Mark Wexler’s presentation was titled on Mapping Modern-Day Slavery, Mapping High Probability Locations. Two hundred years ago when slavery was outlawed slavery did not disappear, it just moved from the open to the crevices. Modern day slavery exists in places where “good people” don’t look, such as massage parlors in San Francisco.
Advertisements for massage parlors which maybe you and I don’t look at is where you will find slaves. Also comments on message boards for johns provide clues. You can buy people on Craigslist. You can use Yelp to “find places to exploit women and children.” This is where investigators look to find slaves. Things they look for are like:
- Johns saying “She does not seem to want to be there.”
- Advertising phrases such as “Rotating world-wide models.”
When Not For Sale contacts Yelp about reviews from johns those reviews are pulled. But before they are pulled Not For Sale records them so they can be used by law enforcement. Craigslist has not been as cooperative and the only thing they have done is renamed their erotic services to adult services.
Not For Sale three years ago presented books and books of this information to the D.A. who was quite impressed. The D.A. then took it to the police who responded they weren’t prepared to deal with this information (in other words they didn’t care). Not For Sale then started working with the FBI, immigration, IRS.
Now Not For Sale is using Google groups, Google maps, Google docs to organize and build up this information. Investigators are gathering information throughout the U.S. and Canada. Adult book stores, cantinas/bars, massage parlors, even truck stops is where investigators look.
Dennis, a Not For Sale investigator, told a story from Houston. Truck stops have lot lizards, another term for prostitutes. A van will pull up at a truck stop with two to four girls and advertise on the CB that they have girls for sale. At one truck stop a trucker agreed to buy one girl. But when he received the girl and noticed she was fourteen he called 911 and that girl and her cousin were rescued by police.
In another case a man left a brothel and asked a girl on the way out “How do you like Houston?”
When she replied “Oh, we’re in Houston.” the john knew something was wrong and called the National Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888.
The sad but unavoidable fact is that johns are a very good source of information for investigators and frontline investigators sometimes have to do things they don’t want to do. I am assuming they don’t actually complete any transactions.
To attack the demand side johns who are arrested for a first offense are asked to take a course instead of pay a fine and/or go to jail. In that course they learn about how many prostitutes are children and how many are slaves. The percentages of these arrested johns who stop visiting prostitutes is something like 70% to 80%.
Lake Volta, Ghana, largest man made lake is a major site for child slavery. Fishermen’s nets are often tangled in the trees that were flooded when the lake was created. Children with weights on their limbs are used to free the nets. Fishermen don’t know it’s illegal to hold children as slaves. Investigators from the first Not For Sale Academy are starting to make a difference, having already rescued five children!
Ji Seon, my wife, asked what makes Not For Sale distinctive from all the other abolitionist organizations. Mark replied Not For Sale is distinctive because it’s about putting the lens on average citizens, making them investigators in our own backyards or encouraging them to use their gifts to combat slavery, Difference is “seeing a fire versus reporting a fire.”
Things we can do.
- Become an investigator. You can sign up by emailing email@example.com.
- Do a Bible Study. Not For Sale has an eight week Bible study, Set The Captives Free Bible Study.
- Provide after care for rescued slaves. There is going to be an aftercare training program by MISSSEY at Not For Sale in the last week of July. To receive more information and an application form for the Aftercare Seminar, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Provide information about modern slavery to school districts and pre-school districts. Not For Sale has the information but not the resources for distributing it.
- Promote Free2Play with your children’s sports teams. Mark told the story how one team wore Free2Play badges. When the players of the opposing team asked what it was about they would say “27 million people are enslaved and half are children. We’re playing for them.”