January 11, 2021 is National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness

January 11, 2021 is National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness

January 11, 2021 is National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness

(STL.News) Mention “human trafficking” in the same sentence with “Vermont,” and the reaction may be one of surprise and disbelief.  Although Vermont may seem insulated from such a horrendous and insidious crime, even in the Green Mountain State human trafficking is hidden in plain sight.  As with most public health issues, awareness is key to the prevention of human trafficking.

In 2007, the U.S. Senate designated January 11th as National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.  Human Trafficking is the act of compelling a person by force, fraud, or coercion to provide labor or a commercial sex act.  Coercion can be subtle, and traffickers use manipulation and threats of physical, psychological, or emotional harm.  Traffickers target those who are most vulnerable to exploitation: for example, children, runaways, the mentally or physically disabled, or those suffering from poverty, substance abuse disorder, neglect, or abuse.  Victims are lured, manipulated, and controlled by the trafficker via false promises concerning relationships, employment, lifestyle, or drug availability.  They are treated as commodities.

One of the challenges is to debunk the many myths surrounding sex and labor trafficking.  Human trafficking is often confused with smuggling, evoking ideas of an international slave trade that has little to do with Vermont’s small towns and cities. 

Continue reading January 11, 2021 is National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness at STL News.