Last weekend I spoke at the 7th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Orlando and shared "13 things child traffickers don't want you to know." I promised to list them here:
1. Child traffickers don't necessarily snatch your kids; they recruit them.
2. Child traffickers have recruiters in your kids' schools--yes, even in the US. Yes, even in your city. Especially in your city.
3. Recruiters can be other kids.
4. Child traffickers monitor Facebook, Flickr, Tinder, Instagram, and other social media sites looking for vulnerable kids.
5. They work in malls all over the US, including in your city.
6. There's money to be made buying and selling children. Each year more than 100,000 kids are trafficked for sex and labor slavery in the US.
7. Human trafficking is organized crime. It's the second most lucrative illegal industry on the planet after illegal drugs.
8. These are not "bad" kids, just vulnerable ones.
9. Most kids are rescued because someone saw something that didn't look right and knew where to call.
10. Warning signs you can look for
11. What to ask if you think someone is being trafficked
12. Your city probably already has an anti-trafficking task force.
13. There's plenty of information on the web to keep you aware and help you protect your child. Your child does not have to be a victim.
* * *
Don't tell the traffickers, but here's the information they don't want you to have:
For #3, 4, and 5 above: More information is here.
For #9: In the US, call the National Trafficking Resource Center hotline 888-3737-888; in other countries, call one of these hotlines.
For #10 and 11: Warning signs
For #11: Google the name of your city and "human trafficking task force."
For #1-13: My book, Audacious, has more information to arm you and protect your kids including 73 warning signs that someone may be trafficked.