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Broome County Not Immune to Human Trafficking and Child Prostitution




Around the world, there are an estimated 27 million slaves. Human trafficking, the modern day name for slavery is a $32 billion dollar worldwide industry and the number of victims right here in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

That’s just sick, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but until just a few short years ago I had no idea that human trafficking and child prostitution was as big a problem in the United States as it is. And then I became friends with a woman named Jane Evans.  Jane is the Director of Communications for a non-profit called Transport for Christ  and she explained to me that a big reason so many people don’t know how severe the situation is right here on our own soil is because not enough people are getting the word out.

In early June of this year, 25-year-old Antonio Ballard of Binghamton was convicted on eight counts of engaging in a sex trafficking and prostitution business involving three minor girls. His sentencing is today.

I beg you to help spread the word so that more bad guys can be taken down and that the innocent, especially the children, can be freed. I can’t even imagine.

According to the Polaris Project, here are some of the most common signs that someone is being trafficked- they’re not free to come and go as they wish, they owe a large debt that they’re not able to pay off, they’re under the age of 18 and provide sex for payment.

Victims of human trafficking often are anxious, depressed, submissive and nervous or paranoid. They tend to get jumpy whenever the, subject of law enforcement is brought up. They might lack health care and also look malnourished.

Other signs that someone might be a victim of human-trafficking include that they have few personal possessions, they aren’t allowed to speak for themselves and they aren’t able to clarify where they’re staying or what their address is.

Be sure to check out the complete list of signs and please, if you suspect that someone you know is one of the bad guys, or if you believe you know of someone forced against their will into child prostitution or who has been trafficked, please do the right thing and call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. The  National Human Trafficking Hotline is always open, it does not shut down. You can also text BeFree to 233733 between 3pm and 11pm. All reports are confidential and interpreters are available.

[via Polaris Project/Truckers Against Trafficking/Transport for Christ/United States Department of Justice]

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