In the United States of America, slavery was officially abolished in 1865. But in reality, it is far from over. Human trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, generating an estimated $150 billion annually. It is second only to drug trafficking and is considered a form of modern-day slavery. Cases of it have been reported in all 50 states and nearly every country. In Part 1 of our Human Trafficking series, I cover the problem of human trafficking, the cause, exactly what it is, and how "pimps" in particular pull vulnerable women and girls into forced prostitution.
One woman is working against the criminal enterprise of human trafficking in Florida, one child at a time. Taking in adolescent survivors of trafficking can be risky business - Aretha Baxter has been viciously stalked - but it's what she's meant to do. Our children need us.
Jennifer Martin was sucked into the sex trade as a teenager as a consequence of becoming addicted to drugs. But with the help of Rethreaded and her inner strength, she has been able to exit the sex trade and drug addiction.
Rethreaded, located in Jacksonville, Fla., employs only female victims of human trafficking and the sex trade. Florida is the third highest state in the U.S. for reports of trafficking and Duval County/Jacksonville is a hub for both perpetrators and their victims. Rethreaded offers survivors a chance by empowering them with business.