It is estimated that 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery at this very moment. 46 children in America are taken and sold into trafficking every day. Children who are homeless, runaways, or in the welfare system are more likely to become a victim of human trafficking. In 2019 in Iowa, there were 52 cases of human trafficking reported. According to the U.S. Department of State, here are some ways to prevent human trafficking:
- Learn the indicators of human trafficking. Some indicators include:
- Living with employer
- Signs of physical abuse
- Answers seem rehearsed
- Multiple people in cramped space
- In the United States, if you believe someone is a victim call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888
- Support anti-trafficking efforts in your community
- Become a mentor to support those in need. People going through difficult times are often targeted by traffickers
If you suspect that someone may be a victim of human trafficking, ask them questions. Some questions to ask are:
- Do you live with your employer?
- Where do you eat and sleep?
- Can you leave your job if you want to?
- Has your family been threatened?
If you have identified someone as a victim of human trafficking call 911. If you have identified a person who has escaped human trafficking contact Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services at (515) 286-3600 or email them at PCCAS@polkcountryiowa.gov.