Help Stop Human Trafficking

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Children, especially those who are abused or neglected in their own homes, are especially at risk of becoming one of the 20 million+ people trafficked worldwide for labor or sex. The average age of a child exploited through sex trafficking is 14 or 15. Continue reading to learn the statistics around Human Trafficking, how we are fighting against human trafficking and what you can do to help.

Know the Stats

  • Since 2015, there has been a 101% increase in identified situations of Human Trafficking (5,713 cases identified in 2015 vs. 11,500 cases identified in 2019).
  • Since 2018, there has been a 19% increase in victims and survivors contacting a crisis or help line themselves.
  • 78% of known survivors reported their trafficking experience began under the age of 18.
  • As of 2019, the second most common risk factor in identified sex trafficking cases was runaway or homeless youth. 

How is Cornerstones of Care Working to Fight Against Human Trafficking?

We take the problem of human trafficking very seriously, and work every day to ensure the safety of the children. In 2020, we created a Human Trafficking Workforce with one simple goal, to combat and prevent Human Trafficking. Through this workforce, a Trafficking Response protocol was introduced, including a 6-hour training for all Cornerstones of Care team members, as well as a trauma-informed screening and assessment tool for team members to utilize when concerns arise for our vulnerable youth.

Additionally, multi-disciplinary prevention efforts are ongoing within our organization, including efforts to provide Crisis Response for youth in foster care who are without stable placement, or have a history of elopement, as well as trainings designed to educate our youth on the dangers of Human Trafficking and how they can prevent it themselves. We also offer a Human Trafficking class for our Missouri and Kansas foster parents every two months.

How You Can Help

  • Download the “TraffickCam” App.
    • This app allows you to help combat trafficking by uploading photos of the hotel rooms you stay in while traveling. Traffickers regularly post photographs of their victims posed in hotel rooms, and these photos are used as evidence by law enforcement agencies to find those involved in trafficking. By snapping a few photos of your hotel room and uploading them into the app, you can help officers locate where trafficking photos were taken.
  • Learn the Key Indicators of Human Trafficking.
    • By knowing and recognizing the key indicators of human trafficking, you can better identify instances where youth may be at risk. Consider the following questions:
      • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
      • Has a child stopped attending school?
      • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
      • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
      • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
      • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
      • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
      • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
      • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
      • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
      • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
      • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
      • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
    • Report Cases of Suspected Trafficking.
      • You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733 (BEFREE) to report cases of suspecting trafficking.

If you want more information on the complexities of human trafficking and how to prevent it, sign up for one of our upcoming human trafficking trainings or visit the Blue Campaign website. Together, we can work toward ending this form of modern slavery and help those it affects get the help they need.