Q&A – How To Spot Human Trafficking In Florida

Today’s entry: Curious about the human trafficking segment. No one addressed prostitution? I travel quite a bit for work- I work in clinical trials. How would a hotel worker know? Unless the girl really looked young. Totally with getting the scum off the streets, but I would love to try and help hotel workers, where I stay, become more aware.

Bottom Line: Thank you for your interest and willingness to assist in combating the crisis. I don’t believe there’s another issue in South Florida, or across the country, that’s as serious, yet often overlooked, like this one. Starting with your question regarding prostitution. The reason I didn’t specifically break out prostitution from human trafficking is because, most commonly, they’re the same. Few prostitutes are willingly involved. According to a scientific study published in the Journal of Trauma Practice, and used as part of President Bush’s National Security Presidential Directive to combat human trafficking, 89% of prostitutes aren’t willfully participating. Most trafficking involves Americans trafficked within the country. As for what you can do and look for, my advice is to look towards what Florida’s hospitality workers are being trained to do and will be mandated to do effective January 1st next year. 

During the 2019 legislative session, Florida passed comprehensive legislation aimed at combating trafficking. The legislation mandates training to identify signs of potential trafficking for hospitality and certain medical service employees. Businesses that don’t comply will be fined $2,000 per day effective January 1st of 2021. The training program is being led by non-profit Florida Abolitionist, in conjunction with Florida law enforcement agencies. Florida Abolitionist currently offers the training if you’re able/inclined. In fact, they offer it for all companies around Florida, not just those mandated by law. 

As for looking for some of the basics, according to the Polaris Project some of the signs you can look for are someone who is regularly unavailable but cryptic about why, someone highly anxious, submissive and nervous. Also, sudden substance abuse, poor hygiene, someone who doesn’t speak freely about themselves or what’s going on, perhaps a lack of awareness about the time of day, day of the week, etc. and lastly, someone that's defensive.

South Florida has the third-highest rate of human trafficking in the country and that’s when the Super Bowl isn’t coming around. An average of six people are lost to human trafficking in South Florida daily. It’s tragic. 

Submit your question using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images

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