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Human Trafficking A Supplement to The Herald April 25, 2014

How long has human trafficking been around? By Cassie Daszko

Special to The Herald

H

uman trafficking has been around for longer than humans would like to admit. When asked some students knew of human trafficking but didn’t know how far back the history of it actually went.

“There has been prostitutes since forever, but I don’t really know when it actually started,” Hannah Hulse, Cornerstone University junior said. Once told when the first history of human trafficking was Hulse was surprised. “Wow. I never realized it has been around for that long and that people have been dealing with this for such a long time.” In a study done by Rutgers University, human trafficking is rumored to have started in the 1400s - 1600s, with the start of the European slave trading in Africa with the Portuguese transporting people from Africa to Portugal and use them as slaves. Britain joined in the slave trade in 1562. Later in the 1600s, countries such as Spain, North America, Holland,France Sweden, and Denmark also became active in the European slave trade. This kind of slavery is what has become modern day human trafficking. In 1904, the International Agreement for the Suppression of “White Slave Traffic” was signed. What this agreement did was protect women of all ages from being involved in “white slave traffic” and being forced into prostitution. This was later changed to, The Suppression of White Slave Traffic, in order to not discriminate against any gender and so that all people could be helped. With the forming of the League of Nations in 1927 after World War 1, there was an organization focusing on bringing peace to the world. This included the work to stop human trafficking. During this time two major studies were conducted, one in the east and one in the west, in order to figure out the real status of human trafficking in these areas. Factors that were mea-

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Human Trafficking: Dorothea DiGiovanni with

Soroptimist International of the Americas hands out fliers to mark the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness, at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. The U.S. Congress established the day to raise awareness of an opposition to global trafficking of men, women and children. sured included the number of women engaged in prostitution, the demand, and the surrounding environment of the women who were trafficked. During World War II, Japan set a program where women all across Asia were forced into sexual slavery. The women were housed in “comfort stations” that were anything but comfortable. They received beating if they were defiant. Many women ended up dying because of disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, and suicide. Because of the barbed wire that surrounded them escaping was impossible. These stations were set up by the Japanese government in hopes of preventing rape crimes in public and the spread of STDs. Also it was hoped that it would provide comfort for soldiers so they wouldn’t tell any top secret military secrets. In 1956, people started looking at 3rd party people involved in the act of human trafficking. With the creation of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, it made it so that people running brothels, living on earnings from sex work, capturing and imprisoning people into prostitution can be arrested and tried. The fourth World Conference of the United Nations was held in 1995 and addressed the issue of trafficking of women. This was a major accomplishment in the fact that trafficking was actually recognized as an act of violence against women. Other accomplishments made at this conference were that actions were beginning to be enforced. On Valentine’s Day of 2002, the Polaris Project was founded by Katherine

Please see HISTORY, Page 2

Courtesy Photo

Attorney General: Reporting Public Affairs students (left to right, Cassie Daszko, Brittany Jacobson and Ava Dixon) got the chance to talk to Attorney General Bill Schuette at an event. Schuette spoke on how college students could get involved with the fight against human trafficking.

College students listen to the silent cries By Ava Dixon

Special to The Herald

There is a carnage of innocence, our children are at risk in the land of the free,” said Becky McDonald, president of WAR (Women at Risk) International.

There are 2,400 women and minors for sale in West Michigan at any given time. WAR is stepping in to change those statistics. WAR is in forty different countries around the world. They are teaching people how to know the signs of abuse. These numbers are baffling to us, and it may seem like too big a task to even attempt to fix but as college students, we can do so much in helping stop the issue of human trafficking. “No matter what your age spend some volunteer time with an organization that deals with this issue. Start an organization at your school to increase awareness and encourage your legislators to think about issues that matter,” said Schuette. Bill Schuette Michigan, Attorney general said traffickers, and pimps globally rake in on average $32 billion a year by forcing young women and men into prostitution.

“We would be better, we’d be smarter…and we’d know we have a responsibility wherever we are that we are better equipped to combat this issue of human trafficking,” said Schuette. There are fifteen different demographics that draw traffickers; West Michigan has twelve of the fifteen. Such as poverty, transportation and the internet, which are contributing flashpoints of human trafficking. These include: There are many different ways women and minors can end up in these situations. Only a small portion of them are runaways. A much larger percent includes those who have been lured by scams, false job offers, parties and pretend boyfriends make up two thirds of the ways trafficking occurs. “The reason trafficking flourishes is because no one talks about it,” said McDonald. One of the biggest tools college student have are their voices. Talk about this issue to friends and family. This generation has a hunger for a revolution, we have the ability by using our words to make a difference and bring truth into the light that would otherwise be kept secret. McDonald believes that once people understand what trafficking is and how they can help it will provide a circle of protection in their communities. WAR is educating people more and more on how to respond and how not to respond to signs of trafficking. This generation wants to have a significant difference and ongoing involvement, McDonald said. WAR Chest Boutique is an example

Please see BILL SCHUETTE, Page 2

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