Ever-expanding access to information and communication via the internet can be a benefit but also has a dark side. This criminal component must be continually monitored by law enforcement to find and prosecute those who exploit children. Recently, the Advancing Life Foundation’s partner Operation Underground Railroad updated us on two police dogs helping the fight against human trafficking. Here we list why their efforts are so crucial in keeping kids safe.
The Issue of Human Trafficking
The issue of human trafficking is a problem both in the United States and throughout the world. Trafficking involves moving a person from one location to another into a situation of exploitation, including forced labor, prostitution, forced marriage, or organ removal. It is estimated by the United Nations that internationally between 20 million and 40 million people are being enslaved and that only about .04 percent of survivors of human trafficking cases are identified. Human trafficking reports global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, $99 billion from commercial sexual exploitation.
It is estimated by the United States government that 71% of enslaved people are women and girls, while men and boys make up around 29%. About 50,000 victims are trafficked into the US each year, most often from Mexico and the Philippines. Over half of the criminal human trafficking cases in the US during 2018 were sex trafficking cases involving only children. A large number of child sex trafficking survivors in the US. were at one time in the foster care system. Traffickers are using online social media platforms to recruit and advertise targets of human trafficking.
Operation Underground Railroad
The Advancing Life Foundation partners with Operation Underground Railroad to help fund the training of electronic storage device detection canines. These dogs sniff out evidence at a crime scene to prosecute human traffickers and make sure they can no longer contact, exploit, or harm any more victims.
The two most recent trainees funded by Advancing Life Foundation are Tor and Jab, who work for the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and The Derry Township Police. In April and May, the departments reported that the two dogs were deployed on six search warrants and found devices on five of those searches. As a result, they arrested two suspects. Making sure these perpetrators are facing the consequences and preventing them from hurting children has an immeasurable impact on the safety of the local and surrounding communities.
Help Fight Human Trafficking
When you contribute a monthly pledge to the Advancing Life Foundation our corporate partner, ASEA, is matching all donations throughout 2021. Select the monthly option when you give, and every contribution will have double the impact in helping children escape poverty and exploitation. To contribute to the funding of more O.U.R. police dog training and to help fight the cause to stop human trafficking, go here: https://donate.kindest.com/rise-up-for-children