Survivors of Human Trafficking Recount Experiences, Provide AdviceAugust 29, 2021
Human trafficking is a crime in which force, fraud or coercion is used to compel a person to perform labor, services or commercial sex. It affects all populations: adults, children, men, women, foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, and all economic classes.
The Combating Trafficking in Persons Program Management Office recently stood up a website featuring videos called “Survivor Voices of Human Trafficking.”
In the videos, eight survivors relate their experiences being trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, and being turned into child soldiers. They discuss what they wish they had done differently and how others could have helped. Several of the survivors’ stories have a connection to the Defense Department.
For example, Kalei Grant tells of being purchased by military members in Hawaii.
“We would be driven to military bases and nearby bars where [our trafficker] would force us to look for the drunk military soldiers and proposition them. The transactions would happen everywhere — in barracks, in homes and apartments, on military bases in warehouses, in military personnel vehicles, in personal cars, and while service members were on and off duty,” she said.
In another story, Kumar, who prefers not to give his whole name, tells of being trafficked into forced labor by subcontractors in India who charged each potential worker exorbitant recruitment fees to obtain jobs with good pay. The subcontractors then used classic bait and switch techniques to force these food service workers into hard labor when they arrived in Afghanistan, which paid so little they could not get out of debt.
Read the full story by David Vergun on US Department of Denfense.