ACAHT Quarterly Project

(Spring 2018)

IATL Anti-Trafficking Coalition Spring Quarterly Project: Prevention of Youth Recruitment

We know that there is no such thing as a child prostitute; there are only children who are victims of sexual exploitation. We also know that trafficking of children often starts when they are just 13 years old.

What is being done about it?

Thankfully many agencies and organizations have taken up the fight against youth recruitment. Alameda County in California recently launched an anti-trafficking campaign which focuses on educating the public about methods by which children are recruited. One campaign message indicates, "Sex Traffickers Love Technology Too" to highlight how exploiters befriend their victims on social media. Another message, "Girlfriend for Sale," focuses on how traffickers lure children into false relationships and then coerce them into the sex trade. Another message warns about fake modeling jobs. You can view more campaign messages at http://disruptsextrafficking.org/.

What can I do about it?  

Raising awareness about youth recruitment methods helps to prevent sexual exploitation. We also encourage you to learn how to identify child victims of trafficking and share your knowledge with others. Click here for information about signs of child trafficking. Some possible signs include:

  • A change in attire, behavior, or material possessions (Does the child have a new cell phone? Who pays for it?)
  • A boyfriend or girlfriend who is noticeably older
  • Frequent school absences, falls asleep in class
  • Responds to questions in a way that seems coached or rehearsed
  • Runs away or stays with friends at times

If you feel that a child is being sexually exploited, please contact 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

How can I learn more?

You can contact the IATL Executive Office for more resources. For those attending the Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, you can hear about the Alameda campaign in person from Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. She will be presenting at the Trafficking Coalition meeting. You can also welcome her as a new Academy Fellow, as she will be inducted Saturday morning!

Thank you for supporting the fight against human trafficking!

           
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