WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – We live in a generation where sex is a commodity. In fact, it’s a commodity that’s bringing in a billion dollars in business, according to a 2014 study by Urban Institute.
But it’s dirty money that comes at the cost of the exploitation of people like you and me for the things they’re vulnerable for.
Rachel Parker, Anti-Human Trafficking Manager for World Relief of Winston-Salem, cites Lauran Bethell’s explanation, “Human trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerabilities.”
WFMY News 2’s Laura Brache sat with Parker to talk about trafficking here in the Triad.
She recurs to a 2012 statistic from the International Labor Organization stating that 20.9 million people are believed to be trafficked in the world today, but more importantly to Parker is the fact that 90% of them were identified by individuals and private businesses.
“That helps me see what it looks like more on a local level because, who are individuals in private businesses? People in my community,” she adds.
The data provided by World Relief comes from numbers collected by the Triad Rapid Response Team and the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
For the 2017 Fiscal Year (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017), World Relief Triad received 17 local tips of human trafficking-related activity.
58% of those tips came from the National Human Trafficking Hotline; 6% of each were direct contacts from survivors; 12% came from service providers; and the other 12% came from members of the community.
Sex trafficking takes the highest number among trafficking types for these tips with a 71%. 24% of the tips were labor trafficking-related, while the other 5% are unknown.
Men are also victims of trafficking, and in the Triad, 18% of tips pertained to males. 73% of tips were female.
The age range for trafficking tips in our area is vast: 9% were identified as minors; 36.5% range between the ages of 18 and 25; another 36.5% are of ages 26 to 40; 9% are older than 40, and the last 9% is unknown.
According to the data, 73% of trafficking in the Triad is se-related, while 27% pertains to labor.
55% of tips were identified as foreign, but even U.S. citizens are falling into these sex and labor traps as 45% were identified as being from the U.S.