Human Trafficking on The Internet: It Must Stop.

Internet dating sites, MySpace, Facebook, Craigslist. The list could go on forever. All of these sites are places where people can go online and chat with each other, and all of these sites make human trafficking on the internet so easy. People on the internet are targeting others in so many different ways, including expressing love for the victim, promising an acting or modeling career to the victim, and even promising a better job to the victim that would require him/her to move away from home. At this point anyone who uses the internet could fall victim to human trafficking, and it needs to come to an end.

There are so many horrific stories about people getting trapped into the darkness of what is human trafficking. A woman in Mexico who was lured into human trafficking by a man she thought loved her when she was only 12 years old. A 19 year old who responded to an ad about modeling who was tricked into prostitution. The internet trafficking even expands internationally. Denmark law enforcement recognized suspicious ads for nannies and dancers in Lithuania, and they uncovered girls that were victims of human trafficking that were recruited by the internet.

Recently, there have been more efforts made to prevent and stop the internet from getting people into human trafficking. Google has donated $11 million to anti-trafficking groups in an effort to prevent trafficking from the internet. LexisNexis has been working on new technology that will help detect and monitor human trafficking. More private companies today are working to donate money to provide aid to anti-human trafficking groups to combat human trafficking.

The bottom line is, human trafficking IS prevalent on the internet and more people are falling victim to human trafficking on the internet. What is important to know is that companies today are working to help anti-trafficking groups to stop the internet from being a place where trafficking is prevalent. But we can’t stop working to fight the end of internet trafficking.

Fighting for Freedom

Jenny

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Introduction to the Interns!

Say hello to this years interns! We are so excited to welcome them to the team. Each intern came aboard for different reasons, but they all are passionate about ENC Stop Human Trafficking  and are excited to make a difference in our community. Here’s what you should know about each intern!

Our State Wide Intern, Lizz! unnamed

Name: Lizz

Year: Junior

Hometown: Raeford, NC

Major: Sociology with a minor in Anthropology

Hobbies: I love to read and am incredibly outdoorsy. I’m incredibly crafty and enjoying learning about other people and the cultures they come from. During my time off from school, I enjoy fostering dogs and rehabilitating them into happier, healthier versions of themselves. I guess you could say I have bleeding heart for those who need help.

Why I joined the team: I have always wanted to help those who are unable to help themselves, and over the last few years I’ve come to realize that I would love to pursue a career in humanitarian aid. Interning for ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now has given me the opportunity to start in that direction.

Our Public Relations Intern, Wesley! 14224964_10210585779704678_8763377095358858092_n

Name: Wesley

Year: Senior

Hometown: Greenville, NC

Major: Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

Hobbies: Between school and working, in the little free time that I have my hobbies include trying to cook and going to music festivals.

Why I joined the team: I hope to raise awareness, educate and inspire more people to take action against the crime of Human Trafficking and understand it isn’t just a distant issue. When looking and applying for internships, I didn’t want to settle for just any internship. I wanted the chance to accomplish something greater and give back to my community. I’m excited to take on this internship this Fall with this passionate organization and work together to make a change and make our community a safer place for generations to come.

Our Public Relations Intern, Tiffany! 10463949_457634197723384_3774521517358482323_n

Name: Tiffany

Year: Senior

Hometown: Youngsville, NC

Major: English and History

Hobbies: I’m a Netflix aficionada, and an avid movie watcher, and listener/lover of music. I love to have fun and make people laugh. I am a person who chooses to live my life to the fullness and I have the mindset that I will achieve anything and everything I want in life. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to have that choice to live my life in any way I choose, whether that means having a career or being a house wife or being a Starbucks barista or not working at all. I am lucky, we all are, to be able to make decisions for ourselves and I will always be appreciative of that.

 Why I joined the team: When I thought about human trafficking, I thought of it as an issue that was not close to home. I would think of it only in a one dimensional way. To me, human trafficking was synonymous with sex trafficking. From popular culture that is what I was accustomed to seeing in movies on Lifetime or from the movie series Taken. However, in the time I’ve been working with ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now, I see that human trafficking is a worldwide issue. It encompasses so much more and is closer to home than I could ever even imagine. I have been introduced to articles of human trafficking issues near my university and my home and I didn’t even know it was happening. Now, I understand human trafficking to be a violation of human rights where a person is exploited for things such as labor or sex with force and they are abused and not paid or treated fairly. Human trafficking can affect anyone from immigrants looking for work to young runaways or the homeless. This is something that affects all societies, and all people, it is not divided by race, age or sex. Now, that I know about this injustice, I cannot look the other way. And in closing, no other words ring quite as true as these, “Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril” – William Lloyd Garrison

Our Campus Intern, Jenny!10686862_10203029058708733_8941398810237843399_n

Name: Jenny

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Major: Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

Hobbies: Taking long naps, writing, playing with any dog around me, and eating way more than I should

Why I joined the team: I first learned about human trafficking in high school, and I was always really interested in the topic. I think I was really fascinated by it because I didn’t understand it. I don’t understand how people could do such horrible things to another human being. I am so glad to be interning at ENC Stop Human Trafficking because not only is it helping me prepare to be an adult in the real world, but it also helps me rest a tiny bit easier at night knowing the work I am doing here could be making a difference in someone else’s life.

We’re looking forward to accomplishing great things with the organization this semester!

Writing for Freedom,

Jenny

6 Myths about Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, a multibillion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. It ranks as one of the largest illegal trades alongside drug trafficking, arms trade and wildlife trafficking.  Human Trafficking is often riddled with misconceptions, leaving the majority of us misinformed or under-informed about the ways it affects the world. When talking about human trafficking, it’s essential to be well-informed to accurately represent the problem at hand, and that means we need to tackle these misconceptions head-on. 

Here are six common human trafficking myths and what you can do to help the crisis.

MYTH 1: Trafficking is the same as smuggling.

REALITY: Trafficking is the acquisition of people by means such as force, fraud or coercion, with the aim of exploiting them. Smuggling is the illegal movement of people across a country’s borders. Smuggled people may become trafficked, but not all trafficked people are smuggled.

 

MYTH 2: Human Trafficking is only a problem in developing countries.

REALITY:  Poor countries usually get the most attention when talking about human trafficking, but it happens around the globe — and yes, that includes countries like the United States. Though some countries are certainly more at risk, it’s important to know that modern slavery doesn’t only exist in low-income regions. In fact, our lives are deeply intertwined with the realities of human trafficking, even if we don’t notice it.  North Carolina is among the top 10 states with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Experts say the number of major interstates that cross through the state, the large agriculture industry and the immigrant population that sustains it, the state’s seven military bases and its strategic location along the East Coast contribute to the issue.

 

MYTH 3: Only females are victims of trafficking.

REALITY: While an estimated 70% of those trafficked are women and girls, this description isn’t entirely accurate. It’s also a problem for men and boys, especially when discussing forced labor. At any given time, an estimated 21 million people around the world are trapped in the cycle of trafficking, all from different places, of different races, religions and sex. Men and boys can also be victims of sexual exploitation.

 

MYTH 4: Victims will always seek help.

REALITY: Victims of trafficking often do not immediately seek help or self identify as victims of a crime, due to lack of trust, self blame, or blackmail by the traffickers. Traffickers often threaten violence against those they exploit and their family if they seek help from authorities. If you are suspicious that someone is a victim of human trafficking you can make an anonymous report to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

 

MYTH 5: The problem is too big to solve.

REALITY:  Everyone can help in some way. There are so many ways for you to not only spread the word but to volunteer and start fighting child sexual trafficking and exploitation.

 

So what can you do?

Human trafficking is a serious issue. The first step to stopping it is to inform the public about what it really is. In definition, “human trafficking is 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.”  With proper knowledge of common human trafficking misconceptions, you can have a role in breaking the cycle of misinformation. Confront myths and start conversations grounded in fact.  To learn more about human trafficking watch this video –  Human Trafficking 101

Fighting for Freedom,

Wesley

Sex Sells? Don’t Buy Into the Hype

If sex does NOT sell, why do we still believe that the phrase has merit?

This quote was taken from the abstract of a study conducted at Ohio State University,

“Using this framework, we meta-analyzed the effects of sexual media, violent media, sexual ads, and violent ads on the advertising outcomes of brand memory, brand attitudes, and buying intentions. The meta-analysis included 53 experiments involving 8,489 participants. Analyses found that brands advertised in violent media content were remembered less often, evaluated less favorably, and less likely to be purchased than brands advertised in nonviolent, nonsexual media. Brands advertised using sexual ads were evaluated less favorably than brands advertised using nonviolent, nonsexual ads. There were no significant effects of sexual media on memory or buying intentions. There were no significant effects of sexual or violent ads on memory or buying intentions. As intensity of sexual ad content increased, memory, attitudes, and buying intentions decreased. When media content and ad content were congruent (e.g., violent ad in a violent program), memory improved and buying intentions increased. Violence and sex never helped and often hurt ad effectiveness. These results support the evolution and emotional arousal framework. Thus, advertisers should consider the effects of media content, ad content, content intensity, and congruity to design and place more effective ads.”
*Read More Here: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/bul-bul0000018.pdf

We continue to believe the fallacy that “sex sells” because it makes sense in our minds. At a young age we ask why women dress or act certain ways on tv and the answer we are told is, “because it makes money.” Then as adults, we assume that if companies are spending money on advertisements and not making money that they would discontinue the practice. The thinking may be logical; however, it does not align with reality.

So then if studies show that sexualizing and objectifying women and children does not increase profit, why is this practice at the forefront of marketing techniques? It is difficult to unlearn what we have come to accept for ourselves. Even when presented with new evidence sometimes we inadvertently return to what we previously “knew” (especially if the topic is not discussed for a while in our social or work lives). [This is a link to an article by NPR that talks a little more about mental effort and changing ideas: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/01/481422876/the-importance-of-getting-things-wrong ]

What should we do when we learn that something claiming to be an innocent marketing strategy is in fact increasing the demand for human trafficking?

When you hear someone repeat the phrase, “sex sells,” explain to them what it really means. Sex does sell, but not the product. It sells normalization of exploitation and abuse. Sexualization in advertisements fuels demand for sex trafficking by showing men that women are objects that you can obtain with money and power. Having the money to buy women further exemplifies what is means to be successful. Oversexualization in advertisements sells the idea that people are for sale.

The oversexualization of advertising and other media has led to the normalization of pornography. This is an example of the pornification of our culture. When women and children are sexualized, objectified, and “pornified”, it’s easy to see them as commodities. It becomes acceptable to buy them.

So, the research indicates that ads of these nature are unlikely to sell products, such as cheeseburgers or beer, but it’s quite likely to contribute to the idea that selling sex is perfectly acceptable.

Knowing what you know now, are you buying what these companies are actually selling?

 

Writing for Freedom,

Kari Carr

To Report a Tip or Ask for Help Call: 1-888-373-7888

 

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein

 

*This post was partially inspired by a Collective Shout article written by Jon Westenberg. Click here to check out the post: http://www.collectiveshout.org/its_scientific_sex_doesnt_sell?utm_campaign=july_news&utm_medium=email&utm_source=collectiveshout