Springfield Rotary is working to generate public awareness of the trafficking of human beings. Human trafficking is the forced exploitation of individuals by those in the position to exert power over them. It is a form of modern-day slavery. There are no volunteer victims.

Human trafficking happens in every country. It is a big money game earning global profits of roughly $150 billion per year for traffickers, $99 billion of which comes from commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the most lucrative crime. Every year some 1-2 million men, women and children become victims of human trafficking; 70 percent are female, half of all victims are ages 19-33, the average age is 27 though many are younger than 12. And some are born into this slavery.

Springfield Rotarians recently approved $15,600 to fund a Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign. This campaign is primarily focused on January 2022, Human Trafficking Awareness Month, though there are some components that occur throughout the year.

Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon is joining an evening vigil to kick off this awareness campaign in our community. Please join him and other community leaders from 5-6:30 pm, January 5 at the Gateway Credit Union located at 3030 Gateway Loop in Springfield. Additionally, stay tuned for upcoming announcements to get involved in this effort thanks to the Springfield Public Library.

Human Trafficking starts in a community and can be stopped by a community. The first step to preventing human trafficking and prosecuting the traffickers is to be aware of the crime in our local community.

In Oregon, October 2018 – October 2019, there were 750 reported cases. Lane County reported 120 cases, the second highest among 10 reporting counties. Most cases are never reported.

One of the biggest impediments to anti-trafficking efforts is a lack of understanding of the issue. Traffickers lure and ensnare people into forced labor and sex by manipulating and exploiting their vulnerabilities. They prey on people who are hoping for a better life, lack employment opportunities, have an unstable home life, or have a history of sexual or physical abuse. They often seek out children online who appear vulnerable, depressed, seem emotionally isolated from family and friends, have low-esteem or appear to have a lot of unsupervised time.


For More Information: Website: http://www.springfieldore364rotary.org