Friday, March 12, 2010


[posters and brochures available here]

Human trafficking is modern day slavery. There is a Campaign called Rescue and Restore under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designated as the agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services so they may rebuild their lives safely in the U.S. As part of this effort, HHS has initiated the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign to help identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the United States.

The intent of the Rescue & Restore campaign is to increase the number of identified trafficking victims and to help those victims receive the benefits and services needed to live safely in the U.S. The first phase of the campaign focuses on outreach to those individuals who most likely encounter victims on a daily basis, but may not recognize them as victims of human trafficking. By initially educating health care providers, social service organizations and the law enforcement community about the issue of human trafficking, we hope to encourage these intermediaries to look beneath the surface by recognizing clues and asking the right questions because they may be the only outsiders with the chance to reach out and help victims. (please click on the link to read more)

Rescue & Restore

In their CAMPAIGN TOOL KITS they provide (pdfs) for health care workers, social service organizations and law enforcement officers (unique to their job role) but in these times, I believe that we each need to be more aware, especially on tips for identifying and helping trafficking victims. Here are the ones for SOCIAL service organizations, which I guess the church would fit under as well:

The brochure is available in different languages. I would like to share with you some of what the brochure LOOK BENEATH THE SURFACE tells us:


The brochures is divided into 5 sections besides the cover with the question:
(1) an overview of human trafficking
(2) identifying child victims of trafficking
(3) communicating with child victims
(4) understanding child victims
(5) support of child victims

RESOURCE CENTER AT 1.888.373.7888

in this post, I am sharing (2) because I think "it takes a village", all of us, alert and aware of those around us, ready to help, not shirk back as onlookers afraid to STOP this atrocity. We need to say "NO MORE".

Children who are victims may be mistaken for prostitutes, runaways, migrant farm workers, or domestic servants. Child victims of trafficking may be found in: commercial sex, domestic servitude (servants), sweatshop factories, construction, farming and landscaping, fisheries, hotel or tourist industries, panhandling, janitorial services, or restaurant services...but also because they are does not necessarily mean they are victims. By looking beneath the surface, picking up on the right clues and asking the right questions, you may uncover children who are being exploited.

Children exploited for labor are often hunger and malnourished to the extent they may never reach their full height or they may have poorly formed or rotting teeth.

Children exploited for sexual purposes may show evidence of untreated STDs including HIV/AIDS, urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Children who are victims can also be identified by environmental factors, including whether the child is living at the workplace or with an employer, living with multiple people in a cramped space, or not in school, attends school sporadically or has significant gap of schooling (in the U.S.).

Forced labor may expose children to physical abuse or leave signs such as scars, headaches, hearing loss, cardiovascular/respiratory problems and limb amputation. They may also develop chronic back, visual and respiratory problems from working in agriculture, construction or manufacturing.

The psychological effects of exploitation include helplessness, shame, humiliation, shock, denial, disbelief, disorientation, confusion and anxiety disorders including post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression.


Traffickers use various techniques to instill fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. However, the more frequent practice is to use less obvious techniques including:

  • Debt bondage - financial obligations, honor-bound to satisfy debt
  • Isolation from the public - limiting contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature
  • Isolation from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community
  • Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification documents
  • Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or families of victims
  • The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances to family
  • Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities
  • Control of the victims' money, e.g., holding their money for "safe-keeping"

Diane Scimone just reposted information you can use also

The more you learn, the more you can do to STOP more children from becoming victims and even women that have been trafficked and caught in this trap. We need to stand up and let them know we care, we accept them and we will rise up against this billion dollar business because they are worth it... WE ARE WORTH IT... OUR CHILDREN ARE WORTH IT. God sees VALUE in every one! Being aware calls us to be responsible to help and knowing helps us to pray better.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

You are involved in a very worthy cause, Peggy. Bless you, sweet friend ~

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