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Combatting trafficking in persons important for all

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION, MINN. --

Combatting Trafficking in Persons (“CCIP”) is an important consideration for all of us. DoDI 2200.01 requires each service to formulate policy and guidance to educate and inform service members on CTIP in order to increase awareness so they can better identify and report suspected trafficking.

AFI 36-2921 sets forth the parameters of the Air Force’s CTIP program. Originally, this was thought to be an issue that primarily affected service members serving OCONUS, but we now know that’s not the case. Trafficking in persons is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to provide labor, services or commercial sex. The most common forms are labor trafficking and sex trafficking. While the most notorious examples of human trafficking involve sex trafficking, forced labor is the most widespread and may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers that are vulnerable because of high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or cultural acceptance of the practice. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, but individuals also may be forced into labor in their own countries.

Victims can be found in any location or industry: factories, farms, construction, restaurants, mines, or personal homes. In fact, some of the companies performing Government contracts have been found to be engaging in labor trafficking, which prompted the addition of standard language prohibiting this practice in Government contracts as well as additional screening actions such as requiring contractors to produce passports for their employees. Sex trafficking cases can be some of the worst examples of human rights violations in the world. For example, young persons may be promised a career in entertainment upon signing an initial bogus contract only to find they are spending 14 hours a day being sexual objects for $1.25 an hour. They have no free time, may share a three-bedroom apartment with nine other young persons in a foreign country, and have lost control of their passports.

The next time you are completing your CTIP training, think about places close to you that may be susceptible to CTIP and pay close attention to those places. If you suspect CTIP is occurring, report it.