I, passing downtown Grand Rapids. An online directory of local resources for those dealing with sex or labor trafficking is available at HTResourceHub. Need help now? WAR, Intl. Warning Lights' Jenn Amo giving a presentation to community professionals on trafficking prevention.
As Grand Rapidians and Americans continue openly confronting the issues of COVID and systemic racism, the issue of human trafficking lingers on behind the scenes. What does human trafficking in Grand Rapids look like today? How has the pandemic altered the problem?
Where do racial disparities within it now stand? While a full picture may be impossible to find, a sketch can be gained through recent research and observations from local leaders in the fight to end this form of modern-day slavery. Recurring c hallenges in tracking t r afficking.
Globally, the trafficking of humans for sexual or labor purposes is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry, with an estimated Most of its victims are women and girls. Estimates from organizations studying and fighting human trafficking, however, are what they are — just estimates. A great challenge in combating human trafficking is the lack of reliable, high-quality data.
SEE aims to eradicate local trafficking through research and fostering collaboration between area organizations sharing this goal. Stories of discovered victims in Grand Rapids may point to more still undiscovered in the area.
One of their mothers hunted at churches, got close to their nurseries and their families, so she could babysit.
She ended up selling both her daughter and their. Despite challenges in measuring human trafficking in Grand Rapids, local research in recent years is out there — particularly regarding sex trafficking.
The report measured the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation on the streets of Grand Rapids and online. SEE, for its part, analyzed sex trafficking indicators through local online sex on Back. The report adds that, averaged over 12 months, the find adds up to potentially 1, new victims being advertised online, every year. Back, shut down since by U. Academics and activists often link racial disparities in U. Additionally, as a recent Reuters article points out, a historical bias against Blacks in law enforcement can often lead to suspicion of Black victims during anti-trafficking raids — viewing them as criminals, treating them as such, and reinforcing conditions that keep them in the cycle.
However, with anti-trafficking leaders warning of a trafficking increase since March, and Blacks being hit harder by the pandemic through systemic inequities according the Pew Research Centerthe potential for exacerbated trafficking disparities exists.
Leaders working with trafficking in Grand Rapids are concerned this may be increasing trafficking activity in the city, or have found indirect s of it already. Such activity can lead to youth being lured into sex trafficking. Often, massage parlors can be fronts for sex and labor trafficking. VerWys acknowledges, however, that the pandemic increased economic vulnerability and isolation.
This has created huge barriers for those trapped in exploitive and abusive relationships, which may result in increased trafficking s in Grand Rapids being discovered down the road. The pandemic also created new hurdles for Grand Rapids organizations fighting trafficking through advocacy and victim aid.
Money was lost and in-person outreach was scaled back. The coalition facilitates partnerships in the community to address sex and labor trafficking. Partners include nonprofits, medical professionals, police officers, teachers, prosecutors, and more. SEE acts as the fiduciary of the coalition, overseeing its operations.
We have a very limited of beds right now in our region. In-person outreach efforts were also reduced in compliance with physical distancing measures.
This impacted not only spreading awareness about sex trafficking, but labor trafficking as well. One of them was bringing Michigan State University and Movimiento Cosecha GR together to do an online training in Spanish on internet safety for youth.
These food distribution days served over 1, different households facing hardships because of COVID Is it a simple issue? Do we know how many are being impacted? What is known, however, is that there are s we can learn about to identify and prevent it around us, local resources we can turn to for victim support, and people around us to whom we can remind the problem exists.
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Brett Townsend. Through recent research and observations from anti-trafficking leaders, a sketch of where human trafficking stands in the city can be found. Anti-trafficking resources An online directory of local resources for those dealing with sex or labor trafficking is available at HTResourceHub.
Recurring c hallenges in tracking t r afficking Globally, the trafficking of humans for sexual or labor purposes is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry, with an estimated New constraints for local anti-trafficking operations The pandemic also created new hurdles for Grand Rapids organizations fighting trafficking through advocacy and victim aid. We need your help.