Woman and children from all parts of the world are involved in sex trafficking or what’s also known as the modern day slave trade. Ron Childs says, “Approximately 27 million people are in slavery in the world today, and the issue isn’t overseas. It happens in Kansas too.”
When you think of human trafficking, countries like Sudan or Cambodia come to mind. But as 49 News Reporter Lauren Seabrook tells us, it happens right here in Kansas and a panel of local experts hope to bring awareness to the growing problem.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Bennett has seen many cases of young girls being sold for sex. And one case began when a child gave out too much information on Facebook. Bennett says, “This guy contacted her and said I’ll pick you up tonight, she walked out the door, he picked her up. That night they spent in Wichita, the next night they spent on the way to this other community, to Chicago, and by the third night she was on the streets being taken out and prostituted in Chicago.”
Within 48, hours the 15-year-old girl was in a different state with a 50-year-old man and being prostituted out in order to survive. She was eventually rescued, but her life was changed forever.
Childs says stories like this one are hard to even imagine. He says, “I’m still trying to process it emotionally right now actually, initially it just seems like such a big hill to climb. How do you overcome it.”
In Kansas, escort services are completely legal, but Bennett says they’re not what they may appear to be. Bennett says, “They’re being hired for an hour, or for two hours and I think by most people’s definition that’s prostitution.”
Bennett and the other members of the panel want to educate people on the issue and keep the victims out of harms way.
Members of the panel want to stress the importance of monitoring your children while they are on the internet. They say a child that is on sites like Facebook between 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM, with a phone number and address posted, is a sure sign to a predator that the child is being unsupervised.