Robert Kraft, human trafficking and South Florida's challenges – Part 1

Robert Kraft, human trafficking and South Florida’s challenges – Part 1

Excerpt: Authorities say the men they allege bought sex services from day spas, such as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, allow human-trafficking organizations to thrive. In recent years, law-enforcement agencies have focused on arresting and prosecuting human traffickers who profit from exploiting others. But a months long investigation in Martin and Palm Beach counties, revealed at Tuesday’s news conference, was one of the largest in recent memory that targeted the buyers whose dollars allow trafficking organizations to thrive.

Since Wednesday, authorities have arrested more than 60 men — some famous like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, some wealthy like a former Citigroup leader, some ordinary like plumbers and music teachers — for soliciting prostitution, with more arrests expected to come. It’s a strategy that law enforcement and victims-rights advocates hope can erode demand for human and sex trafficking, which many describe as a form of modern-day slavery.

Bottom Line:This has been a hot button of mine for almost my entire career. Maybe Robert Kraft being ensnared in the latest sting will help place some of the necessary attention on one more of the more consistently horrific underbellies of our society today. I covered this topic as recently as March 30th last year in my story: Human trafficking - what you don't know but should.

Here are a couple of notes worth revisiting...Polaris is the largest nonprofit dedicated specifically to combating human trafficking. They've long provided a hotline and services to attempt to identify cases of human tracking, raise awareness and save lives. What I'm about to share with you isn't new. It's what you don't hear in the news. 

Last year Polaris documented 8,042 cases of human trafficking in the United States. That's an average of 22 people, predominantly children, who went missing per day in the country. Through their research they've found:

  • 73%: sex trafficked
  • 14%: labor trafficked
  • 4%: both

86% of victims are female. But here's the thing. The reason you don't hear the stories, know the faces, aren't aware of the human tragedy going on around us. 81% of the victims are minorities...

In other words, this is a huge, persistent problem in our society that doesn’t receive the regular attention it deserves. The Orchids Day Spa bust in Jupiter checks all of those usual boxes. But here’s the thing, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With an average of 22 new cases of human trafficking per day taking place in the US, there’s the equivalent of what was just busted up in Jupiter, daily across the country – it's just that someone as notable as Robert Kraft isn’t attached to the cases. 

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