Human trafficking is a growing market and there is a concern it is not just effecting larger cities.
Today the Dodge City Public Library will be hosting Human Trafficking: Closer Than You Think about how the epidemic is hitting close to home.
"We'll look at the facts and statistics of human trafficking around the world and recognize the signs of a trafficked person," said presenter Marca Deimund. "We'll look at the process of recruitment, grooming and selling of women, children and men though social media and other methods and understand how human trafficking can and does happen in our home towns."
According to Deimund, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand, like drugs or arms trafficking.
Many factors make children and adults vulnerable to human trafficking. However, human trafficking does not exist solely because many people are vulnerable to exploitation.
"Instead, human trafficking is fueled by a demand for cheap labor, services and for commercial sex," she said. "To ultimately solve the problem of human trafficking, it is essential to address these demand-driven factors, as well as to alter the overall market incentives of high-profit and low-risk that traffickers currently exploit."
According to the US Department of State Bales 2011 report released in 2012, there are approximately 27 million slaves around the world, more than in the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade where historians estimate there were 11 million slaves.
A report from the End It Movement, states that 43 percent of trafficking around the world is sex trafficking.
End It Movement says that the victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.
In 30 percent of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers (those who are trafficking the victims), women make up the largest proportion of traffickers.
Women trafficking women is the norm in some parts of the world.
End It Movement also indicate that 57 percent of human trafficking is labor trafficking.
However, this may be a misrepresentation because forced labor is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.
For Deimund, the human trafficking concern came to her in 2011.
"That summer I was in Phoenix, Arizona, and heard about human trafficking from Ginger Smith who was the director of the Houston Baptist Centers," she said. "I had heard about it before but nothing like I heard that day.
"I was born and raised in Oklahoma, I’ve lived in Kansas for over 30 years, our sons, daughter in law and grandchildren live in Texas and I was the president of KS/NE WMU – a women’s mission organization at the time.
"When Ginger said 'There is a ring of men who steal women and children from Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma and sell them in Texas, It made me sick.
This is who I am, it is who we are and the people I love the most in the world are in the area of this ring, and I was forever changed along with my thinking about human trafficking.
"After that I began teaching about human trafficking that fall and have spoken about it ever since, the most troubling part is that nothing has really changed with the statistics since 2011.
"People are forever changed when they become human trafficking victims and they need specialized care to help them cope with the trauma and help getting their lives on a track.
"Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will."
Human Trafficking: Closer Than You Think is at the DCPL from 7 to 8 p.m. and is free to the public to attend.
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