Human Trafficking and Social Media: Post-Pandemic
I read a quote once that said "we cannot fix a problem if we don't know the problem exists". This could be applicable to any situation but, let's think of it in terms of human trafficking prevention. After all, prevention has been the focus of GRACE for the past ten years.
I have done a TON of research of the past few weeks. GRACE is launching it's first webinar series this summer, under our awareness campaign Go Beyond the X and, like you would imagine, the prep work alone for a project like this can be quite time consuming. Reading reports from the US State Department, Human Trafficking Hotline, and other sources has filled my head with facts, stories, and statistics that must be shared.
One such statistic that jumped out at me is the rise in human trafficking recruitment from social media sites post-pandemic.
Facebook & Instagram recruitment increased by 120%!
Ways that recruiters lure potential victims are through creating online relationships or through fake or deceptive jobs.
According to a report from the Polaris Project, (in 2017) nearly 8% of federal online sex trafficking cases prosecuted in the US involved advertisements for sex on Facebook.
The graphic below was made from statistic found from Polaris Project, the organization who runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
While Facebook and Instagram are the only two noted above, reports from SnapChat, Chat apps (Kik, KakaoTalk, WeChat, and WhatsApp), Dating Sites, and YouTube are documented as well.
Here are some things you can do:
Talk to your kids! Like I've said before, knowledge is power!
Know the signs!
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