Human trafficking awareness

Guest Speaker Leah Haynes from the organization Forever Found showing various hotlines.

Angelina Kulick

Guest Speaker Leah Haynes from the organization Forever Found showing various hotlines.

On January 17, Leah Haynes and Stephanie Gonzales from Forever Found; A non-profit organization in Simi that has been battling human trafficking since 2010, came to the CSI room with a presentation about what human trafficking is, how to spot it, and how to ask for help.

Human trafficking is the act of transporting or harboring people or children against their will. There are all multiple different types of trafficking such as labor, sex, child soldiers, and organs. Assistant speaker Stephanie Gonzales said, “The average age of prostitution in the U.S. is 12-14 years old.” Why is human trafficking continuing to be a problem, well it’s all about the money, it only takes three youths to make someone a millionaire and these children don’t cost the perpetrator any money. About 150 billion dollars worldwide are annually made in human trafficking.

Anyone from anywhere can buy sex. They start off by targeting the vulnerable, children of abuse, the unwanted, and the poor. These traffickers use false job ads, can recruit online, ask for pictures, groom in person, kidnapping, and more. Usually, blackmail of nudes or nude-like videos is used against the victims. “What about boys? People think boys should be able to stop the trafficker and that they should be able to defend themselves, all children can be trafficked,” said Haynes the head speaker. That is why everyone must be careful in big cities, with lots of highways like Los Angeles, or San Francisco, because that is where trafficking activity is highest.

The speaker mentioned that Downey is someone on campus you can trust to go to if you or you see someone struggling, located in room 6-1.

The main screen from Forever Found showing various hotlines. (Angelina Kulick)