News: Online Recruitment for Human Trafficking
COVID has driven more of us online to a greater extent than we ever imagined. Unfortunately that makes it easier for those seeking to exploit children or individuals who are recruiting and grooming individuals for human trafficking as well. Recruiting can be as subtle as identifying people who feel unloved, misunderstood or dissatisfied and starting up a conversation. Slowly, over time, they build trust with the potential victim, then they build dependency.
You can learn more on the Polaris Project site at https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking-and-online-recruitment/ and two good resources from the Ohio Attorney General’s office at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Victims/Human-Trafficking-An-Online-Threat and https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Schools/Protecting-Kids-When-They-Go-Online .
This not only applies to recruiting but soliciting buyers as well. In fact, the just released Federal Human Trafficking Report notes that in 83.7% of the sex trafficking cases in 2019, the internet was the primary method of soliciting buyers.
The FBI put out a Public Service Announcement in March of 2020 warning of the use of online platforms to recruit.