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Human Trafficking Focus of Idaho PSC
posted by: Cindy Omlin | October 21, 2014, 11:36 PM   


Nichole Hall, Assessment Coordinator in the Idaho Department of Education, made a presentation in May to Professional Standards Commission (PSC) members on human trafficking and the need for training on this issue for Idaho's educators.  NWPE board member Mikki Nuckols and members Ginny Welton and Angie Lakey-Campbell serve on the PSC.


Human trafficking became a federal crime in 2000.  Idaho's law against human trafficking was passed in 2007.

human trafficking

Types of Human Trafficking.
There are two types of human trafficking - sex trafficking and labor trafficking.  Sex trafficking occurs when a trafficker coerces/forces someone into a commercial sex act for the profit of the trafficker.  For prosecuting purposes, force (physical restraint), fraud (false promises regarding employment, wages, working conditions, etc.), or coercion (threats of serious harm to the victim or someone the victim loves) are not required to occur in regard to minors under the age of 18 who are induced into commercial sex acts.  In labor trafficking, the trafficker coerces/forces someone into labor or service - again for the profit of the trafficker.  With labor trafficking, law enforcement sees a larger number of parents of children recruited, rather than the children.  For prosecuting purposes in labor trafficking, adults and children are treated the same, in that force, fraud, or coercion must occur.

Statistics on Human Trafficking. Idaho lacks clear statistics on human trafficking primarily because of lack of awareness.  The Department of Homeland Security estimates approximately 12 to 27 million slaves around the world.  In America, children as young as 5 are trafficked, and the average starting age is 12.  As many as 300,000 youth are involved in primarily sex trafficking.  The FBI estimates at least 100,000 of those are minors.


Human Trafficking in Idaho. In Idaho, there is sex trafficking in gangs (a reusable income source for them), on-line exploitation (chat rooms, social networking sites, and gaming sites), and in hotels/motels.  There is labor trafficking in sales crews (reading materials, magazine subscriptions, etc.), agriculture, and service industries.  There can also be familial trafficking, where a parent is trafficking his/her own child or a younger sibling. Traffickers prey on any person who is mentally, physically, or economically vulnerable and needs some sort of validation.  They target areas where these people can be found - schools, fast food places, malls, parks, bus/train stations, shelters, group homes, and courts.


Training of educators is needed. Law enforcement is seeing more cases of human trafficking in Idaho reinforcing the need for training of Idaho educators. There is a related training for school counselors, educators, and other appropriate district and/or school personnel.  It is provided through the recorded webinar Human Trafficking:  Protecting Idaho's Youth on the Department of Education website at http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/safe_drugfree/ht/.  It provides the aforementioned information and also delves further into trafficker and victim identification; the dynamics of the trafficker/victim relationship; recruitment methods; trafficking assessment/indicators; who to call if human trafficking is suspected; and preventive measures to take so that additional children are not recruited into human trafficking.  It is important to note that victims can and do come from good homes.

Scheduling Training. Districts or schools wanting a live training created by the Department of Education in partnership with Boise law enforcement and the organization Idaho Human Trafficking Awareness are asked to contact Nichole Hall atnhall@sde.idaho.gov.

Feedback Requested. Nichole also has plans to develop student-level training and possibly training for educators at the pre-service level.  Please send your feedback on both of those levels of human trafficking training to Nichole at nhall@sr de.idaho.gov.

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