DoD

January 16, 2014

DOD raises awareness of human trafficking

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Department officials have a zero-tolerance level for human trafficking and have stepped up awareness and education efforts to curb the crime overseas.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Brian Chin — a program manager for the department’s effort to combat human trafficking, said DOD is broadening its training for those who work in contracting, acquisition and law enforcement, and that a yearly general course on how to recognize human trafficking has been mandatory for DOD civilians since 2005.

Chin works out of Qatar and oversees the program in Southwest Asia and the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

DOD defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport or obtain a person for commercial sex or labor services, Chin explained.

Combating human trafficking is not a war waged alone within the DOD, he noted.

“The response to human trafficking requires a collaborative approach within all of DOD’s components and services,” Chin said, as well as working with agencies, such as the departments of State and Homeland Security to put a stop to the crimes of slavery and prostitution.

“A lot of our training is designed to sensitize our folks to realize that (a victim) is not just someone who’s serving our food, cleaning the barracks or picking up refuse around the bases that could be someone who’s there against their will and is being held in circumstances that fit (DOD’s) criteria for human slavery,” he said.

Victims of human trafficking can be difficult to identify, Chin said, because usually no physical indicators of coercion exist, and human traffickers are adept at influencing their victims to hide their victimization.

Commanders, other military leaders and all DOD components at all levels are “striving very hard to implement changes to federal laws and DOD-wide policies to push requirements for awareness programs, training for targeted audiences and reporting (cases) to the DOD (inspector general),” he said.

Chin called overseas human trafficking “widespread,” but acknowledged that the number of victims is difficult to quantify. Victims usually are lured from rural areas with promises of working in good-paying jobs, he said.

“A classic sign of human trafficking is indentured servitude, where the victims pay large fees in a very competitive arena to secure jobs,” he said, adding that the high pay they’re promised is just a lure.

The fees to secure jobs become loans, and victims find themselves working as indentured servants to work off what they owe, and they can’t return home because their passports are taken away, Chin said. Victims’ homes often are held as collateral for their employment, he added.

In many instances, victims are misled about where they’re going, he noted.

“One of the classic cases you see is beauticians and barbers (who are) told they’re going to a Gulf nation to work in a salon for a very good salary, and (when) they get off a plane, they’re actually in Afghanistan, working on a forward-operating base under completely different circumstances,” Chin said.

DOD’s efforts to train its personnel to recognize and report human trafficking are paying off, he said.

“Our awareness programs are having a tremendous effect on sensitizing all of our (personnel), and everybody understands what human trafficking is,” he said. “They’re starting to understand it’s not just a sex crime off our bases, especially in Afghanistan. … It’s also a labor crime.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>