Our primary strategy for fighting the human trafficking industry is to monitor national borders and transit hubs, intercepting the victims before they are lost to the dark world of modern slavery. But what exactly is an interception, and what is involved in the process?
To begin with, our transit monitoring strategy focuses on identifying and assisting potential victims of trafficking while they are being transported and before they reach the destination where they may be in danger of being exploited. We “intercept” someone when we have good reason to believe that they are in the process of being trafficked or at high risk of being trafficked.
To ensure we investigate each possible intercept thoroughly, we have developed a “Questioning Protocol” that includes a list of visual red flags we look for to identify a suspected victim as well as a line of questioning designed to determine if trafficking is taking place. Each staff member is trained to identify, question, and assist potential victims.
When we encounter a situation where we are strongly convinced trafficking is taking place, there are several options we have to ensure the victim is returned to safety.
Often times, we are able to get in touch with the parents or family members of the potential victim, who are completely unaware that their child/relative has been deceived and placed in a very dangerous situation. In the case of speaking with parents, they often insist that we do not allow their child to go anywhere with the suspected trafficker, and if she is a minor, they have the authority to make that decision.
Returned to safety
To ensure they are returning to a safe environment, we do an assessment of each potential victim’s home situation and send her home only if she has a safe place to go to and there is no reason to believe that the family was knowingly involved in the suspected trafficking situation. If there are suspicions that this isn’t the case, she will stay at one of our local shelters, and if needed, in rare instances, we partner with a longer-term aftercare organization that can provide further assistance.
In cases where there is no family to contact for a potential victim, we can involve the police, who have the legal authority to stop her. Our hope, however, is to convince her that she is being trafficked so that she makes her own decision not to continue on.
We will also involve local law enforcement when a suspected trafficker is present or there is clear evidence that trafficking is taking place. We work in cooperation with local authorities to ensure traffickers are stopped and victims are returned safely home.
Educated on the dangers of trafficking
Since we intervene before potential exploitation occurs, the potential victims are generally not in need of extensive counseling or care but simply a thorough understanding and awareness about human trafficking and safe migration. We do our best to thoroughly educate them about the dangers of trafficking, and we rarely intercept the same person twice.
This vital work would not be possible without the dedication and faithfulness of our partners. We are so deeply grateful for you. If you are not yet a partner, we invite you to learn more about our work and how you can join us in saving these beautiful lives, created in the image of God, from the devastation of this horrendous crime.