can be from any country, any religion, any ethnicity, and all educational backgrounds including university level.

These children come from a generation of prostitution.

Reality:  Most of these children and women come from homes that believe in God.  After falling victim to forced prostitution, many believe they are eternally damned and can never be forgiven.  In many religious cultures, survivors of forced prostitution believe they can never marry or have children because of the terrible things they were made to do.  As children, they do not understand it is never their fault.

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