Human Trafficking Facts That Can Help Your Teen
Human trafficking is, unfortunately, a fast-growing industry in the United States. Law enforcement reports that drug dealers have been switching to human trafficking since it is easier to move humans than illegal drugs across state lines.
Unfortunately, the increased use of technology increases the opportunity for human traffickers to contact and seduce teens. According to the National Missing and Exploited Children Organization, 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online. This is true for both boys and girls, as well as for children in large cities, inner-ring suburbs and suburban neighborhoods.
Our teenagers are very vulnerable. They experience uncertainty and loneliness as they grapple with their own identity. Friendships can be transient at this point. There are always those people looking to manipulate a kid in such a vulnerable state. In particular, teens with limited education, little family support, limited guidance or a history of sexual abuse are at greatest risk.
Human Trafficking Risk Factors
Here are a few basic tips for teenagers to reduce the risk of trafficking include:
- Don’t share personal information on the Internet.
- Don’t accept social media requests from unknown people.
- NEVER share naked photos of yourself with anyone.
- Tell a parent or a trusted adult if you feel threatened or uncomfortable during online communication.
Adults can play an important role as well in protecting their teenagers from online predators:
- Know what your teen is doing online, including in social media.
- Talk with your teenager about sexual trafficking.
- Pay attention to your teenager’s friends and where they hang out.
With your help, we can help spread this human trafficking information, to help reduce human trafficking and protect our children from online predators. Talk to your children about internet safety, and make sure that they are safe both online and offline.