Clean Up Data

The three main steps to take to achieve a complete solution to the Human Trafficking problem are:

  1. CLEAN UP THE DATA regarding the Human Trafficking issues

  2. Utilize SCIENTIFIC  TASK FORCES to develop the real actual, tangible, legitimate solutions

  3. Assemble a INTERNATIONAL GOVERNING BODY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING  to bring together all those involved in the management of organizations fighting against Human Trafficking to coordinate the implementation of the solutions and the funding.

This discusses the first of these three steps.    

Clean up the data
The first issue that must be addressed is the data issue.  The numbers we all use are such estimates that we do not know the real magnitude of the problem.  How successful would our military be if they fought a war without any accurate data regarding the enemy. We have a good example of that in the "Battle of the Little Bighorn" in which Custer was ill informed of the magnitude of the Indians  he was attacking.  His 209 men were not prepared to fight the 6000 to 7000  in the encampment of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe.   We are in just that position as stated by Ambassador Luis CdeBaca the current U.S. CZAR against Human Trafficking:

all the numbers are very imprecise, notoriously so, because this is a hidden crime

We all quote the 27 million figure as the number caught in sexual slavery in the world, but we do not really know if the actual number is 15 million or 50 million!!   Of course we must stop this horrible slavery whatever the number may be, but we do need to know more accurate numbers and the data must be more compatible and comparable for our fight to be effective.  Dr. Laura Lederer puts this as the first issue in approaching solutions to Human Trafficking, and we have for years agreed.    Some reports even question the FACT that sexual slavery is a problem because the current numbers have such little validity.  But the problem is REAL!!

As an example some years ago in an arranged meeting I was able to discuss the Trafficking business with one of the Trafficking leaders in the city of Riga, Latvia.  During the private discussion in this beautiful city of about 800,000 (known as the Paris of the north),  I made the comment; “The word on the street is that you have about 5,000 girls” and the response was “NO, we have over 12,000!”.  Thus the numbers in this slavery can be and are massive but the real current levels are not known except by those that control the slaves!  Note: we are not speaking about those that work as voluntary prostitutes, but actual sexual slaves!

With the utilization of experts in the data accuracy field,  major steps can be taken to improve the picture of Human Trafficking in the world.  This picture will necessarily include figures on the Trafficking flows between countries and types of Trafficking as well better information on the types of individuals and organizations involved in the Trafficking. The detail of the data must be improved to give information on the numbers in the four different types of trafficking. For example we need to see the numeric difference  between girls that are  sold, girls that are kidnapped, and those girls that are tricked by job offers, as compared to girls that have willingly entered into prostitution and then find themselves in slavery to someone they feel they love. The first three categories are more willing to cooperate when being rescued, and the girls in the later category need more psychological help to even be willing to admit they have been in slavery.

And further detail will show numbers by different categories such as those 17 "Categories of American Youth Victimized by Sexual Exploitation" documented by
Estes work. The exhibit of those 17 categories is  found in Appendix B of the full report. Those 17 categories need to be expanded to include the over 18 year old victims.  The Trafficking organizations (people doing the Trafficking) do know the real numbers and have the advantage in being able to communicate over the internet with others involved in their cruel business.  Yes, the first step is to CLEAN UP THE DATA.
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