Elizabeth M. Wheaton, Kristen Richards, Shawn McGraw and Rebekah join Dennis McCuistion to discuss human trafficking and it’s impact on our society today.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. It is forced coercion. Exploitation can include prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
While human trafficking spans all demographics, certain circumstances or vulnerabilities may lead to a higher susceptibility to victimization and human trafficking:
- Runaways and homeless youth
- Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war or conflict, or social discrimination
- Foreign nationals who have paid large recruitment and travel fees to labor recruiters
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About the panelists:
- Elizabeth M. Wheaton, PhD – Economist, Senior Lecturer, Cockrell-McKintosh Faculty -in-residence, Southern Methodist University, who talks about the economics of human trafficking. She asks, “if there is no money to be made from human trafficking, would it exist”? Unfortunately there is not good data.
- Kristen Richards – The Director of Volunteers for Traffick911, a nonprofit organization committed to a world without slavery. The organization has been recognized by Homeland Security Investigations as a most-valued partner in the battle to save American children from sexual slavery. Traffick911 has trained thousands of first responders across the country, has safe homes and works in both intervention and prevention.
- Rebekah – A survivor, trafficked for 10 years, who talks about her personal situation and is now an advocate who has dedicated her life to building awareness and prevention of this issue.
- Shawn McGraw – Supervisory Special agent, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security who conducts investigations regarding this crime. He concentrates on North Texas, receiving leads from various sources. He says it is one of the most unrecorded crimes, with victims seeing themselves part of the crime.