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Parents, Please Pay Attention!!! The Reality of Human Trafficking in New Jersey.




Human trafficking is a hidden crime that affects New Jersey more than you might think. While the victims are often invisible, the impacts are devastating and far-reaching. There are several forms of Human Trafficking. One of them is a form of modern slavery in which people are exploited for labor or commercial sex. It is estimated that 24.9 million people worldwide are trafficked annually, most of whom are women and children. In 2017 alone, there were 853 reported cases of human trafficking in the U.S., with 153 occurring in New Jersey alone. This is an extremely high number for our State considering that these numbers reflect only reported cases; experts estimate that the actual number could be much higher.


Victims of human trafficking come from all backgrounds and walks of life, though many have been vulnerable due to poverty or lack of education. Victims may be lured by false promises or forced into servitude through physical violence or threats against themselves or their families. Many times traffickers use drugs or alcohol to control their victims as well as manipulate them emotionally by making them feel dependent on their captors for survival or comfort. Parents and educators, please pay attention – this means our teens are highly vulnerable.


I have learned that children are trapped in this vicious cycle in many different ways. Predators will pay other teens to lure their friends to a mall where the predator will kidnap them. Children who experience issues at home may be sought after by predators who pretend to be concerned and groom the teen to be trafficked.


It is so important to learn what human trafficking looks like because it is happening right in front of us. Please join me at the Human Trafficking Awareness Forum this weekend. It will be held on Saturday, January 28th from 11 am to 1 pm at Mastery Charter High School in Camden, NJ.


I hope to see you there.


Take care,


Lakisha.

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