Educational Resources for Educators
- As an extension to TOO CLOSE TO HOME, explore the history and global impact of human trafficking with these educational resources from Florida PBS LearningMedia.
- Global Human Trafficking | A History of Forced Labor in America
- Florida PBS LearningMedia is the go-to destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans, and more derived from respected educational providers such as the Library of Congress, the National Archives and of course, PBS.
Best of all, Florida PBS LearningMedia is a FREE service for educators and families. To learn more or to sign up for a free account, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org.
For information about scheduling training on the use of Florida PBS LearningMedia and other PBS educational resources for your school, district or home school organization, contact Gail Taylor, Director of Educational Services, at [email protected] or (813)254-9338.
National Statistics on Human Trafficking
- The US Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section reports that 12 is the average age of entry into pornography and prostitution in the U.S.
- The 2001 comprehensive report by Estes and Weiner, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S. Canada, and Mexico, indicates an estimated 293,000 children in the U.S. are in danger of being sexually trafficked. The victims are American children, youth of all races and all different backgrounds, and range in age from infants to teens.
- The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children (NISMART-2) indicates that one out of three of these children will be lured and forced to prostitute within 48 hours of being on their own.
- Investigative research by Shared Hope International reveals pimps commonly sell minor girls for $400.00 an hour on America’s streets. Human rights investigations discovered minors were sold an average of 10-15 times a day, 6 days a week, totaling between 9,360 and 14,040 sex acts a year. The girls received none of the money.
- The U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section answers the tough question of Child Pornography:
- Q: If teenagers are voluntarily engaging in prostitution to earn money, why do you call them victims of crime? Aren’t they criminals themselves?
- A: Prostitution is illegal in most places in the United States. Nevertheless, they are also victims of crime. The majority of minors who become involved in prostitution are runaway or thrown away children from abusive or otherwise dysfunctional homes. They are often lured into prostitution by sophisticated criminals who convince them not only that they will earn money to survive but also that they will be taken care of and have the secure loving environment that they lacked at home. These promises are often honored only in the breach – pimps take the money a child earns on the streets and pimps engage in severe physical abuse to build a relationship of dependency. As a result, children victimized through prostitution are not typically voluntarily engaging in prostitution and should be considered victims.
Human Trafficking in Tampa Bay and Florida
- Research conducted by the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights between 2004 and 2010 reveals that human trafficking very much remains a Florida reality. Moreover, trafficking appears to be evolving in recent years. It is estimated that at any given moment, there are between 30,000 to 40,000 pre-teen and teenage runaways in Florida. As a group, they are tremendously vulnerable to exploitation by pimps or to abuses in Florida’s adult entertainment industry. Advocates note that the “recruiting” of runaway or throw-away children for sexual exploitation is increasingly done on the street, at schools and in malls, online through MySpace and Facebook, and even outside juvenile courts.
Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking
- As of August 2012, local task force statistics include: 131 arrests with 47 convictions, 197 reported as potential victims, 45 victims have been confirmed as severe forms of Human Trafficking, 35 victims have been granted continued presence, 4 victims have been awarded their T-Visa, and 44 juveniles have been reported as potential victims.
FBI Innocence Lost Initiative
- To date, 47 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups have worked successfully to rescue more than 2,100 children. Investigations have successfully led to the conviction of over 1000 pimps, madams, and their associates who exploit children through prostitution. These convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple 25-year-to-life sentences and seizure over $3 million dollars of real property, vehicles, and monetary assets. Locally, the Tampa Innocence Lost agency recovers an average of 25 to 30 domestic minor sex trafficking victims each year.
Florida Human Trafficking Laws
- New legislation strengthens existing laws against human trafficking and curtails a 32-billion dollar industry that exploits men, women, and children.
- Laws that went into effect on July 1, 2012 accomplish the following:
- Combine Florida’s three existing statutes into one, making it more user-friendly for law enforcement;
Increase penalties for crime of human smuggling from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony;
Provide that those convicted of human sex trafficking may be designated as sex offenders/predators;
Provide that any property used for human trafficking is subject to forfeiture;
Require massage establishments/employees to present valid photo identification upon request; and
Give jurisdiction for human trafficking to the Statewide Prosecutor and the Statewide Grand Jury.
- Additionally, three important human sex trafficking bills passed the Florida Legislature during the 2013 legislative session:
- HB 1325 (SB 1644): Relating to Victims of Human Trafficking by Representative Ross Spano and Senator Anitere Flores provides for a victim of human trafficking to petition the court to expunge criminal history records for a particular arrest related to human trafficking violations except in certain instances. The legislation also allows a minor under 16 by discretion of the court to give testimony outside of the court or use a pseudonym if the minor would be mentally or emotionally harmed by in-court testimony. HB 1325 passed the House 116-0 and was substituted for SB 1644 in the Senate, passing 37-0. HB 1325/SB 1644 was signed into law on May 30, 2013 by Governor Rick Scott.
- HB 1327 (SB 1734): Relating to Pub. Rec. /Crim. Hist. /Human Trafficking Victims by Representative Ross Spano and Senator Anitere Flores creates a public records exemption for HB1325/SB 1644. This exemption provides for the criminal history of a human trafficking victim to be exempt from any public records requests except upon order of a court. HB 1327 passed the House 116-0 and was substituted for SB 1734 in the Senate, passing 36-0. HB 1327/SB 1734 was signed into law on May 30, 2013 by Governor Rick Scott.
- HB 7005 (SB 500): Relating to Massage Establishments by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Senator Jeff Clemens defines authorized uses of massage establishments, revises hours of operation, allows those establishments in violation of specified statutes to be shut down and prosecuted, requires denial of massage establishment license application under certain circumstances and provides county or local municipality with more authority regarding waiving of hours of operation restrictions under certain circumstances. HB 7005 passed the House 117-0 and was substituted for SB 500 in the Senate, passing 38-0. HB 7005/SB 500 was approved by the Governor on June 14, 2013.