Anthony Sandoval of Georgia is a maritime worker and frequent traveler to London and Dubai. In the following article, Anthony Sandoval discusses human trafficking advocacy, how and why people should get involved, and how trafficking goes far beyond the exploitation of women and girls.
It’s a harrowing reality to face the fact that slavery in the United States is unfolding right under our eyes. The sobering truth is that an estimated 15-50,000 adults and children in the country are forced into sexual slavery on a yearly basis, and that that number may be wildly inaccurate due to the inability to thoroughly research each act of violence explains Anthony Sandoval.
One doesn’t need to work in law enforcement in order to make a major difference in both the lives of victims and in spreading the word about human trafficking in general. Through education, speaking for those who can’t, and taking action when necessary, advocating for the cause of human trafficking is something accessible to all.
Anthony Sandoval on the Types Of Human Trafficking
Anthony Sandoval of Georgia says that when one hears the term “human trafficking”, it’s likely their mind immediately flickers to sex trafficking. Though valid, sadly, that’s only one form of human trafficking that people may be victims of:
- Forced Labor involves the act of forcing individuals into working for strenuous hours under the threat of physical violence, coercion, lying, deceit, and abuse of the legal system. This is extremely common in third-world countries.
- Bonded Labor is similar to the aforementioned forced labor, except the work is due to the repayment of debt- some may even be working to repay the debts of dead relatives.
- Domestic Servitude involves leaving someone to undergo abusive labor from their home. Sadly, Anthony Sandoval says that this form of trafficking is extremely difficult to find without concerned individuals asking for welfare checks. For some victims, the abuse can last for years.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sex Trafficking involve the sexual exploitation of individuals by the entrance of the sex trade. It is the most frequently reported form of trafficking, and women and girls are far more likely to be victims than men and boys.
Recognizing Human Trafficking
Anthony Sandoval of Georgia says that a major way that someone can advocate for those afflicted by human trafficking is by educating themselves on the signs of human trafficking in order to lead victims to the help they need or to know when to ask for the aid of law enforcement.
Signs Of Human Trafficking
- Noticing an individual working in an area without sanctioned restrictions or boundaries (such as taking a lunch break, bathroom breaks, etc.).
- Show severe signs of anxiety, paranoia, depression, or deep worries in general.
- Is never seen alone, is always with a “guardian” type.
- Rarely speaks for themselves
- Stories re: bruises, exhaustion, and other abnormalities seem rehearsed
- Physically show signs of malnourishment, abuse, and lack of hygiene.
Anthony Sandoval of Georgia says that to come face to face with a potential victim of human trafficking can be shocking, and some people never bring their concerns to light due to fear of being wrong. However, Anthony Sandoval highly encourages the “see something, say something” ideology- the worst thing that can happen is being wrong, but the possibility of saving someone’s life far outweighs that.
Raising Money for Anti-Trafficking Organizations
Another unfortunate truth when it comes to human trafficking is that organizations and groups that work to prevent, intervene, and bring aid to the victims are working on extremely limited budgets. That being said, a huge way to advocate for the cause is by helping these organizations raise money explains Anthony Sandoval.
This can be done through personally donating to charities such as Love146 (an organization to end child trafficking), CAST (that advocates for survivors and their journey towards healing), as well as Male Survivor (which empowers and helps men afflicted by sexual exploitation on their path to healing).
Advocates can also look to the community to raise money by holding fundraising drives where all of the proceeds go to an organization of the organizer’s choice.
Look To Legislation
Too often do citizens forget that they can reach out to their local and federal representatives to call for stronger legislation in order to fight human trafficking. Secure and thorough laws prevent human traffickers from finding escape clauses or ambiguity that can keep them from being prosecuted by the law.
Anthony Sandoval also recommends attending town hall events to raise awareness, personally writing and encouraging others to write letters to representatives regarding the cause, and signing relevant petitions online are just a handful of the ways an advocate can get the right eyes on the cause.
The Bottom Line
As of now, human trafficking is a reality, but banding together and working to abolish it is a major player in the fight to reclaim the future.