Trafficking or Prostitution?

Trafficking or Prostitution?

An article by Jaclyn Gallucci  in recently looked at the issue of sex trafficking vs. prostitution.  Slavery is alive and well in the land of the free. With human trafficking now a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide and cases increasing in the United States, activists are trying to squash the myth that most women who work as prostitutes do so because they want to.  “Prostitution isn’t people deferring entrance to Yale while they prostitute to raise money for tuition—that’s not the reality of what it looks like,” said Nicole Bell, who worked as a prostitute after being trafficked as a teen. “We’re looking at people in poverty, people of color, people coming out of the foster care system.”

“We look at prostitution and trafficking as two different things, but most people in prostitution have experienced trafficking in some form,” Bell said. “Most were brought into this before they were old enough to consent to have sex—never mind to being sold for sex.”

The Forbes article goes on to say, "Some of the biggest factors that lead vulnerable children to become vulnerable adults are poverty, homelessness, abuse at home, the foster system, and glamorization of the sex industry, what is essentially a “pipeline of vulnerability,” said Dr. Sharon Cooper, founder and CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics."

While prostitution is defined as the exchange of sex for money, drugs, or influence between two consenting adults—where consent can be given—human trafficking means there is third-party control.

“Whenever someone else is getting that money on the backs of those individuals—often children who are having to perform 10, 12, 15 sexual acts, and actually being sexually assaulted, at a time—that constitutes sex trafficking,” she said.

And these children often end up the adult prostitutes, who many assume are just making a job choice," said Bell.  (Read the full article here.)

Job choice?  Or vulnerable people being further exploited?   What do you think?

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit



Florida House passes bill on teaching human trafficking

Reported by Fox 13 Children in Florida public schools would be taught about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking under a bill passed by the state House.

The vote was 112-0 Thursday for the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams of Fort Lauderdale and Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia of Titusville. The measure would include human trafficking in the health classes currently taught in Florida public schools.  (Click here to learn more.)


Hope4Justice increases awareness
at WWU and WCC 


Hope4Justice spoke with two different WWU classeslast Wednesday, 4/24/19, presenting information about human trafficking to more than 75 students. Thank you to Dr. Yu for the invitation to share with your students!

On Thursday, 4/25/19,  Bob, Rose, Sue Ann, and Beth manned a table at Whatcom Community College as part of Sustainability Week.  Students and staff visiting the table were asked to guess how different companies score (on an A-F scale) according to  Fair trade chocolate was given out, Hope4Justice t-shirts were won, and interesting conversations abounded!