JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. - It may be hard to believe but in the 21st century, even the most basic of human rights are still being violated around the world by people and organizations driven by greed. Globally, people are still being coerced, trapped or manipulated into the estimated $99 billion a year human trafficking industry. Exploited for cheap labor or commercial sex, victims can often be hidden in plain sight.
Although the United States is recognized as a “tier one” country, meaning the government’s laws fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, the problem has not been fully eradicated. Americans should learn the signs and patterns which may identify a person as a victim.
“It is extremely important for members of the Joint Base Charleston community to recognize the reality and signs of human trafficking,” said David Southall, 628th Security Forces Squadron assistant operations manager and the combating trafficking in persons liaison for JB Charleston. “We urge our service members to pay close attention to the required CTIP computer based training module which can help them identify the signs. Service members are able to take that knowledge with them to future duty stations or deployed locations.”
Being informed on the issue of human trafficking allows the community to do its part in assisting victims and eradicating such practices.
“A community member who believes they may have witnessed something out of the ordinary should contact their local law enforcement,” said Southall. “As with many other campaigns, if you see something, say something!”
As a Joint Base Charleston community member if you notice suspicious behavior on or off base call the 628th SFS at (843) 963-3600. They maintain working relationships and communications with local law enforcement agencies to properly route concerns. However, if an immediate emergency arises, dial 911.
For more information on the signs and statistics of human trafficking please visit http://ctip.defense.gov/What-is-TIP/
Lastly, another resource personnel can utilize is the National Trafficking in Persons Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.