Workshop targets human trafficking, offers victim support

07/31/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

Human Trafficking occurs when someone is held involuntarily and forced to work for little or no wages.

There are an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 victims in the world and as many as 20,000 in the United States.

This afternoon the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay instructed social service providers how to identify and assist victims of human trafficking.

Tom Mueller is the Director of Education Services at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. He led the workshop and said human trafficking happens to people desperate to improve their living conditions.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and is tied with the illegal arms trade for the second largest, trailing only drug dealing. Mueller suggested some signs to look for to recognize people who might be victims.

The Trafficking Victims Protection ACT was passed in 2000 and reauthorized in 2003 and 2005.

One of the eight participants in the workshop was Grace Maneri, a trainer and volunteer coordinator with The Spring of Tampa Bay, an organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence.

Marilyn Bray, grants manager for The Spring, said human trafficking victims show symptoms similar to those exhibited by victims of domestic violence.

Mueller said human trafficking is a huge problem in Florida.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay will hold its next workshop on supporting victims of human trafficking on Aug. 21. You can register online at the Crisis Center. You can receive crisis information and counseling by calling The Crisis Center hotline at 211.

Learn more:

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Community Resources 211

Human Trafficking Information

Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

24 hour domestic abuse hotline: 247-7233

The Spring of Tampa Bay

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence: (850) 425-2749

Distinctions Between Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. State Department

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