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Today, HTD puts the spotlight on the growing problem of domestic human and child sex trafficking afflicting the country and the efforts of Truckers Against Trafficking to combat the problem:
The border with Mexico is a problem for truckers and the country, though the major issue is the impact of illegal immigration with desperate people trying to make it into the US which creates a human problem, both for the illegals themselves and for the US. Any truck driver operating in the region knows the problems because they see them every day: border checks, high crime threat, drug cartels creating havoc and unsafe conditions for everyone, and a human and economic cost which is impossible to quantify but we all know it is extremely expensive.
What many do not understand is that there is a huge human trafficking problem within the United States itself. Of particular concern is the level of child sex trafficking within and between states.
Truckers Against Trafficking has been established to recruit truckers as eyes and ears to help tackle the problem. The average age of a child involved in the illicit sex trade is just 13 years old – I have two children on either side of that age and it is impossible for me to even consider what is happening to these kids who are less fortunate.
But truckers can and do make a difference – all it takes is one phone call to report any suspicious activity to save a child.
The problem of child sex trafficking spreads across the entire country, though there are hotspots in certain areas which are more affected. Oklahoma is one such hotspot, situated as it is right in the center of the country and at the crossroads of virtually all the major national trucking routes. Texas is also a regional hotspot, given its extended border with Mexico and the activities of human trafficking gangs trading in human misery and targeting vulnerable children for effective enslavement in the sex trade.
Shared Hope International is an organization which monitors the child sex trafficking problem both internationally and domestically. A recent report card was issued for Arizona, one of Texas’ neighbors, and the results are deeply disturbing. An overall assessment of the laws and actions of enforcement authorities has resulted in only a moderate rating.
For instance, AZ has relaxed one child prostitution law which has downgraded buying sex from a child aged between 15 and 17, from a Class 2 to a Class 6 felony. In jail sentencing terms that means the difference between 21 years and as little as 90 days.
The really disturbing issue is that Arizona is not particularly bad at tackling the issue, just about as good as every other state in the country.
Check out this blog post at Jim and Jan McCarter’s blog on the issue (Jim is aka Bobby Boofay)