Soroptimist Delivered Human Trafficking Awareness Training to EDCO Transit

by Placerville Newswire / Jan 27, 2020 / comments

[Deb Rice, Soroptimist International of Placerville]

Soroptimist International of Placerville members Lynne, Deb & Kaye presented human trafficking awareness training to El Dorado Transit staff.  Attendees were attentive and focused on the presentation; all scored 100% on the "quiz".

PowerPoint Presentation:  Transit presentation 1-25-2020 for FB.pptx 


Soroptimist-Led Training for El Dorado Transit Staff
Soroptimist Members Lynne, Deb & Kaye provided an overview of human trafficking at El Dorado Transit staff’s training day on January 25, 2020.  We were honored to be part of their training curriculum.  

Transit Drivers & Staff were fully engaged; all scored 100% on the final quiz.

Thank You to Judy Knapp, of PreventionWorks, for her ongoing assistance in our efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking locally and globally.  

Soroptimist's Sex Trafficking Education
and Prevention Upstanding Program
Lynne Rogers, President, SIP
Debbie Rice, HTAC, SIP


What is Human Trafficking?

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, slavery or a commercial sex act. 
Formal Definition

Simple Reality – Modern Day Slavery

There is also a new, lucrative trafficking – organs for transplant

You go, as a matter of your job, to many of the places where trafficking occurs.

I looked at the ED Transit routes while preparing – some of the stops that jumped out
El Dorado High School
Regal Theater
Independence High School !!
-  Folsom Lake College
Ponderosa Park and Ride
Upper Room
-   Transfer points to Sacramento route

A great deal of Human Trafficking goes on at Truck stops, so much so that there is now an organization called T.A.T Truckers Against Trafficking. 

Locally important: we are on the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco; Reno route, which makes EDC at big transit route.

You are important
Through sheer numbers, extensive travels, and the nature of your jobs, members of the bus industry are uniquely positioned to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement in recovering victims and arresting traffickers.
There is now a sub-group of TAT:

Busing on the Lookout    - advantage of regular routes and regular passengers to note strangers, changes in regulars etc.

     Human Trafficking
World’s second most profitable criminal enterprise, sharing this position with the illegal arms trade, second only to the illegal drug trade. 
Estimated global annual profits made from trafficking is $31.6 billion 
Every country, every state, every county – even El Dorado County!
Why does Soroptimist, a women’s  organization devoted to women’s education and advancement, take on this issue?

Women are more trafficked than any other group

We are a Global organization and Human Trafficking is a global issue

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children -Child Sex Trafficking
Child sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking defined as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation before the child reaches 18 years of age.” 
Sex trafficking has been described as “the largest slave trade in history” and as the fastest growing form of contemporary slavery. 
According to Federal Law (Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 2000), prostituted children under the age of 18 are victims of human trafficking.
And, for most of us,  the most chilling aspect of this modern- day slavery is CSE of CHILDREN 

Federal law says that  prostituted children under age 18 are victims, not prostitutes and cannot be charged with prostitution because they are to young to consent. That’s the good news. The bad news is sometimes arresting them is the only way to get them in the system to help them, and even if they are not charged,  they are often put into the over- burdened juvenile system.

However, that is better than continuing in sex slavery.

And a Domestic Issue
Between 200,000-300,000 youth victims of CSEC, mainly prostitution, in the United States each year

The number of 10-17 year olds involved in CSEC in the United States each year likely exceeds 250,000; 60% of these victims are runaway, throwaway, or homeless youth

The California Child Welfare Council identified anywhere from 50% to 80% of victims are or were formerly involved with child welfare.

As many as 1/3 of teen runaways/throwaways will become involved in prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home

according to Of those, 80 percent are female, and half are children. According to some estimates, up to 80 percent of human trafficking involves sexual exploitation, while 19 percent of trafficking is forced labor.

And the common risk factor is what?



Who are the Victims?
Trafficking victims can be men or women, boys or girls, United States citizens or foreign nationals. 
Vulnerable school-aged youth
The average age a child enters the commercial sex trade is 11-13 years old. 
LGBTQ youth - up to five times more likely than heterosexual youth to be victims of trafficking - increased susceptibility that comes with the feelings of rejection and alienation that are often experienced  by LGBTQ youth.
This is why SI Placerville is working on prevention by assisting our professional partner, Prevention Works, in making middle schoolers aware of this issue in an age appropriate way and giving them tools to avoid becoming a victim. 

How to identify manipulation
Self-esteem building
Goal setting
Cyber safety

Factors Influencing Vulnerability
Lack of education
Lack of job opportunities 
Unstable family situations
Little to no social supports
Foster system
• History of childhood sex abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or running away.
Drug use by teens
Do you know a child, girl or boy, with some of these risk factors?  Maybe a friend of your child or grandchild?  The kid in the house down the street?  

Just be aware that these kids MIGHT be at risk of being recruited into becoming a victim.

Our partner in our Human trafficking Awareness efforts, Prevention Works, has a motto: Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.  You could be that adult.

Who are the Traffickers?


Coach, neighbor, doctor (organ trafficking), the “funny” uncle in the family, the new boyfriend…

Remind audience of billion-dollar profits
Humans are re-newable resource

How Traffickers Recruit Their Victims?
Kidnapped and taken forcibly 
Lured by false job offers 
False promises
This subsequently creates a lifelong debt the victim must work off (through either commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor) to repay their trafficker. 

Ask – Which one do you think is used most often? Internet is number one method.

Least likely - Kidnapped

Sex trafficking victims, particularly those in major U.S. cities, are often branded with tattoos. A pimp or female controller will often brand victims with his or her street name, initials or a signature phrase. Other typical sex trafficking tattoos include bows, diamonds, dollar signs, bills, money bags, crowns, king, queen, princess, barcodes on the neck or alpha-numeric codes on the upper arm.



They may appear to live a normal life…

Public Transit – Red Flags

Passengers who are not allowed to speak for themselves
Passengers whose tickets or identification documents are being controlled by another person
Passengers who have never met the person who purchased their ticket for them
Minors traveling without adult supervision
Minors who do not know the person who is picking them up at their destination

Any acknowledgement that she/he has a pimp and is making a quota
Markings or tattoos that could be a pimp’s branding
Passengers who look dirty and disheveled, or seem confused, panicked, or afraid
People in the terminal who regularly approach minors but never board a bus
Cars that are frequently at the terminal but no one gets out to board a bus
Anyone who is offering to exchange sex for money or any other good or service

Debbie is now passing out some handouts that you can keep in your buses, to jog your memory of the indicators you are most likely to see during your work…

Remember the  sick girl who arrived at Marshall hospital ?  Her life was saved, and it is possible that she took the bus to do it!

What would you do if a girl clad in only sweatpants and a bra wanted to board your bus to the hospital? 

 Perhaps now you would have a better idea of what might be going on…

At the end of the day if no one purchased commercial sex, the crime of sex trafficking wouldn’t exist. Therefore, it is imperative that we address the issue of demand in order to create a culture where the buying and selling of human beings for another’s sexual gratification is not looked upon as normal behavior. 
no buyer = no victim = no sex trafficking


Human Trafficking does not occur in the USA. It only happens in other countries.
False. Human Trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide-in cities, suburbs, and small towns and even our community.

Human Trafficking victims are only foreign born individuals and those who are poor. 
False. Human Trafficking victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality. They may come from any socioeconomic group.

Human Trafficking is only sex trafficking.
False.  Sex Trafficking exists, but it is not the only type of human trafficking.  Forced labor is another type of human trafficking; both involve exploitation of people. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels and domestic service.

Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be victims of human trafficking.

False.  Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is forced or coerced.

Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same.

False. Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling.  “Trafficking” is based on exploitation and does not require movement across borders.  “Smuggling” is based on movement and involves moving a person across a country’s border with that person’s consent in violation of immigration laws.

Human trafficking victims will attempt to seek help when in public.

False. Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession of or have control of their identification documents.

PowerPoint Presentation:  Transit presentation 1-25-2020 for FB.pptx