Understanding the Impact

Human traffickers thrive during crises

Every crisis makes people more vulnerable to labor and sex trafficking because of the disruptions to daily life – whether it is the loss of a home, job or access to health care or being unable to connect with support networks of friends and co-workers. These disruptions are especially devastating to those who are already vulnerable and hanging on financially. They become desperate for any way to earn money and survive.

As one trafficking survivor said recently, “Before COVID-19, we were ‘low-wage, low-skilled’ workers, but now, we are ‘essential.’”

However, this new label, “essential,” has not resulted in better pay or job security — quite the opposite, and this is where traffickers can enter the picture.

Trends in Human Trafficking and COVID-19

  • Police and child protection reports are down
  • Risks to online exploitation higher – especially for youth
  • Traffickers isolate victims
  • Travel is restricted
  • Millions out of work
  • Economic challenges greater for women, minorities and under-resourced populations
  • Higher than average unemployment, evictions and displacements
  • Options limited if survivors are exposed to or have COVID-19
  • Justice system impacts

Human Trafficking and the Justice System: Emerging Issues and Taking Action

Human trafficking law and policy experts will explore a wide range of topics and focus on how we, as a community, can engage more fully to see just and fair outcomes in trafficking cases. They will answer the question: What can we all do to bring a “full cup of justice” to trafficking survivors and ensure that all in the justice system are informed and aware of the prevalence of human trafficking and its impacts on clients and cases.

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GADSDEN COUNTY HUMAN TRAFFICKING FORUM

This forum will focus on the issues of human trafficking in Gadsden County including both sex and labor trafficking. Local law enforcement, healthcare and human service providers, the faith community, educational professionals, and community leaders will present information and hold an open forum to discuss human trafficking and needed community responses.

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A CALL TO ACTION FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

This program will focus on the knowledge and skills to recognize and treat human trafficking survivors in a health care setting, with a special emphasis on public health. CME/CEU to be applied for general licensure credit for physicians, nurses, social workers, marriage and family therapists, dentists, dental hygienists, and other health care professionals and human trafficking required licensure credit for nurses.

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2018 FAITH SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

An ecumenical conference for the Big Bend faith community to address aspects of human trafficking and help formulate a response to this epidemic. The program includes speakers from the front lines in the fight against human trafficking, reflections from members of the faith community, a panel discussion on how the faith community can be involved, personal reflections from a survivor, and action plan development.

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