Raising awareness of human trafficking crimes|
by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs
1/18/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- -- January has been declared the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, by President Barack Obama, as an effort to convey exposure to the crime against humanity. Trafficking in persons has become the second largest criminal activity in the world after illicit drugs.
In compliance with the Air Force's zero tolerance agenda toward trafficking in persons, all service members are required to be aware of the negative impacts that TIP can have on the military's readiness and professional atmosphere.
Trafficking in persons is classified as the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring and abducting of another human being for commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor.
"We hope that through TIP awareness we can educate our Airmen and help them to continue to make sound decisions about their activities when deployed," said Bruce Barton, 42nd Air Base Wing chief of force development flight. "I would like for all service members to learn as much as they can about human trafficking so we can put an end to this horrific continuous cycle."
According to the State Department, in 2012 there were 7,909 human trafficking related prosecutions and 42,291 newly identified human trafficking victims worldwide.
Among the different types of illegal groups that partake in human trafficking, transnational organized crime syndicates are considered to be the most heavily involved.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website, transnational organized crime syndicates are estimated to be averaging between $5 billion and $9 billion a year through human trafficking. Prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labor and removal of vital organs are the organization's main sources of illegal revenue.
The Defense Department reports that as of now there are more than 27 million people in bondage worldwide, generating more than $32 billion a year for the illegal industry.
If a service member feels that they may know of an area that is possibly engaging in TIP they should report it to their Office of Special Investigation, where an investigation may be initiated.
Possible signs of a TIP enterprise include work areas that are heavily guarded where workers appear intimidated or where workers are being escorted from a facility to their home.
"This is the second largest crime against people, and we will simply not stand for it any longer," Barton said.
For more information on human trafficking and how to prevent it, please visit ctip.defense.gov.