Recognizing victims of human trafficking is still a question that I get asked whenever I went to speak at a gathering or talk about human trafficking one-on-one.
I just returned from Dallas last night where I have been meeting with service providers and law enforcement with a staff of the Department of State Trafficking in Person’s Office. It was a two-day meeting of listening to various people working to fight the crime talk about their work and the challenges they encounter.
And, they all have their opinion about what is working or what is not. Some have suggestions on how to make things work better to serve victims of human trafficking in their communities.
This was my first meeting with community members as Advisory Council member outside of Minnesota. It was indeed, a learning experience. There is a lot of work to be done in fighting human trafficking across the United States. Some of the opinions raised were not completely new to me and some are.
— #katch (@KatchHQ) February 21, 2016
In addition, I attended a presentation at First Baptist Church, Arlington where there was a considerable amount of crowd gathered to learn about the issue of human trafficking. The church was the home church of the DOSTIPO staff that led our trip. We made it an interactive session where we both discussed what human trafficking looks like, the office of the DOSTIP, the newly formed U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, the myths and misconception about human trafficking and so on.
A question that was asked, which happens to be the same question that I was asked when I was talking to a mother and daughter who were waiting at the MSP International Airport last night was, “How do you recognize victim of human trafficking?” My answer to the question is to listen with your eyes instead of your ears. You listen to your eyes by paying attention to nonverbal cues. Most of the time, victims of human trafficking are crying for help, but they do not do so with their mouth. They do it mainly with their eyes and their body.
When you see something that makes you feel doubtful, that is when you need to stay, think, and pay more attention. When I was a victim, I passed through nurses, doctors, neighbors, and clients who sometimes felt that something was not right, but they did not stop to think about it, let alone try to find out what might be wrong.
So, today, I encourage you to pay more attention and listen to your eyes. You might be the one to rescue a victim and make that person a survivor.
You can read the first two two chapters of my book here.
Thanks for reading. I hope to talk to you again through my blogs. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please, send me a note – fill out the contact form. I want to hear from you. You can also get my recent posts by signing up to receive updates.
Bye for now, until next time.