Essay on Human Trafficking in Florida

Human Trafficking in Florida

Human trafficking involves the coercion of a victim to gain some type of labor or sex act. This can happen to anyone, no matter their age, race, nationality, or gender. Florida is among the three worst human trafficking states and has now become an epidemic. Many support the idea that the high level of human trafficking in Florida is partly due to its significant tourism, geographical location, and agriculture. Many human traffickers end up being women and are never able to escape their holder or pimp. Some statewide efforts include collaborations of coalitions and task forces, state research and training, and funding opportunities. There are also hotlines and shelters to help those who have fallen victim. Increasing awareness of human trafficking can help individuals notice signs, avoid becoming a victim, and helping those who have escaped. Many people who flee their predators do not feel like they can come forward, but with more help from the state and support from the community, these individuals could feel more comfortable doing so.

Florida is one of the largest tourist destinations, and because of this, it also lures in a lot of human trafficking. Florida airports are highly used in transporting human trafficking victims; it is made accessible through international airports, such as Miami and Orlando. Since there are so many tourists coming in and out of hotels, it can be tough to spot. An individual could be renting out a room to force a victim into prostitution, and, likely, the hotel staff would not know. Due to Florida’s geological shape, victims can be smuggled from other states. The ports and access to the ocean make it simple for the human traffickers to deal with victims internationally. Through these easy access points, they can either take victims from Florida to a different state or bring victims to Florida. The immigrant communities additionally give a constant flow of helpless victims previously living in Florida for human dealers to go after (ahubofhumantrafficking). Florida’s eight army installations and South Florida’s topographical area makes it a vital passage point for dealers bringing victims from Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. Due to this enormous number of personnel at Florida army installations, various trafficked women and girls might be living in territories encompassing these bases (Torres, 2011). Moreover, labor trafficking goes hand in hand with Florida’s agricultural industry. Labor trafficking is one of the highest forms of human trafficking seen in Florida. The most significant number of dealing victims distinguished in Florida somewhere in the range of 2004 and 2010 included people misused for constrained work.

There are many reasons why victims do not escape. Many of these victims are immigrants who do not speak English, which leaves them at a more significant disadvantage. If the victim does not know what their capturer is saying, then it can be even scarier. Victims are also afraid that they will be killed if they do not go along with the labor or attempt to flee. The holder may also threaten the victim by telling them that if they do not do the work, then their family will be hurt. Also, the victims are taught that the police are corrupt, and if immigration gets to them, then it will be much worse than their current situation. Holders use extreme measures to manipulate their victims, one being how much they eat and sleep. The victims can be given enough food to work throughout the day, yet, not get enough sleep, so they are deprived and too weak to escape. Due to this abuse, if a victim is freed, they will either be too scared to tell their story or almost not remember it due to the trauma. At times, such significant abuse can cause the victim to mentally shut down and create their brain to forget what they have experienced.

Youths exploited in human trafficking are frequently arrested and detained in the juvenile justice system. Some reasons, such as some adolescent victims, may be seen offenders and manipulated adolescents may involve themselves in criminal operations. Victimization in human trafficking has been consistently linked to the use of alcohol or drugs, increasing the likelihood of being detained by law enforcement because of drug-related charges (Reid, Joan A., et al., 2017). Limited to or no education, employment opportunities, low-income family support, sexual or physical abuse, and mental, emotional, or physical disabilities have been linked to human trafficking risk factors. Surprisingly, women are one of the most extensive recruitment tactics for human trafficking. Since women are usually trusting of other women, it is easy for them to lure other women into the sex trade. “Women who have previously been trafficked and have never been rescued can only work to achieve the status of “madame” where their position entails the recruitment of poor young girls hoping to make money” (Torres, 2011). These “madame” women promise girls wealth and employment abroad but then are instead sold to pimps and locked in brothels, a mobile home where men can visit prostitutes. Since Florida is a great “vacation” state, many brothels can go unnoticed. These brothels make it easy for human traffickers to move quickly, especially if they hear that someone is suspicious. These girls are then told that they can work for their freedom, which they never received. Fear is installed in these girls because they see the abuse being done to those who disobey their pimp. It is an ongoing cycle that does not seem to end.

Florida has laws set in place for human trafficking. “In 2011, Florida was first ranked in the first or ‘green’ tier of states, a position it has consistently maintained to date, for its efforts to affect legislation against human trafficking” (HUFF-CORZINE, L. et al., 2020). Non-profit organizations are to recognize benefits all through the area and acquire concurrences with each office that they will give help to all victims of human trafficking. They are to guarantee law requirement is kept refreshed on the victim’s advancement and to help the victims securely and safely revamp their lives. Some NGO agreements include house, nutritional assistance, employment help, income assistance, and more.

A statewide effort towards human trafficking is the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT, 2020). This coalition is an anti-trafficking agency that has been helping victims since 2004. Their mission is to provide help and services for individuals and families who have fallen victim to human trafficking in Florida. FCAHT provides victims with emergency nourishment, a safe house, clinical and mental treatment, and different administrations varying to enable these people to reestablish their lives and their opportunities. Additionally, FCAHT works intimately with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, State, and nearby law authorization organizations in Florida (FCAHT, 2020). Florida also has a local task force for all 67 counties. Council duties include but are not limited to, creating proposals for large projects and administrations including suggestions for certification of safe houses and safe foster homes, make suggestions for catching and prosecuting dealers, and improving coordination of reactions (Florida Attorney General, 2020). Another coalition is the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches. HTCPB had initially been created to train front line responders on the identification of Human Trafficking victims and how to provide culturally appropriate services to victims of Human Trafficking in Palm Beach County. However, the community decided to turn it into a task force, concentrating its efforts on educating the community through public awareness campaigns (HTCPB). A community effort of HTCPB includes an Art Therapy Program, which is a therapeutic program for survivors of trauma. Along with coalitions and local task forces, human trafficking hotlines are also available regarding suspected human trafficking and for victims and survivors. In all, Florida does an ok job of helping those in need and preventing future trafficking.

Increasing awareness of the prevalence and commonness of human trafficking is essential. I believe that more needs to be done by the hotels that human traffickers are using for prostitution. Although hotel management and staff are not always mindful of what goes on in visitors’ rooms, they should take preventative steps to try to avoid this from happening. Hotels can require vehicle information and photo ID check-ins for guests, direct standard preparing on dealing signs and the protocol for reaction, train every single new employee and give training on an intermittent basis and before high profile occasions. Hotel management can also make sure security camera placement can record every guest and visitor who enters, limit hotel entrance at night, and make sure that all visitors are logged, and much more (JD Supra, 2020). The best way to stop human trafficking is for us all to be progressively aware of those living around us.

Human trafficking in Florida has now become an epidemic. Florida’s travel industry, geological area, and agriculture play a significant role in why human trafficking is seen so often in Florida. Numerous human traffickers wind up being women who were unable to get away from their holder or pimp. Some statewide endeavors incorporate non-profit organizations, joint efforts of alliances and teams, and state research and preparing. There are hotlines to help individuals who have fallen victim and hotlines for those who suspect human trafficking. Expanding consciousness of human trafficking can assist people with catching early warning signs, avoid being victimized, and helping the individuals who have fled.

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