Archives

Forced labor and rape – in the heartland of America

In the Midwestern heartland, police are encountering a new social evil: trafficking, often involving women and children who are forced to work as prostitutes or unpaid labour; and the outcomes can be brutal.

Human trafficking has become a major issue in the Midwest heartland of America, causing some campaigners to dub it a modern form of slavery.

Figures from the State Department reveal that 17,500 people are trafficked into the US every year against their will or under false pretences, mainly to be used for sex or forced labour. Experts believe that, when cases of internal trafficking are added, the total number of victims could be up to five times larger. And increasing numbers of trafficked individuals are being transported thousands of miles from America’s coasts and into heartland states such as Ohio and Michigan.

“It is not only a crime. It is an abomination,” said Professor Mark Ensalaco, a political scientist at the University of Dayton, Ohio, who organised a recent conference on the issue. In Ohio a human trafficking commission has just been set up to study the problem, while in the northern Ohio city of Toledo a special FBI task force is tackling the issue. For many local law enforcement officials, it is a bewildering new world.

Read Article

You must be logged in to post a comment.