Frequently, when people think of crimes associated with illegal immigration, they think of drugs and weapons. However, human trafficking is one of the most “heinous crimes” committed In the act illegal immigration. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) considers it a global problem and seeks public assistance in dismantling these organizations.
“In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims pay to be illegally transported into the United States only to find themselves in the thrall of traffickers. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts – often incurred during entry into the United States. In certain cases, the victims are mere children. They find themselves surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language without identification documents, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.
"ICE is serious about ending human trafficking."
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month - and yes, these crimes occur in Yavapai County and even the Prescott area. ERAU will host a panel discussion on Thursday, and it’s open to the public.
Scheduled panelists from across Arizona include:
- Scott Mabery, Director of Juvenile Probation for Yavapai County
- Tim Hemker, Resident Agent in Charge from Homeland Security Investigations in Flagstaff
- Konstance Smith, Program Director of Where Hope Lives at the Phoenix Dream Center
- Chad Shilling, Detective from Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
If you go:
What: Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking
Where: Embry-Riddle University, in the David Learning Center
When: Thursday, January 19
Time: 6-8 PM
Cost: Free, open to the public
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers resources for those dealing with human trafficking survivors, including the 12 Core Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Stress Responses in Children and Families:
1. Traumatic experiences are inherently complex.
2. Trauma occurs within a broad context, including personal characteristics, life experiences and current circumstances.
3. Traumatic events often generate secondary adversities, life changes and distress.
4. Youth may exhibit a wide range of reactions to trauma and loss.
5. Danger and safety are primary concerns in the lives of youth with traumatic experiences.
6. Traumatic experiences affect family and broader caregiving systems.
7. Protective and promotive factors can reduce the adverse impact of trauma.
8. Trauma and post-trauma adversities can strongly influence development.
9. Trafficked youth may develop ‘survival brain’.
10. Culture is closely interwoven with traumatic experiences, responses and recovery. Every trafficked youth has a unique set of past and current cultural experiences, values, beliefs and expectations.
11. Challenges can affect the trauma response and recovery. Trafficked youth may have lost hope.
12. It can be extremely rewarding to work with trauma-exposed youth and their families.
While at the 2015 National Federation of Republican Women Convention in Phoenix, Cindy McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking spoke about human trafficking and the efforts being made to combat it.
Watch here (McCain speaks in the first 18 minutes).