News | Jan. 18, 2018

Common social media tools and online classifieds target victims of Human Trafficking

By Security and Emergency Services, DLA Installation Operations at Richmond

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The month is intended to bring awareness and aide in the prevention and detection of forced labor and prostitution.  In previous years focus has been on increased awareness, techniques for identifying and locating individuals and methods being used to exploit victims. 

The global campaign expands this year with a focus on prosecution and holding individuals accountable for these horrible human rights acts, said Guy Simmons, security specialist, Security and Emergency Services, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Operations at Richmond, Virginia. 

He said at Defense Supply Center Richmond, his goal is to bring awareness to employees who may encounter or have the ability to prevent trafficking.

Simmons encourages DLA employees, family and friends to be proactive and aware of the methods and risks associated with social media and internet usage as it potentially applies to Combatting Trafficking in Persons. 

Human traffickers are using social media/networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, dating sites and Craigslist at an alarming rate to work methodically gaining trust or offering promising futures and wealth to lure unsuspecting victims into an underground world of crime that includes forced labor and prostitution. 

To expand on DLA general awareness articles and DLA annual CTIP awareness training, Simmons says the State Department authors a valuable document published annually that provides insight to trafficking: Annual Trafficking In Person Report (June 2017) . The report outlines success stories, special interest/focus areas, methodology and statistics/reports surrounding trafficking in the global community.

DLA employees can seek help for a victim or report potential human trafficking activities they become involved in or aware of through the avenues below.

· In case of an emergency, always call 911. 

· The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has a national, toll-free hotline, 1-888-373-7888, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. 

To learn more and increase awareness, individuals can seek additional information and resources through the Department of Defense CTIP Website.