HUMAN trafficking is expanding at an alarming rate globally and has reached TT where children are being recruited not only for prostitution and labour, but for their organs.
This according to a member of the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, an agency geared to rescue and protect victims of human trafficking, raise awareness and prosecute traffickers. Alexa Oliva said there is a possibility that many of the children and adults who have been reportedly gone missing in TT are cases of human trafficking.
Oliva and other members of the US Motivational Mission group are in the country raising awareness at schools, about human traffficking.
The initiative was organised by Touching A Life Foundation For Kidz led by Indra Roopnarine. The first workshop was held at the Naparima Boys College, San Fernando. In an interview with Newsday, Oliva said that TT recently moved up from Level Three on the prevention to Level Two according to the department of state in the United States.
“So they are starting to get the message out there and we are just contributing to those messages. My co- founder and myself are actually partners in the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force,” Oliva said. “Human trafficking is a global epidemic and it is happening every where. People are undermining what it actually is and they are not considering how dangerous it is and how easy it is to get into it,” she said.
“It is a big money business, that is why so many people are doing it and it is becoming a danger to what we call community children. Community children are like the ones we spoke today at Naparima College. It is not just the children who are at risk. It is orphans or runaways. They are now targeting the children through social media,” Oliva said.
She warned that human traffickers are on the lookout to recruit and take children everyday. She said that such human traffickers are frequenting shopping malls, recreational parks and may even attend a party. “It is a big business and they are finding all types of ways to recruit. Even from going to a party,” Oliva warned.
Olive said that based on her group’s research, they have found that the traffickers pay young men and women large sums of money to help them in their quest to kidnap men, women and children. “Some children are not aware of the signs and by the time they are, it is too late. These people are hungry for young people for labour, sex and they want children’s organs to sell. It is really disgusting, but this is real,” Oliva said.