Combating trafficking in persons: The invisible crime

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Trafficking in persons is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to provide labor, services, or commercial sex. It includes elements of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for the purpose of exploitation. The three most common forms of trafficking are labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and child soldiering.

Known as the “invisible crime,” every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world including the United States. Many victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. Human trafficking has become the world’s fastest growing crime with over 27 million people enslaved. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) office will host the Combating Trafficking In Persons Breakfast (CTIP) on Jan. 16, 2018, from 7:30-9a.m. at the Hill Aerospace Museum. The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for both base personnel and community partners to attend and increase their awareness and emphasize the importance of combating trafficking in persons.

This year’s guest speakers are Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Jerome Elam.

Elected in 2014, the Honorable Sean D. Reyes is Utah’s 21st attorney general. He has prosecuted the notorious human/child sex trafficker Victor Rax in Utah in early 2014 and has participated in an undercover sting in Colombia in October 2014, rescuing over 120 young girls from cartel members. Today, eradicating trafficking in Utah remains a priority for the Reyes administration along with other policy initiatives including prosecuting violent and white collar crimes against the most vulnerable in our society.

Jerome Elam is President and CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he is a survivor of child sex trafficking, child abuse, and child pornography. Mr. Elam is a fierce advocate for all children deprived of their voice, and he is a public speaker, staff writer, and columnist.

The breakfast attendance requires registration, seating is limited. To register for the event go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hill-air-force-base-combatting-trafficking-in-persons-breakfast-tickets-41732751784 or contact the SAPR Office at 801-777-1964.